Things that went well at the Woman of Steel Sprint Tri: Bike, run
Things that need improvement: Swim, bike, run
Holy cow. Triathlons are hard. And I didn’t exactly train that well for this . . . well, I thought I had, but I was obviously mistaken. Live and learn, I suppose, but you can count on it that I’ll do another one. 🙂
Prerace: The day before, I went to packet pickup, scoped out the course and transition, and tried to be in good humor–all the while trying not to panic. Good times.
At the race itself, I set up my transition with my huge borrowed mountain bike (rusty chain and all) squeezed between a legit triathlon bike and a pretty road bike. After that, I found a really nice lady to talk to, and we shot the breeze until the race started. Before I knew it, we were lining up and ready to jump (literally) into this thing.
The swim (300 meters): Well, it was horrible . . . Haha. I didn’t do too much swim training leading up to the race, which contributed to my totally panicking after the first lap (in a pool, thank goodness). This was annoying to me because I really thought I was improving. Oh well. Note to self: get in the pool. Swim time: 10:15
T1: Not much to say except that I was glad to be out of the pool, and my heart rate felt a little high from the terror I had just experienced. T1 time: 03:25
The bike (12.9 miles): I was really slow . . . like, really. Can’t expect much when you’re riding on an extremely heavy mountain bike. I’m of course grateful I had people who were gracious enough to let me borrow it! 🙂 Not that the rider was phenomenal or anything, but I sure was jealous when girls on their teeny lightweight road or tri bikes zoomed past me. The bike was two ~6.5-mile loops, and the first half of each loop was uphill, and the second was downhill. I had to calm down after the swim, so I ended up walking a bit on the course. Fine by me. It’s not like I was going to win this thing. As I was starting the second lap, I felt stronger and was starting to have fun. Yes, it took me that long to actually like the race. Haha. Bike time: 1:04:21
T2: Before I knew it, I was back in transition (after an uphill portion to the transition area–seriously, who does that?), racking my bike, throwing back some Honey Stinger chews (pink lemonade is da bomb), and trying to feel my legs. Hello, Jell-O. T2 time: 01:45.5
The run (2.9 miles): I was slower than I’d like, but, really, the triathlon run is different than any other run I’ve ever done. I was already tired and had to haul my cookies another three miles. Fun times. Basically I ran/walked the huge uphill portion and then ran the rest of the way. I had gotten passed a lot on the bike because I was really going slow, but I passed quite a few ladies on the run–and I don’t think anyone actually passed me. Win. I ran to the finish line, got my medal, and BAM! I’m a triathlete. Run time: 34:23
I’ll definitely be doing more tris–after I swim, bike, and run more. And this was a great kick in the pants to remind me that I do have lofty goals for fitness . . . and I can achieve them if I set my mind and heart to it.
General newbie tips:
- If at all possible, borrow a road bike or something–and ride it more than once before race day!
- Make sure you can swim the distance before race day. That was my main downfall.
- Be cheerful and don’t discourage yourself. I found that cheering on other triathletes was the best part of the day–and everyone else cheers you on too!
- Train on hills. Nuff said.
- Set achievable goals throughout the race. (“I’m going to bike up this whole hill. I’m going to catch blonde-ponytail-lady.”)
- Make sure you have plenty of fuel/liquids–and train with them before race day.
- Train in the same clothes you’ll be wearing on race day.
- Get a race belt. SO much easier to snap it on in transition.
- Calm the heck down. You’re going to be just fine.
- You’re most likely not going to win the thing, so just have fun!
Final time: 1:54:15.4
(Under 2 hours–woo!)