I arrived to the site nice and early, got body marked and set up my transition area. I had 3 friends doing the race as well, so it was nice to hang out with them beforehand. The race started at 7, but you had to be out of transition at 6:45. Since my insulin pump cannot get wet, I had to leave it in transition. This caused me great anxiety the week before as well, but my doctor told me I should be fine. So I left it there and went to get lined up for the swim.
The swim was self-seeded, and my friends chose to start in the middle. I told them I was going to the back. They sent 6 people into the water every 15 seconds. However, it took a long time to get to the back. I didn't enter the water until 7:38, when the leaders were already on the run.
I get in the water and start to swim, and I'm feeling pretty good. But, as I swim out to a buoy, I notice that my timing chip around my ankle feels like it is coming loose. I thought it was strange, because I put it on at 5:30 AM and it was fine. So I continue out, mentally focusing on my timing chip. The thoughts "I am not doing this race and not getting timed" went through my head about 5,000 times.
When I finally got to the buoy, it was crowded. I had to turn and start swimming back to get around the second buoy. Luckily, a life guard was in the water so I may have stopped for a moment or two to catch my breath.
I finally continued on and sure enough I feel my timing chip come off my leg. I stopped swimming, turned around and breathed a sigh of relief to see that it had floated to the top of the water. I grabbed it and had to hold onto it for the rest of the swim. It may be more accurate to say I had a death grip on it.
By this time, I was tired in the water, so I decided to backstroke. I was making my way toward the second buoy, but ran into a cement tower that a life guard was standing on and hit my head. I wasn't even half way through the swim yet and wanted so badly to get out of the water.
Luckily, the rest of the swim was uneventful. I managed to survive and did some major doggie paddling the second part.
I got to transition, put on my bike shoes and helmet and went out to ride the 12.4 miles. I didn't track my time for it, and went by feel. I wanted to give a good effort, but leave some for the run. The bike course was flat, but had 4 turns where you had to stop in order to make the turn, which was annoying. But overall, it was great and went by quickly.
The run was where I thought I was going to do the best, and that happened. We ran through a park and then out to the streets for an out and back course. I wanted to time my run, telling myself that if I ran anything over 24 minutes it would be a disappointment. My first mile was a 7:10, and I felt great. I passed so many people, and even saw 2 of my friends on the run (they were coming back when I was going out). My second mile was a little slower and then my last mile was faster. I ran 22:46 (7:21 pace), and was pretty happy with it.
In the results it was very easy to see my strengths and weaknesses:
Swim (400 m) -- 14:08 (71/75 in AG)
T1 - 4:18 (46/75 in AG)
Bike - 38:02/ 19.6 mph (11/75 in AG)
T2 - 2:29 (57/75 in AG)
Run (5k) - 22:46 / 7:21 mile average (3/75 in AG)
Overall 17/75 in AG
What did I learn? Lots. It is ok to be slow at something. Success doesn't mean coming in 1st place, but trying your hardest. I don't think my results are all that stellar by any means, but I worked so hard to earn them. I jokingly told my friends that if I came out of the water alive I would consider this race a success. I completed it to the best of my ability, and am proud of how I did in my first triathlon.