Monday, August 18, 2014

I Survived My First Sprint Triathlon Race Report

Last week I completed my first triathlon.  I had nightmares two nights that week, really weird ones that dealt with swimming.  And what happened while I was swimming could possibly be considered a nightmare, but also a comedy.

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.  

No comments:

Post a Comment