Race Recap: Girls Tri It On Triathlon

Buckle up, folks, this is going to take you the rest of the afternoon to read.

I competed in my first triathlon a little over a week ago.  The day before the race was possibly the most nervous I've ever been, aside from my wedding day.  I was so nervous, I was almost sick to my stomach.  But oddly, when I got to the race on Saturday, I was totally fine.  I knew what was going to happen, I knew what I had to do & I just went into action mode.

The race started at 7:00 & we had to be there at 6:00, so I got up at 4:30, guzzled some coffee, ate breakfast & hit the road.  I had dropped my bike off the night before, so all I had to bring was myself & all my gear, which I had laid out & packed the night before.  Smart.

200 meter swim:  5:56 (2:58 per 100/m pace)

Quick back-story on the swim.  When I registered for the race, I stupidly put down 30 minutes as my estimated swim time (for 200 meters), so I got placed in the very back of the pack.  The week of the race, I changed my swim time, but didn't make the cut-off, so I didn't get moved up like I should have.  To put this in perspective, out of a little over 200 participants, I was number 197.

I'm amazingly a natural swimmer & got pretty fast between all the drills & practices I did.  Unfortunately, I was unable to actually swim much in the race because I was surrounded by non-swimmers & pool walkers.  No one was using the pool etiquette we had been taught.  I couldn't get around anybody; no one would move.  It was incredibly frustrating.  But through all of this, I still managed to score a pretty sweet swim time:  5:56.

T1:  3:09

Out of the pool, & barefoot, I had to run a pretty good uphill distance from the pool to my bike.  I got to my bike, sat down, dried off my feet, put my socks & shoes on, put my helmet & sunglasses on & took off. I thought I did all of this pretty fast, but I didn't.  My transition time was a full minute slower than all of my friends:  3:09.

5 mile bike ride:  20:52 (14.4 mph pace)

The bike was my weakest event.  I really should have practiced riding more.  Once I took off, I couldn't get my feet in the toe cages & lost a lot of time.  I was riding as fast as I could, but my legs were screaming & I was trying not to completely wear them out as I still had to run after this.  John said every time he saw me, I was in the wrong gear, so that probably didn't help.  

When I got to the first turn around, it was a sharper turn than I had practiced & I didn't make it.  I jumped the curb, went up into the grass, then fell trying to get back down on the course.  So again, I spent way too much time trying to get my feet back into the stupid toe cages.  Apparently I was taking so long to come back around that John thought I was hurt, so he was trying to find me on the course, when I came pedaling back by, assuredly in the wrong gear.  The second lap was totally fine.  I made the turn & was able to pick up some speed.  But!  The volunteer who was supposed to flag me off the course & back into the transition area was talking to someone & didn't flag me, so I kept going & rode a whole extra half lap trying to get back to the finish.  Ugh.  Bike time:  20:52.

T2:  1:20

All I had to do in this transition was put my bike back on the rack, throw my helmet down, strap on my race number belt & take off running.  Much faster:  1:20.

2k mile run:  11:23

This was my strongest event of the three.  Being a runner obviously helped, but so did all that brick practice.  I knew what to expect & I pushed through.  Most of the women around me were walking, but there was one woman ahead of me plowing through & I kept up with her.  We ran two laps around a trail & then down Maryland Farms Way to the finish.  When I got off the trail  & back to the street, I sprinted to the finish.  I couldn't feel my legs, but I felt strong & I was definitely faster than everyone around me at that point.  Run time:  11:23.

Total time:  43:40

As soon as we crossed the finish, volunteers handed us a bottle of water in a Girls Tri It On Finisher coozie & a flower, then we were escorted to a tent with bagels, bananas, etc.  It was nice.  I chugged as much water as I could get my hands on & ate a banana & I was fine.  I could tell I was starting to get sunburned, but what else is new.  My overall time was 43:40.  I placed 41st in my age group.

I had a blast doing this & it's just about the proudest I've ever been of myself.  I definitely plan on doing more.  In fact, I'm already planning on doing the Cedars Of Lebanon triathlon on May 19th (who's with me?).

Indulge my inner Oprah as I take a moment to get sappy & gush over how awesome my friends, family & training partners are.  Y'all, this race was EARLY, & you still came & cheered me on.  And!  You made signs!  Thank you.  Thank you to everyone who knew I was doing this & sent me texts, emails, FB comments, Instagram comments, etc.  It really meant a lot that so many people acknowledged this huge, ridiculous thing I did.  HUGE thanks to my dad, Jenn, Jonell & Julie who helped me in the pool.  I assuredly would have drowned without all of your help (& by "drowned", I mean pool walked since apparently that's allowed?!).

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who rallied around me last week when I went a little bit cra after the race.  Long story short - a run volunteer messed up & none of us ran the correct course, so at first, we didn't have run times, which resulted in an incomplete overall/finish time.  I got inconsolably worked up over this & spiraled into a scary, neurotic place where I refused to acknowledge any level of achievement on my part.  Dark days.  Thank you to Heidi, MHG, Marne, Jonell & basically everyone who saw me last week & talked me down off the ledge.  I'm totes fine now & have gone back to strutting around like the badass triathlete that I am.  I have the best friends in the world.  Thank you!

More pictures & full triathlon photostream here.

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