The re-cap of my Triathlon!
Man, what a great experience this was! I’m so glad that I decided to challenge myself to do this triathlon and I was blessed to have some wonderful people to do it with and wonderful people to support me as I did it (y’all included!)
I got there SUPER early because I’m a worrier and it made me nervous having to set up with a ton of people already there, so I made sure to get there early. I arrived at 5:30 a.m. and was able to get a great spot near the girls I was doing it with! I was a little fidgety as I set up my towel and all my necessary equipment for the race, but I finally got everything together and organized.
I then had about an hour or so to kill, so mingled a little, applied the necessary sunscreen, did a little stretching, and just observed. Right before the race started I dipped my feet in the water to get a feel for how cold it was and it really wasn’t so bad!
We all got started in our swim lines (now, you all should know that the swimming was the scariest part for me, so I was a little bit of a nervous wreck before we started). I positioned myself in the “slow” swim line, of course!
|Waiting in line, ready to go!|
They then started off the swimmer – Experienced group, 10-14 year olds, fast, medium, and lastly, the slow group. I ran into the water and started off ok for about .5 seconds haha. I then realized that my usually technique was NOT going to work because I’m use to swimming in a lap pool where I can follow a line and I could hardly see through this lake water, so I might have had some anxiety and panic attacks while swimming. Now, I couldn’t watch myself outside of my body, but I picture it going a little something like this…. arms flailing, sheer panic look on my face, head mostly above water (except for the times I would randomly dip it in the water because I felt like I was suppose to, because well that’s how you swim), but never breathing out under the water, only taking huge gaps of air in as I was above the water. I did some back stroking to calm myself, which took me a little off course at one point. Basically, the swim was a huge fail in my opinion. I made it through though, thank goodness, but I literally had only taken breaths in and barely breathed out the entire time so by the time I got out of the water, I just felt ill and gross and walked my happy (because I’m finally done with the swim) butt to transition! All i could hear as I was making my way there was Trey cheering me on and then yelling over and over, GRAB YOUR HELMET, HEATHER, PUT YOUR HELMET ON, HEATHER, DON’T FORGET YOUR HELMET! Because obviously, that’s the most important part of the bike! So my helmet was the first thing to go on, then my sunglasses, then my race belt, then my shoes. I tried putting on my shoes standing up, that was taking forever, so I finally just sat in the grass and quickly put my shoes on. I expected to dry my feet off well, but at that point I didn’t care, I already felt behind because my swim was so horrible and I WALKED to transition! I unmounted my bike from the rack and continued to walk to the next start area. I felt pretty good on the bike. The first few miles were a little dizzy and unsettling because of how awful the swim was and how little oxygen probably made it to my brain, but eventually I caught my breath and settled down and got down to business! The course was a lot hillier than I anticipated (I’m pretty sure everyone lied to the racers on purpose, jerks!) But I made it through and by the time I made it back to transition for my run, I was feeling great!
|Getting back to transition to start my run|
I actually ran my bike back to my station and quickly grabbed my visor and ran my way out of transition. The run was good. I was pretty exhausted at this point, so once I got on the course, I walked a few seconds just to catch my breath from all the excitement. I decided it was time to find my rhythm and I did. There were a few hills that I decided to walk, but I never walked more than 30 seconds at a time. I decided I would walk at the aid station so I could get my cup of water in because I didn’t have any water during the entire race (that’s another story), but I enjoyed that cup of water and ran the last mile back – again, walking for a few seconds on a few hills), but near the end I started booking it!
It was such a great feeling to get my first triathlon under my belt!
I finished 39th overall in female (which I originally though was overall… how silly! haha) and I got 3rd place in my age group (20-24). If you remember, a few weeks back, I did a run through at my gym and I did it in 1:17, but that included changing out of my swim suit and into bike and running clothes and I did a little more walking on my run, so my personal goal was to finish in 1:05 at least! I wouldn’t have been upset if I didn’t because my true goal was to just finish, but I finished the race in 1:03:45!!
|It’s hard to see: 3:36 swim, 33:31 bike, 24:02 run|
So I was super pumped! I got a 3rd place medal and I intend on getting that sucker engraved with my name, the race, date, and my time! I’m proud of what I accomplished even if I’m slightly beating myself up over the hideous swim I know I had. I also intend to put this on my resume, it’s a great conversation piece, especially if I’m being interviewed by other triathletes or runners or maybe wanna be triathletes! I told myself before hand that if I placed, it was going on my resume!
|2 of the greatest people I know, I loved doing this race with them!|
|Always there to support! 🙂|
|My 3rd place medal! – Gonna get it engraved|
|She also got 3rd place in her age division!|
What I learned at my first triathlon:
*It pays to get there early – you can relax, set up your stuff, get a good spot
*Practice your swim in open water before your race so you don’t panic when you realize you can’t see anything!
*Don’t worry about drying your feet off as much as long as you have some wick socks (I had no discomfort)
*You really just need one towel, not two
*Use plenty of sunscreen, even if it starts off cloudy on the race. I was thankful to have done this because I got a good tan line and I wasn’t miserably burnt!
*Remind yourself during your bike that you still have to use your legs for the run, so don’t push it too hard!
*Try to use your arm strength as much as possible on the swim because of how much you use your legs on the next 2 sports
*If it’s your first, have a good support team there because it can be overwhelming to do alone
*Take plenty of pictures, because you’ll want to remember this!
*Don’t let a bad swim (or bike, or run) keeping you from trying again! I plan on redeeming my swim at my next race in August!
*HAVE FUN! It’s not about being the best (yet, anyways!) just have a good time with the people you’re racing with!