Sunday, May 5, 2013

Race Recap: My First Triathlon!

Today I competed in my first Triathlon! It was a sprint Tri - which consists of swimming 750 meters, biking 12.5 miles, and running 3.1 miles! Initially when I signed up, I wasn't too excited about those distances because I figured, "those are such short distances, this will be a breeze!" But I must admit it was one of the bigger physical challenges I've done! Because I actually took the "sprint" to heart!

Starting April 1, I started triathlon training. And my totals for the month of April were:

Run = 85.9 miles
Bike = 220.7 miles
Swim = 8.6 miles

It was one heck of a month for mileage, and I will never have another one of those I'm guessing.I didn't have a husband at home, and I didn't work overtime. So I had the time! I felt great physically -- all that cross training was amazing for injury prevention!

I've joined a group called the Desert Tri Girls. It's a great group of women -- all different ages and fitness levels training together. Each have their own individual strengths so we learn from each other. It's just awesome to have a group of amazing women to train with -- about 4 days a week there was always a collection of people doing a run, bike, or swim together.

So here are a few thoughts and photos from today's race.

First comes the "Carb Load". To be honest, I'm not a big carb loader. I'm more into just eating a meal that won't make my stomach upset (I have a very finicky stomach). I did get my "carbs" from a cold beer. It was 98 degrees at the race expo/transition area. So beer tasted good. We were all a bit anticipatory and nervous!

Pre Race. Notice my teammates and most people around in their wetsuits. Hi, I'm stubborn about $$$ and refused to spent $150 on a wetsuit when I live in the desert. The water was 73 degrees, the air temp was 75 at 0600. Wet suit was not a neccessity in AZ. Maybe in Washington, we would have had a different story....

The Swim. This is Tempe Town Lake, my friends. It's not your MN lake, I will say that.This was that point in the race where I started thinking, "Am I really doing this? What the hell am I doing?" 400 women around me, Jumping in the lake, kicking you in the face, grabbing your legs, swimming on top of you, elbowing you in the face....... This was where I panicked. In fact, the 1st 200 yards I 'doggy paddled'. Completely forgot out to free style. Completely forgot how to breath, in fact.

My tip to any "new timer" triathlete -- THIS WILL HAPPEN. When this happens, flop on your back, take some deep cleansing breaths, and do the back stroke until you chill out! 

The swim was a blur. I just went from buoy to buoy, thinking "God, let this be done" 

Next up.....The bike!

This second was intense. Lots of SHARP u-turns. Very aggressive women cutting you off, and sometimes yelling at you. But I felt pretty dang strong on the bike Today! (I'm in the one in blue). Mom, there was a woman on a beach cruiser doing the tri. It made me giggle and think of you. So you could take your new bike in a triathlon! 

Finally, I hit the transition area - got to get into my running shoes...and I was "home". Running is like home to me. Although this was the most challenging 3.1 miles I've ever ran - I was happy. My pace was 7:44/mile, so I was pleased. (No photos of me on the run, unfortunately.)

And finally -- the finish! I was ear-to-ear with smiles from finishing a new accomplishment! I'm so ready for my next one. This was a pretty sweet post-race party. They had grapefruit mimosas! Delicious. 

And finally.....we got to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some Mahi-mahi tacos and Dos Equis cerveza!

Well-earned celebration meal! Good food. Good company. Good times.

(Oh, and did I mention that my husband will be home in 3-4 days?!?! Send him good thoughts and prayers this week for his check rides!)


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Well done Abs! That is a great first race! Also, I couldn't run that fast of a 5k let alone at the end of a tri! So you are clearly in awesome shape! I am glad you had a great experience! I had heard that the open water swim experience is rough... I would struggle with that, too!

And yah, a wetsuit is totally not necessary with temps like that!

Marlys said...

Thanks for posting those pictures and recapping the event! It did sound intense and I'm glad you made it throgh the swimming event! I bet it was great to have it behind you! Hmm, I can't see me riding my bike in a tri, but one never knows, right? My new bike is supposed to arrive this week! I can't wait!