Sunday, September 11, 2011

if you think you can't, just TRI

The last few days have been full of nerves, poor sleep, last minute workouts, and excitement.

Today was FINALLY the Danskin Women's Triathlon! 

Here's the play-by-play (translation: super long entry ahead): 

Last night, Norah, Meaghan, Annie, and I headed down to the pre-race expo to get our numbers, some free stuff, and to listen to some pre-race pep talks. Meaghan and I decided to purchase a try belt (number holder) and a holder for our timing chip (more comfortable than the plastic band they give you)- SO glad I bought these- made transition easy and the chip was secure but comfy. Then it was hotel check in and off to a nice "team" dinner. Penne vodka with chicken, wedge salad, bread, and chicken wings (yes, sharing was involved) was lunch/dinner/pre-race fuel for me. We also each had a beer- we only take hydration over relaxation so far. 

After dinner it was water drinking time and BED. I slept pretty well. though I think the other three fell asleep and stayed asleep a bit more solidly than I did! 

In the AM it was up at 4:45. We dressed then toasted our whole wheat TJ's bagels in the closed hotel breakfast room and topped them with some peanut butter. I also had a small peach and a lemonade Vitamin Water Zero. Turned out to be perfect pre-race fuel. 

By the time we parked and hit the transition area it was 6:15 or so. Amazingly we all had everything we needed...

We stood around in our yellow swim caps for a LOOOONG time. The first wave went in at 0700 and we weren't up until 0809. Luckily, all four of us were together. We turned out to all be silly and talkative when nervous so the wait went by quickly. While waiting I also downed Clif energy gel and 8 oz of water. The last thing I wanted was to feel hungry or worse- lightheaded. 

I was horribly nervous as they herded us into the water, but the nerves ended quickly once I got going. It helped that the overcast, cool day made the water feel warm. Meaghan and I ended up chasing each other back and fourth the whole way, which definitely pushed me. I was surprised at how much breaststroke I did instead of freestyle, but it was just easier and quicker for me to navigate through all the people doing breaststroke. Meaghan and I exited only two seconds apart and ran the 500 or so meters (which was a far stretch!) to the transition area. We were barefoot and a lot of the route was gravel, so it was nice to be next to a friend. And to run past our cheering section!

Meaghan kicked my butt in transition and was off. I felt a bit lost for a second and had to focus on what needed to be done. Being behind had a benefit though- Annie and Norah showed up just as I hit the road. Biking was a lot more fun than expected- especially once I hit a serious downpour. It felt great. I picked two bikers that I thought were good competition and kept them in my sight. The three of us would pass each other on and off, which was helpful for pushing myself. 

As I parked my bike and started sucking down another energy gel, Norah came into the transition area. We ran off together. As we took our stride, Norah and I kept telling each other to take off if the other needed but it turned out we were pushing each other. The start was tough (jello legs) and the rest was well, pretty painful for me, so it was AMAZING to have a running partner. At about mile 2 Norah broke off to tie a shoe but we ended up together just past mile 3. As we rounded the corner Norah encouraged me to take off with her, which I WISH I could have done but it was like everything relaxed when I saw the end near and it was all I could do to hold my pace and NOT throw up/pee my pants. We finished just ten seconds apart!

My Times

.75k Swim: 11:03 (#103 overall)
Trans 1: 06:51-- I need to cut this down- it killed me!
20 k Bike: 38:18 (18.7 MPH)
Tran 2: 01:59
5 k Run: 27:10 (8:45 mile)
Total: 1:25:21
Rank Age 20-24: 16/35
Overall: 243/1600

This race was so much better than I ever imagined. I figured I'd be proud and happy, but I nearly had happy tears by the end, and even during, the race. I was shocked to find myself thinking this is FUN so many times during the tri. At the very end, I felt pretty horrible but literally within minutes of finishing the endorphin rush made me want to start running again. Biggest. Runner's (Triathlete's?). High. Ever.  

Can't ya see the glow?

If you have ever considered a triathlon- SERIOUSLY consider signing up for one. If you haven't considered it- CONSIDER IT.  If you are a woman, definitely do an all women's even like this one. It was such a fun, supportive race- like Girls on the Run for adults! The best part is that, since the race runs in waves, you have no idea who started with you, which means the race really becomes your own. The other great thing is that the race is all levels- which means you have the satisfaction of passing planty of people (and who doesn't love that... be honest).

Don't think you have time to train or a nice enough bike? My bike was a hybrid that looked like a beach cruiser. It was cheap from Target. Not enough time to train? All four of us slacked in that area- I hadn't swam in weeks and if I got on the bike ten times over the summer it would be stretching it. All I did was run plenty and stayed in general shape and it turned out to be totally doable.

Join the four of us next year! 

1 comment:

  1. Great job girls!!! Sounds like it was fantastic!!
    Love Caroline