My little guy was very proud of me after I crossed the finish line!
I had my first triathlon on Saturday! It was a fun way to spend mother’s day weekend with the family. It was an all female tri with a shorter-than-sprint distance: 400 meter swim, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run.
The most difficult part was leaving my dog in a kennel while we were out of town. The best part was holding my little guy after crossing the finish.
The venue was great! It was at a resort/spa so the swim was in the lazy river, and the bike/run were on site and near the golf course at parts.
I was at the race with a girlfriend of mine and we both had to laugh on the way to the start when I told her that I’d never been nervous approaching a lazy river before!
There were a few minor issues with the course – first of all, they left the current on in the lazy river, so the first 78 swimmers (I was #40) had to swim against the jets, which was a little surprising! The other thing is that there was no water available until the turn around during the run. I was glad I left my water bottle at the transition!!! I think I drank almost the whole thing during T2!
I adjusted well during the swim and came out of the water fine, but my official swim time is much slower than I would have liked it to be and there’s more to it than just the jets. They also had computer problems. Now that I know what happened, I’m not so annoyed that my swim time is a few minutes off from what it should have been and my first transition is a few minutes fast. I guess I should be glad they posted a swim time at all, as some people are missing them completely. Their facebook page says:
“Hi Ladies: Our timing box at the stairs of the swim in/run out had issues all day of the event. Darn computers. We have identified the issue but cannot retrieve the data. Sorry about that. Hope ya’ll had a great time!”
Well, no worries there. I had a great time and I would do this race again in a heartbeat! Besides, let’s not kid ourselves, I don’t care about the times yet. I was looking for a fantastic experience and a fantastic experiences is what I had.
I borrowed my husband’s bike because I have a mountain bike and at one point a lady passed me and said, “You’re doing great! Especially on that bike – I would never try a triathlon on that bike!” I was able to huff out a thank you but all I could think was that the bike I was using was like the wind compared to the bike I usually ride! Too funny. I was very conservative on the first loop and pushed the bike more on the second loop, after I was more familiar with the course. I wish I paid better attention, but I’m pretty sure I negative split the bike.
The run course was pretty hilly, and I surprised myself. I ended up walking up the hills and trying to jog the rest. I averaged 13:09/mile which is better than the 15 minute miles I had planned for. I am not a runner! In fact, many of the people I passed during the swim/bike passed me again on the run. I expected it, but that doesn’t mean I liked it!
My goals for the weekend were pretty simple: Have fun and finish (in that order). I met my goals and had a lovely time with my family and friends at the race. My girlfriend ended up getting 3rd in our age group and she was BOOKING the run. She was so fast, I couldn’t even get a picture of her at the finish. Her run time averaged out to 7:04/mile. I’m so proud of her!!!
Things I learned:
- It actually would have been “better” in this instance to enter my swim with a slower time. Due to the lazy river, there was a current created that actually helped pull the later swimmers along. However, even with the current and timing issues I would much rather take a hit to my swim time than wait an hour to start like some of the other triathletes.
- I have an idea of a better place to position my bike next year. I’m glad I have not purchased a fancy bike because I’m still new to this whole triathlon thing and I don’t think I could justify such a purchase unless I wanted to become competitive. I think I have a lot more work to do on myself before I reach that point.
- I’m not as bad at running as I thought I was but I still have a lot of room to improve! I think I was wise to be so conservative in the beginning, especially knowing that I am a drop dead sprinter. I had enough energy to finish “strong” (i.e not walk into the finish). Peer pressure is an amazing thing!
I am so happy that I can come out of my first tri knowing that gave an honest effort and completed every inch of the course! It was a fantastic practice triathlon and a great first step towards bigger, better races to come.