I completed my very first and hopefully not last triathlon this morning. The experience was two-fold: absolutely terrifying and exhilarating.
Jarrett and I got up at 5:30 am and took care of feeding Mimi and got ready to roll. I packed all of my gear except my bike the night before so I wouldn't be running around searching for stuff well before the crack of dawn. I had my traditional pre-race breakfast: 1 Lite Multi-grain Thomas English Muffin with raspberry jam, a banana, and a lot of water. We left about 6:15 for Eagle Creek and a short car ride later arrived at the park.
Transition was set-up by entry number. My number was 49 so I had a prime location. I was in a rack with a bunch of experienced tri girls with cool tricked out bikes. At the pre-race meeting I met a cool girl named Liza who just finished Navy Officer Corp training two weeks ago. She happened to have the same race outfit as me so we hung out and chatted for awhile before the race started. The pre-race instructions were pretty standard. They reviewed the rules and wished us well.
We headed down to the edge of the reservoir to begin the swim. The water was about 75 degrees this morning, which was significantly warmer then the air temperature. When we started it was around 58 degrees and when we finished it was only about 68. There was no humidity or wind, so conditions were perfect. We did a beach wave start and I was in the first group to go. This was my one race to compete in the 18-29 age group. Next season I'll be in the 30-39 age group. The announcer called for us to start and we were off. The course was very straight forward. 200 meters out, turn right at the big yellow buoy, 100 meters straight, turn right at the other big yellow buoy, and 200 meters home. The swim was a struggle for me. I panicked about 100 meters out and could not convince myself to stick my head underwater. I did manage to make it using some creative strokes, but I was super slow. It took me at least 20 minutes to complete the swim. I seriously considered at least twice quitting, but with the encouragement of several of the wonderful volunteers, I made it back to the beach.
Transition 1 was okay. After I got done with the swim, I was a little disoriented but managed to get back to the bike and get geared up. I was slightly slow due to the amount of crude I had to try and get off my feet before putting on my shoes. I grabbed my bike and headed for the bike start. The start was good, except the girl who got on right in front of me fell over. I'm not sure why, it was really strange and I think she actually may have passed out or something. A volunteer helped her back up and I was on my way.
The bike was great. I love my bike. I love riding my bike. I got to pass a bunch of people and that made me feel better. There were a couple of hills to tackle and the race course was fast, fast, fast. I used the 10 mile back to regain my focus.
Transition 2 was uneventful. I always get this weird vertigo thing when running after getting off the bike, but today it was very mild and I shook it off after a few strides.
The run rocked. I am shocked at how much my running has improved this summer. It was an easy 3 miles and I'm pretty sure I managed to maintain around an even 10 minute mile. I ran the entire thing, minus the water stops.
I ran to the finish with the clock at 1:40:24. I can't say I'm proud of the time, but I am proud that I finished. I had every opportunity to give up during the swim and call it a day, but I didn't. This is just a number that I can work to improve next season!