Aka.. first triathlon since August 2008. Wow... that shit is hard. Worth it, but hard.
It was a HOT day yesterday so I decided to forgo the wetsuit. Okay, many of you know I am not a stellar swimmer. I'm not trying to be self deprecating here... it's just a fact. I did go out and swim around a bit without it to see how it felt and it felt HOT.. okay, but hot. I decided that anything I would gain from the wet suit would be lost because I would be so damn hot. Not sure if that's true in retrospect, but I'm glad I did it. I showed myself that I can do it ... even though it's harder and slower. the swim course is a bit different... let's see if I can explain it. There are two rows of buoys coming off the beach at an angle meeting at the top of a triangle. Waves start from left and right on each line of buoys. When you hit the top of the triangle you turn and come down the middle of the triangle together w/ your friends from the other line of buoys. Well this is all well and good... except when someone strays from their line of buoys (which we all know happens quite a bit in triathlons) and comes straight at you and hits you in the lip w/ their forehead while you are siting. I got my wits about me and kept going assuming I would have a fat lip. Thankfully it's split, but not fat.
Out in 22 minutes. While the official results aren't out I'm pretty certain I was either last or almost last in my wave. UGH. Must learn to use my legs. I basically pull myself through the race. So for you swimmers.. next time you toe the line use your pull buoy and you'll have a decent idea of how I get through .5 miles of swimming... minus your hips sinking every time you site! I think I spent too much time w/ the pull buoy back in the beginning bc I outright FORGET to kick.
Out of the water and to the bike. My transition was slow b/c I was having some trouble w/ my timing chip. It was coming off and I had to take it off and reposition it w/ my shaky "I just pulled myself for .5 miles" arms.
This course had a couple of technical descents, but I wouldn't say it had a lot of climbing.. more rollers w/ one out of the saddle climb. I felt great on the down hills. Felt strong and confident in my bike handling (I did get the tri bike out for the event), but on the flats (well false flats w/ slight uphill) I felt weak. My quads and hip flexors were NOT loving that. Flats were good. I only got passed by a handful of people on the bike and was frankly embarrassed by how many people I passed from my swim wave. SERIOUSLY! I did want for better mile markers in this race as I need to figure out how to change sports quickly on my Garmin (bc I haven't done a tri since I got it) so I opted not to use it. I felt okay about my bike, but know I could do better. I'm going easy on myself since I haven't spent a ton of time on my bike and haven't spent any time really working on speed.
Transition okay... almost ran out w/ my pump and tube in my shirt so I had to back track a bit to ditch them.
Now my favorite... the run. We ran down a big hill, flat for a bit then turned around to run up the big hill. As I ran out of transition I saw one of Tom's co-workers that was running the race w/ a relay team (aka on fresh legs). I don't know this woman at all really and certainly have no idea what kind of runner she is, but I tried to keep up with her. No dice. I kept her in my sites for most of the run, but lost her on that blasted hill. It took me a mile before I felt like I could breathe (first time the whole race) and then fell into a groove. I was looking to catch my friend Nicole. She is a stellar swimmer and I knew she would have a huge lead on me out of the water (turns out is was about 8 mins.. ugh), but I figured I would run her down on the bike...nope. So now I was really trying to find her. I didn't catch her until the last mile. I saw her at the turn around and tried to pick it up. I didn't think I would catch her if I didn't do it before the big hill. She's got more experience w/ the blasted hills and I thought she would tough it out longer than I did. I finally caught her in the middle of the hill and finished only about a minute or two in front of her. :)
My favorite part of the race was the finish shoot. As we turned the corner to head in a guy passed me ... quite easily I might add ... well I wasn't going to have him pass me right there at the end. I picked it up and pushed as hard as I could. It hurt. Just before the line I let out a grunt and he heard me and picked it up. Someone told me I 'won', but I'm pretty sure we came in together. The guy smiled and patted me on the back. Ah a little friendly competition.
All in all a good time. As always a learning experience. I do think I prefer the long stuff where I can actually have time to catch my breath and get in a groove more. Not big and giving it everything for 1.25 hours... I think that was about my time. Not sure yet. Good news is it's 10 mins faster than both the sprint tris I did back in 2007.