STATS: 1:22:18; 4th woman 30-39 category; 13th overall women; 57th overall
( 400m swim, 13 mile bike, 3.1 run)
OK, so I did not mention I am going to do this race, as I normally do. You see, I really wanted "an out", just in case my fear of swimming in open water would take over... And it did, a little, last night when I swam the 400m (more like 500 from what I later heard) course. Chris went with me since I did not want to be there alone. I had a couple of moments when my heartrate went really high and I checked around to make sure Chris was not too far away. .. I have to thank him for encouraging me to go ahead and do the race.
I could not sleep the entire night. I swam the course in my head several times, and planned how I would get the lifeguards' attention if something went wrong. Even though I swim between 1 mile and 1.5 miles 2-3 times a week, and have been doing this for over a year now, I have this fear of swimming in open water. It's irrational, and I knew that the only way to get over it would be to do the race.
I got up at 5:45 so that I could have breakfast and coffee. We hit the road at 6:30, and got there at 7am. I set up my bike, and started chatting with everyone. There were lots of first timers, but everyone seemed comfortable with the swim and worried about the run. We started in waves. I was wave 2 (39 an under). There were about 50 of us, and every one was v nice and polite during the swim. None of the kicking that I've heard. So the swim was uneventful. I was very calm and collected*. I have no idea how fast I swam, but I would say I was in the top 10 for the wave, which made me super happy.
The transition to the bike was smooth. I did not rush at all. I even chatted with a guy from a previous wave who got "lost" on the course and swam it twice while negotiating a panic attack. Poor guy! I had a banana, put socks and shoes on, hopped on the bike and off I went. The course was a 3.1 m loop, which we did 4 times (for a 13.4, rather than 13....see the pattern here?). I felt strong on the bike, and enjoyed myself. I passed some people, got passed by others, and I know now that I should have pushed much harder. There were lots of sharp turns on the course, and I am still working on not slowing down when I take the turns. My Garmin refused to work so I have no idea what my time on the bike was. Given that there were 4 waves, and we were all wearing helmets, that it was so hard to figure out which waves people belonged to.
The run was interesting. I transitioned in about 3 minutes, again, taking my time, and discovered that my Garmin was all of a sudden working. Such relief. The 1st mile went by quickly. My calves were in pain, which never happens to me on a run, but makes sense since those muscles are used much more (for me) on the bike. First mile was 6:40, way, way fast for me. I did not realize I was going that fast until I saw the mile split and slowed myself down as I climbed a little hill. Around the half way my stomach started giving me problems. I saw a few women in front of me (had no idea which wave, though), and I did not even think about passing them. I just hoped to keep a constant pace, though I was going slower and slower. I did pass about 5 women, all that I could see in front of me. The last 100 m or so I felt a strong urge to vomit, and I managed to restrain myself until I passed the finish line. Then off I went, as a volunteer gave me a bottle of water. My Garmin said 21:59 (7:06 mile/min), which is slower than my 5K PR, but probably pretty good given that I had swam and biked before.
Only overall time was posted, and so I have no idea how I did on the swim, bike or transitions, which is a bummer, because I would have liked to have a baseline for comparison for my future races (but hey, the entire race was $30, and we got awesome tech Tshirts, too). I estimate 10 min swim, 45 min bike, 22 run, and about 6 min or so transitions. I know I did not push at all on the swim or the bike (I should have been on a "harder" gear) and I only raced the run, and so I think I can greatly improve. Also, my husband is hooked, and while he keeps telling me that it is crazy to run 1/2 and full marathons, he would love to try a triathlon. Would be super fun to race together, though I know I won't stand a chance to finish before him...
It was a great day, I met lots of wonderful people, and managed to take on my fear of swimming in open water. My son enjoyed the playground and company of the other kids along with a chocolate donut that I shared with him after the race (OK, he had 3/4 of it). And my husband was the best cheerleader, per usual!
* I have a tendency to get nervous before races, but during races I am calm and collected.
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