Tri-ing again was a great feeling. An almost first time and this time, I loved it!
Having registered for the race at a rather last minute, I was surprisingly calm and not nervous at all. Sure I was nervous about the swim and hills on the bike, but nothing that is close to the near state of nervous wreck I usually am on race day! Having friends to come cheer us on at some insane early hours sure helped!
I was prepared for the open water portion of the swim. While the rest of my purple cap-group went in, I took some deep breaths before entering the water. As advised, I waded in until I was chest deep and then started swimming. I had no problem clearing the first turn. My plan was to stay on the outside of the course. However, with some horrible sighting, I ended up swimming in the best possible spot, right next to the buoys. Half way through the swim, the fast swimmers of the next wave caught up to me. I had a moment of insane panic and started kicking harder to enforce my swim space. I also took longer strokes, so I was able to calm myself on the recovery stroke.
Towards the very end of the swim, I was whacked in my head really hard. Hard enough to see stars! Luckily, the end was just there!
Swim Time: 13:28 (This could’ve been just a tad faster. Maybe a minute if I had not taken my sweet time to relax and swim. But that is still way way slower than the “normal” swim time)
I was thrilled enough that my swim was smooth and I almost forgot that I had two other legs to complete!
This was definitely my weakest leg – I had been riding only a very short time. My longest distance was only 20 miles, I rode mostly on flat columns and yet averaged well below 13 on “easy”, I still didn’t have clipless pedals and I was completely under prepared. However, I wanted to give it everything I had. Not a good triathlon strategy, but that was what I planned.
And I did give it my all. I suffered very badly on the hills; girls on mountain bikes were passing me on the hills. But on the flats and downhills, I hit it hard. I don’t know what my speed was, but I know it was good.
Towards the end, the two speed bumps close to each other got me! I negotiated one successfully, but hitting the other made me lose control and I’m surprised I didn’t fall off!
Bike Time: 57min (I was thinking it would be 1hr 5-10min, was hoping I could do it under 60min. So 57min, while still slow, was a very happy one for me)
T2: 40 seconds
Holy Hills!! The course went up from the lake level to street level over 3.1 miles. I don’t think I encountered any flat/downhill portion! By the time I passed Mile 1, I was ready to be done. I knew it was a hilly course, but was just not ready for so many of the hills!
My original plan was to have a strong run, but when I was hitting the bike hard, I changed it to having a happy run instead.
Run Time: 39:05 (I would have gone until 39 if I had not stopped to talk during the last 0.5 miles. And avr. pace was 12:35, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, considering that my quads were completely trashed from the bike)
Total Time: 1: 51:XX
(I was expecting to finish in 2hrs – 2hrs 10min, so this was a huge surprise!)
I loved doing this race. Enjoyed the race experience and more importantly, enjoyed training for it. I took it seriously and carefully worked my way through the training instead of taking the attitude “eh-it is “only” a ..” that I seem to have developed of late. Summer break for the kids helped me not miss workouts. And my mind appreciated the diverse training by not getting bored with just running.
I don’t know if I will ever be a proper “triathlete”; I still think it takes a LOT of time and coordination with kids and work and everything else. But I am glad I decided to face up to my fears and stepped up to the challenge.