I did it… I tri’d! AND it went well! I jumped in the local Sandman sprint tri at the last minute, this week. I thought it would be great practice but, mostly, I just wanted to race. It had been approximately 6 months since my last race (if you don’t count the ocean swim race, which I don’t because it just didn’t feel like a race). I also raced for the first time since owning a Garmin WITHOUT a watch. That was actually a very nice experience!
I was pretty nervous leading up to this race, primarily about the logistical stuff involved in transition. I knew I’d be fine once I got to the actual racing bit. The swim was an unknown but I knew I would be strong on the bike and steady on the swim. I did MUCH better on the swim than I expected, but that’s good because it means that all of the hard work in the pool is really paying off! I only saw a few purple swim caps (which was the color my wave wore) ahead of me coming out of the water so I already had a decent lead on the field. This was truly a bit surprise because I have thought of myself as a solidly mediocre swimmer. Anyway, it’s good news!
My transition from swim to bike (T1) went very smoothly until I went to mount my bike. I had practiced leaving my shoes clipped in and putting my feet in them on the cross bike but not on the tri bike (who I’ve nicknamed Katniss, btw) so I was unsteady and the rubber bands I had holding the shoes in place (so they wouldn’t turn upside down) broke before I even got going. I had just mounted the bike so I simply stopped, with one foot in a shoe, and unclipped and got my other foot in and then took off. It probably only cost me about 30 seconds or less and then I was gone! I spent most of the time passing people and by the turn-around point, there were only a few women left in front of me.
It was a good thing I got such a lead on the bike because when I dismounted at T2 I found that my hip and hip flexor had tightened up again. I’ve been struggling with this for the last week, recovering from the bike wreck, and it had felt fine in my warm up so I was a bit disappointed to find it tight. Anyway, it made it impossible to get the turnover in my legs that I really wanted but I kept at it. It felt like a snails pace, honestly, but I was still passing guys along the way. In addition to my slightly uncooperative hip and glute, I began to feel the burn of a blister forming on both feet. I was racing without socks just to give it a try and save time in transition but with the material of my prescription orthotics and with the way that they fit into my racing flats, there was pinching in the arches of my feet. It actually wasn’t more than a distraction during the race but hurt quite a bit afterward when the racing high was gone. Only one female passed me on the run and I had seen her coming shortly after the turn-around. She passed me a bit after the mile 2 marker, I think, and I wanted to go with her but the leg just wasn’t having it. That was a bit frustrating but she wasn’t in my age group and there weren’t any other females chasing me closely so I didn’t sweat it too much.
The clock read 1:48something when I finished, according to Aric Martinez who ran out with Renee High to cheer me on (thanks, guys)! I started twenty minutes after the clock time so I think I finished just under 90 minutes but I’m not sure because they have no official results! They’re working on a “computer glitch” that prevented them from acknowledging anything beyond the top three open male and female racers (btw, I would have WON if I’d registered open instead of age group). As best as I can determine, I won my age group and I was the 4th female to finish overall. There were other women coming up and introducing themselves to me and telling me that they tried to hang with me on the bike but couldn’t! It was crazy – I see Justin have these conversations with competitors all the time after a race but I’m not used to this! 😀 I discovered after the race that I had two LARGE blisters (one on each foot) and one on the back of my heel, probably from the bike shoe, that doesn’t hurt a bit. I also had a chunk of skin missing from my right big toe, presumably from one of the times I had to run over asphalt and gravel. Good times. 🙂
I really hope that they get the results up soon so that I can see my splits, especially the run. Yesterday, I had a miniature brick yesterday and comfortable average 7:56 after a 20 mile ride so I know the mid 7’s are there for me, at least in a sprint.
I’m now one race wiser on the journey to 70.3 greatness… AND I’m a TRIATHLETE!!!!!! 😀 I’m so grateful to my husband for supporting me, my coach for getting me into hella good shape and making this a great experience and ALL of the wonderful friends who cheered loudly for me at the ocean front and some from home. I hope that my parents can see me do a triathlon someday, perhaps a 70.3 in Vegas… 😀
Official results came in and I’m first in my age group and second female overall with a time of 1:28:02. My time of 23:36 on the 5k is incredible, especially given that I’ve had ONE speedwork session in 4 months and I’ve only gotten up to about 20 miles a week and have barely run the last two weeks because of my issues from the wreck. Only way from here is up!