Monday, April 20, 2009

My First Triathlon... Recap

What an AMAZING experience is all I can say! I always knew that race day would be exciting, nerve racking, and vomit inducing (No I didn't throw up.. but I wanted to on several occasions) but I never imagined the sense of accomplishment I would feel once I was done. I will recap with you all the race day events so you can have a clear picture of what an awesome day it was!

Race day was Sunday at 7:00am... my wave was scheduled to start at 7:05... female first timers. This was a "My First Tri" so our distances were shorter than an average sprint tri. The male first timers were scheduled to start at 7:00am.

Apparently being a triathlete means you enjoy waking up at the butt crack of dawn... or at least pretend that you like waking up at the butt crack of dawn. My alarm went off promptly at 3:45am Sunday April 19.

Transition areas open up at 5:30am and it was about a 30 minute drive to the race site and every clinic I went to said "be there 30 minutes before transition opens" so that's what we did - or planned on doing.

We arrived between 5:15 - 5:20am to begin setting up our transition area. Transition is where you run into after the swim, bike out of and into at the beginning and end of the bike portion, and run out of at the start of the run portion. All of your equipment is placed here, bike, helmet, shoes, towels, sunglasses, anything that you need during the race is placed in the transition area.

When we arrived the transition waiting line was already a mile long. People are serious... as you waited in line you were "body marked" with your race number on one thigh, one arm and your age on your calf. FYI - permanent marker is removed off of skin by rubbing alcohol... in case you ever need that piece of info. Soon after body marking transition opened and were let in. We racked our bikes, set up our area, and took a look around to familiarize ourselves with the entrances and exits of transition.

At 6:45am we had a pre-race meeting for the newbies that went over the rules, regulations, etc by one of the referees... 7:00am and the first wave of male first timers jumped off the dock and headed for the starting buoy.

5 min. after their wave started we jumped off the dock and made our way to the starting buoy. Cayla and I were very nervous... one because it was FREEZING Sunday morning. The water temperature was 62 degrees!!! We high fived... and jumped in the water together. Our goal this whole time during training was to finish together... no matter what. We felt like we were at the same level of preparedness so no matter what we would cross the finish line together.

We heard the air horn and started our swim... here ensues Allison's moment of freak out. I realized about a minute into the swim that I had forgotten to start my heart rate monitor and watch. As I was swimming in this lake I tried to start my watch... bad idea... I freaked out... I could not catch my breath so I stopped free styling and back stroked. Now this was very disappointing to me b/c I had worked so hard to be able to freestyle. But let me tell you ... .swimming in a pool is WAY different than open water swimming. I know "swimming is swimming" but seriously it was hard... and scary... b/c I got slapped a few times. I still did a respectable time on the swim of 7min. and 38 seconds... but it was literally the scariest 7 minutes of my life. I thought I was going to drown and the kayaks were going to have to pull me out of the water. I ended up placed 12 out of 38 in the swim.

When I got out of the water I headed up the bank and promptly met the "strippers". These people are assigned to strip you out of your wetsuit as fast and efficiently as possible. I was amazed at how quick they peeled that thing off of me. Once my wetsuit was off I headed down a large hill, through the tennis courts, to transition. The hill was the 2nd scariest part of the race... I thought for sure I was going to bust it. I had wet, cold, numb feet and was running down a slippery hill. I didn't bust it... thank goodness... and made it to transition.

I waited for Cayla at transition and was relieved to find out that she had a minor freak out in the water too. I guess nerves and the newness of open water swimming got the better of us. But we had made it ... 1/3 of the way done!

We hopped on our bikes and headed out for the 6mile bike ride. This was the hardest part of the race for me. I don't think I had prepared fully for the bike portion. I was sick the week before if you remember with PINK EYE so I slacked on bike training. I took my bike out for a spin on Saturday but only for about 3 miles and not on any hills ... which the bike route was 80% uphill. I am not going to lie... it was a struggle...but I made it and I finished it on my bike, in one piece, with no crashes! I finished the bike in 32 min and 32 seconds with an average of 11.1 mph. We finished 33 and 34 out of 38...

Cayla had finished about a min. and a half before me in the bike so she waited for me at transition this time. Transition was crazy between the bike and the run. As I was getting my things someone had taken my race belt with my bib number on it. I know this was a honest mistake because my belt and number were returned at the end of the race... but I didn't have a number the duration of the run. I was so afraid that I was going to get a penalty. As we started the run I spotted the race director and told her... she said if I had received a penalty to let her know and she would correct it. I didn't receive one so I was excited!

The run was an out and back 2 mile. I was frantic and crazy after not having my number so the first few minutes of the run was a tad difficult...but I had Cayla there supporting me and telling me to breathe... sometimes I forget to do that!

We finished the run in 19 min. and 15 seconds... an average of a 9 min and 38 second mile! We placed 8th and 9th out of 38 athletes! So the run was definitely our strongest sport!

We crossed the finish line together... got our "great job" medal and visited with all the lovely people that came to support us!

Overall we were 23 and 24 out of 38. Not too bad for our first time I don't think!

Once we could pack up transition we did and headed to Blue Mesa for their AMAZING Sunday brunch fully equipped with bottomless mimosas!

Thank you to Tony, Hunter, Anna, Kaylee, Karen, Erinn, Chris, Julie, Mario and Della and Dave for coming out to support us! It was so great to see each of you at the finish line! We really appreciated your support and signs and yells and screams!

I have pictures that Tony, Hunter, Erinn and Anna took during the race that I will post later. I am at work and can't download them to post but I will post soon.

Now it's time to start training for a sprint distance in May... maybe I have found a new addiction....

Recap of Results:
Swim - 7:38.95 - 12th out of 38

T1 - 6:33.65

Bike - 32:32.75 - 34 out of 38

T2 - 1:34.20

Run - 19:15.55 - 8 out of 38

Total - 1:07:35.10


Love and Puppies, Christy said...

I am soooo excited for you!! Seriously, it's such an amazing accomplishment and yes, there is nothing quite like crossing the finish line. I may or may not cry pretty much everytime. A bunch of our friends are doing a sprint tri in Gruene in's on a Saturday morning, so we can float afterwards. You interested?