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Swim, Bike, Run...My 1st Sprint Tri! (long)

Monday, April 11, 2011

(P.S. I have lots of photos but have so much trouble uploading them to SP! I'll try again later. Grr!)

I did it! Yesterday I competed in my first sprint triathlon. Wow!!!

So, how was it? It was great! It was hard! It was WINDY! But, I did it! And, I AM a triathlete.

MORNING: I woke up a little before 5 am and went through my bag one more time. I grabbed my breakfast (I was too nervous to eat) and loaded my bike on the back of my car. And, I headed towards the community center.

CHECKING IN & SETTING UP: I had been there the day before for a first timers event. (More on that later.) So, I knew pretty much what would be happening and where everything was set up. I brought my flashlight (great idea as I had to pump up my tires in the dark parking lot!) and went over to get my markings. The guy marking my leg heard me say "31" instead of "41" so he had to rewrite it. It was really messy and unreadable. Oh, well! I got my area set up according to everything I'd read and the Saturday class. I ate my banana and went and got my ankle chip. Then, I walked the exit & entrance to the bike & run several times to make sure I could find my bike. I was 2nd from the end, and got really good at finding it.

SWIM: There were about 600 participants and I was number 487. I was told they'd put someone in the water every 5 seconds, which should have put me around 7:25. But, I didn't get in the water until 7:45. It was a LONG wait, and I was wishing I had more 'fuel' to eat. I stood around talking to one of the ladies I'd me Saturday and the guy who was next to me on the rack. He actually trains some triathletes, so he was a great person to ask questions! (Oh, and I learned that they close the transition area -something I hadn't read - so you have to get whatever you need out of there!)

It was finally my turn to start & I jumped in. I'd predicted my swim team, for the 275 yards in the pool, would be 7:30. I hadn't practiced jumping in and was afraid my goggles would fill up with water, but they were fine. I hadn't warmed up at all since I knew there'd be a long wait until I started swimming. But, I immediately felt at ease in the water. That is, until the guys behind me caught up to me on the 2nd lane. For about 5 laps, they passed me one after another. And, they were bumping into me, pulling my legs under, and just messing with me! I was proud of myself for staying calm. I flipped over on my back twice, but just for a couple of seconds. I ended up swimming slightly faster than expected with a time of 7:24! And, I realize now that I actually probably swam 300 yards instead of 275 since you are also swimming the entire length of the pool. So, I was swimming faster than ever! Yeah!

T1: My first transition went well. I really had trouble 'running' from the swimming pool and it was a slight jog instead. My plan was to stand up and put my socks & shoes on, but my socks weren't going on easily. So, I sat down and got them on. I also grabbed a few Honey Stingers. I had a good time at just 2:41.

BIKE: I'd rode one loop of the 2 loop bike route the day before with the first timers group. And, Saturday had been kind of windy. But, race day was VERY windy! And, the path was hilly! (At least compared to the flat lands I ride on!) I am very proud of how hard I worked on the ride. I pushed & pushed and gave 100%. There were times we were riding directly into the wind and we were barely moving. And, we didn't get the benefit of the wind because we were behind some buildings when it should have been at our back. Overall, I'm very happy with my bike leg, especially since I haven't been riding very long. My time for 13 miles (which I showed as about 13.5 miles) was 59:21.

T2: I had a quick transition. I know I could have been a few seconds quicker by putting my cap on while running, but I was so tired and wanted a few seconds break. I also grabbed a big drink of water off of my bike and a couple more Honey Stingers. I had one of the fastest T2s in my age bracket at 1:14. (But, I didn't have to change shoes since I ride in my tennis shoes.)

RUN: I was so tired by my run. It was hard to get going. I walked a lot more than I expected. I think I walked 5 times and they were pretty long walks. I had just given almost all of what I had to give! My run time was the 2nd slowest in my age group at 40:16. But, my fastest 5K to date is only 37something, so this was actually pretty decent for me.

So, my total time was 1:50:38. I placed 26 of 28 in my age group. I placed 150 of 175 out of the women. As in every other race, I came in at the back of the pack. Yes, that is frustrating for me. But, I think I did an incredible job and I know I gave it my all. (Well, I might have held back a little during the run.) I need to keep working on all 3 sports and I will get better! Right now I'm a little frustrated that I have a half marathon I'm training for, too, so it'll be harder to work on speed, but I'll do my best!

That's it! That's the story of my first triahtlon! I hope, if you are considering doing one, that you'll get out there and give it a try. It is an incredible feeling of accomplishment.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I had been a little discouraged by triathlon training before because it felt like too much to juggle, but you are giving me the strength to think I can do it!

    Swimming is my hardest sport; did you swim further or faster than your planned race distance/time or did you just work on cross training to keep you conditioned?
    3760 days ago
    So excited for you! This was a wonderful description of those "firsts" in a triathlon. And for sures, this will be a first TRI in a line of many more to come.

    3761 days ago
    Thats so awesome! My first tri is in July, so this blog was a great inspiration!!!!
    3763 days ago
  • MICHELE5551
    Good for you!!!!!!
    3764 days ago
    I think you did AWESOME!! I am excited to do my triathlon in August... I am starting to work out with personal trainer next week....I want to make sure I am doing enough strength training to get me ready!
    3764 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6134837
    I think this is amazing! I want to do a tri next year and it is so inspiring to read about other people out there trying it. Great job!
    3764 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7673407
    Congratulations! You did great, and you trained so hard for it! Such an accomplishment. You should be very proud of yourself!
    3765 days ago
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    On thing I do that helps get my bike legs under me is Brick workouts. After riding your bike hop off and run. Start with 5 minutes and build up. It really does help. Sometimes I just shuffle along until they get back under me! Forward motion!!!
    3765 days ago
    WAY TO GO!

    I remember my first sprint triathlon - I thought I was going to die and said to everyone that would listen - "checked it off the to do list and I AM NOT doing another"......well, I ended up doing 2 more! All 3 were in Baghdad which really stunk (literally and figuratively) but I did it! We were even pictured in Triathlete magazine and that makes me proud!

    Very proud of you and all of your hard work and dedication!
    3766 days ago
    Very inspiring!!! You should be so proud of yourself! And it doesn't matter how fast or slow you are -- you FINISHED -- there are so many who don't even try!

    3766 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2035636
    A very big congratulations to you. You are now a triathlete.
    3766 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1425027
    Congrats! Sounds like a GREAT triathlon!!!!

    3766 days ago
    Congrats to you!!

    You did great :)

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    3766 days ago
    Wow! how exciting! congratulations. I have my first tri May 30th and I'm super nervous, so this blog really makes me feel better. I can't imagine how it feels to cross that finish line.. you should be so proud!
    3766 days ago
    Finally getting a chance to read this... Sounds like a good first experience aside from the wind - ugh I feel ya on that one because of my crazy windy half marathon.

    I am so glad both the tris I did were reverse. I can't even imagine running at the end and having to deal with so much after the swim in transition. Mine were all really quick because I wear my running shoes too, so I was in and out - of course it was also quick because I didn't really have too many other people around by the time I made it back from my run.


    Now you know you can do it, and you can lay out a training schedule that includes another one if you like or you can focus more on shorter distance running to work on your speed. I know I would love to do that, breaking a 30 minute 5K would be such a dream for me - but with my knee problems, I don't think its in the cards this year.

    Good luck in the rest of your half training - I have to live vicariously through you you know.
    3766 days ago
    Woohoo!!!! Congratulations TRIATHLETE!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3766 days ago
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    3766 days ago
    Way to go! I loved reading this blog! I did a mini triathlon with a friend of mine and the most difficult part for me was transitioning from swimming to biking. When I got out of the pool to jogging to T1 my legs felt like jelly! Great job! I hope you plan on competing in more!! emoticon
    3766 days ago
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    Amazing. You did a great job. I just can not even imagine a tri. You are AWESOME!!!!

    I have to add, you really can not look at the numbers... think of ALL the people who didn't even give it a try.
    3766 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/12/2011 8:49:58 AM
  • no profile photo CD6329775
    WTG! What an event! You did so great!
    3766 days ago
    emoticon Loved reading your description of the tri. BTW the Go St. Louis was really hot and rather unpleasant this year--think you had a better event. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3766 days ago
    emoticon You are AWESOME!!! That is so great that you can now officially call yourself a Triathalete! I am so proud of you and you, as always, are an inspiration to me!
    3766 days ago
    3767 days ago
    So Awesome!! You did it and you didn't come in last and it was your very first tri. I think you have a lot to be proud of and should relish that sense of accomplishment for all it is worth. I would have come in last-lol!! Not kidding, but it's still funny :). I am impressed. I am probably still at least a year away from trying a tri. I am blown away and you rock!!
    3767 days ago
    I'm training for a triathlon right now and I'm a little nervous, especially about the swimming. I have to stop after 4 laps, and those are the half laps! Any advice for a really bad swimmer?

    3767 days ago
    WOO HOO!! You did it!! I'm so glad it was such a good experience after you had to miss your half. Great job!
    3767 days ago
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