Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shelbyville Triathlon Series #3 (My First Tri!!) - Race Recap

So I'm officially a triathlete now!!!

Although I was originally training to race in the fourth race of the Shelbyville Triathlon Series (which is next month), I knew I could do this one, so I went for it.

I really wanted to be able to say that I'm a triathlete!

Leading up to race day, I was surprisingly calm about everything. I was a little nervous, but mostly it was normal anxiety of doing something you've never done before. Otherwise, I was really excited to get out there and see what was so addicting about this sport, and, more importantly, I was really excited to be out there next to Jennifer. Sure, we've done road races together, but I knew this would be different.

The day before the race was great. Jennifer and I went and hit up a local store's going out of business sale where we stocked up on tons of fuel. Then we went and had dinner at a really cool restaurant she'd been telling me about for a long time.

That night, we packed our bags and made sure we had everything ready to go. I was trying to visualize the different parts of the race to make sure I had what I needed, but it was really nice to have Jennifer there to help make sure I didn't forget anything and to give me tips.

We were planning on going to bed early, but things didn't exactly work out that way. By the time we got everything packed up and started settling down, it was pushing midnight. To top it off, I was the on-call person for work, and wouldn't you know it -- as soon as we climbed into bed my phone chimed telling me I had received a ticket. Luckily, it was a quick fix, and we were off to bed.

We awoke at 6:30am the next morning and started into our usual pre-race routine. Well, I guess it's not really a routine, but I'm amazed at how well we just do what we need to and we're out the door. Seriously, we're like robots.

We got to the park a little later than we were hoping to, and this race was way more crowded than the last two, so as soon as we pulled into the parking lot my nerves started creeping up. But there wasn't time for that -- I had to get registered still!

After registering I got to experience my first official body marking!

It was a little weird dropping my pants right there in front of all those people, but that's just what you gotta do sometimes.

After that we got our bikes off the car and went to setup our transitions. I was really hoping to set mine up right next to Jennifer's, but it was definitely too crowded for that. You can kind of see in this picture that some bikes (on the left) weren't even on the racks!

I found a spot that was just big enough for me to squeeze my hybrid into, and I placed my towel on the ground more or less under my bike. I'm not really sure why, but for whatever reason I didn't want to upset the owners of the expensive bikes I was racked in between.

This picture shows a little more of the chaos, except for the nice and neat transition areas in the front. Yeah, that's definitely not what mine looked like.

With our transition areas ready to go, it was off to the pool for the start. One thing that's really nice about this series is the transition area is just outside of the pool.

Everyone lined up according to their bib number, which meant I was in the back since I had just registered. Jennifer was probably 30 people in front of me.

There was a 10 second delay between each person's start, which sounds like it would make things go quickly, but we still ended up waiting a while before we got to go. Jennifer's wait was around 15 minutes, and I had to wait about 25 minutes. That's a lot of time to over-analyze the crap about what I was about to do!

Here's Jennifer getting ready to start. That's her in the pink and white top with the purple swim cap.

Finally her turn!

And she's off!

Look at her rocking it!

Jennifer finished her swim just as I was getting into the water. I didn't think I'd be so far behind her! I wasn't sure if it was possible or not, but my goal became to catch her.

I don't have any pics of her transitioning, but here she is setting out on the bike:

Here I am getting into the water -- that's me in the black and white. The water was really warm compared to what I was expecting, which was really nice.

Coming back down the first lane...

Here I am somewhere toward the end. Not gonna lie -- this swim was hard, and my form SUCKED. Toward the end when it wasn't so crowded I tried to slow down and swim with better form, but by then I was already worn out and out of breath. I decided just to keep on doing what I was doing and get it done (which totally included stopping at each wall for a few quick breaths).

Finishing my last lap down the 8th lane...

Finally done!

Here's another angle of me running stumbling out, heading to T1.

Alright, so the whole point of transitioning is to do it quickly. Which is so much more difficult when you're wet! Not to mention your balance is all thrown off 'cause you've been swimming for 10 minutes.

So yeah, here's me struggling to get my shoes on and tied:

Notice how empty the transition area is now! Everyone's out biking still.

And I'm off! Not looking too shabby, either. My transition time was right at 2 minutes, which is pretty good!

The bike course was two 6-mile loops around the park.

Right away, there were some rolling hills. I was getting a little discouraged because I felt like I was pushing pretty hard and I was still getting passed (by people on their 2nd loop, no less).

The next road I was on seemed like it was flat, but it was slightly uphill. That road seemed to go on forever, too!

When I finally turned off that road, my speed picked up considerably. There was another hill before making it back to the entrance of the park, but it wasn't bad at all.

Here's Jennifer coming back in from her bike:

I was really hoping I'd meet up with her on the bike, but I barely saw anybody.

My 2nd transition went really well, although my legs were a little stiff getting off the bike. I managed to rack my bike and head out for my run in 39 seconds! That's good for FIRST in my age group!! And that's with people blocking my way, too!

Surprisingly, the run felt great. I started off at a really good pace (under an 8-minute mile) but backed off a little to conserve my energy.

Just before the halfway point I saw Jennifer!

I didn't go all-out, but I sped up a little to catch her. It was awesome seeing how happy she was to see me!

She told me she was really worried about me -- not thinking I was having trouble or anything, but just kinda wondering how I was doing with it. We talked for maybe a half-mile before I upped my pace again. I felt great, and I was excited to finish!

The last little part of the race is downhill through the parking lot, which made for some pretty good pics -- I love how fast I look!

I'm actually like a real athlete now! That's definitely something I never though I'd say!

Here I am coming back to meet our little cheering squad before going back to meet up with Jennifer again.

Jennifer was going really strong! I caught up with her just as she crested the last hill before entering the parking lot. With a little more encouragement, she took off for the finish!

So there you have it, my very first triathlon is in the books!

Jennifer ended up beating her previous time by 14 minutes!

As for me, out of 8 people in my age group, I came in 6th!

As expected, I was last in the swim and the bike, but I made up for it by getting 6th in the run and having some pretty quick transitions.

My overall time was 1:18:52.

And if you hadn't guessed, I'm already planning for what I'm going to do during the fourth race in this series next month.

I'm also making plans for doing an Olympic distance tri this summer.

Yeah, I'm officially hooked.

1 comment:

  1. I was so happy to be out on the course with you! You did it babe! You are a triathlete!!


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