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!)