I stopped at DD on the way for my pre-race ritual bagel and iced tea (which I ended up not really drinking) and went headed off to the race! As I was getting my bike out of the car and figuring out how to reassemble it I started thinking about how everyone else there was with someone and I was there all alone! No one to distract me from freaking out before the race, no one to cheer me on during the race, and no one to hang out with me after! But someone was looking out for me :) As I was setting up my transition area I heard someone calling my name, it was my friend from Quarter Life Runner! She was there to cheer on her hubby. I was so excited to see someone I knew! She was super nice, loaning me a jacket while I was waiting to get into the water, taking pictures so I could post them here, and cheering me on during every leg of the race. I seriously doubt I would have made it through if I hadn't had someone I knew waiting at the finish line!
Pre race trying to stay warm!
So down to the gritty details:
0.3 mile swim, 16 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
Overall time: 1:55:04
Swim - 11:45
So let me start by saying it was probably in the 50's when the race started today! I wore flips flops to get ready and I thought I had packed some extra socks but I couldn't find them when I went to look for them and I didn't want to muss my race socks so my feet stayed cold and were almost numb when I jumped into the water. They had everyone jump into the water from a dock and line up in the water before they sent us off. I would say it was slightly better than other tri's I've done in terms of people self regulating where they were in the water to avoid collisions.
In the water and ready to go!
I managed to get off to a quick start and stay relatively strong. Unfortunately I seem to have developed some ear issues in my old age. I've noticed the past few times I've been swimming that my ears get clogged with water quickly and it's actually pretty painful to turn my head doing freestyle! I'll have to get on that. I did start off probably a little too quickly and forgot how difficult open water swimming can be! I'm super happy with this time though. The only thing I can compare it to is the Danskin Tri I completed in 2005. Back then I swam 0.2 miles in 12:16! This was a longer swim and I finished it in less time! I claim victory over this leg. I will need to practice in open water before the Litchfield Hills Tri I'm doing in August because it's almost a full mile swim but I'm happy enough with my pace for now.
Out of the water and moving on!
Bike - 66:39
HOLY POOP! This was haaaard! So I've been doing the bike at the gym and spinning at home but I hadn't gone out on a real bike ride to prepare for this race and that was just plain dumb! My legs handled the distance ok but I quickly learned that I don't have a need for speed! Perhaps I should have seen this coming with my fear of gaining any speed skiing this past winter...so every time I started to pick up speed I hit the brakes. BIG MISTAKE! I caught on during the race and tried to remedy this and I was averaging faster splits towards the end of the leg. The speed gained going downhill helps a ton on the uphills! Something I really need to focus on before my next race!
Wait, what? This leg has 2 loops?!
The bike leg was two 8 mile loops. I didn't really look at the map too closely before the race. Thank goodness I was wearing my GPS watch otherwise I would have been very sad to find out that there was a 2nd loop when I thought I was almost done! Luckily my watch said I was only on mile 8 and I knew I still had awhile to go! Comparing this to my Danskin Tri, I did that bike in 44:13 and it was 12 miles. Under 4 min miles. Today I averaged about 4 min miles but the big difference between today and my last tri is that there were LOTS of hills today and the Danskin Tri was 100% flat with no turns! So overall I can't be disappointed with this leg because I finished and finishing in under 2 hours was my goal but I really need to focus on biking because that is the easiest place to gain time! I only have to increase my speed a little per mile to gain a lot because the time gain is multiplied 16 times!
Run - 29:31
Can I just say WTF (in a good way)?! Being that this wasn't a USAT certified course the 5k was actually 3.2 miles according to the Garmin. So my overall pace was 9:13 min/mile which is EXACTLY the same pace as the race I ran last Monday! How the heck did I manage to keep the same pace after swimming and biking?! I finished the first mile in under 8 minutes! I tried to slow down but my legs just kept going! It was soo hard to keep the pace I wanted. I think my legs were adjusted to pumping so much for the bike that they couldn't slow down for the run! I even walked for quite a bit of the run and still managed to keep that pace! My legs did cramp up at the end and the last mile was extremely difficult but I knew the crowds were going to start around the last 0.5 mile so I pushed through to the end and finished strong! I love how people cheering for you gives you an extra boost of energy! Clearly I'm going to claim victory of this leg of the race with this time when this is pretty much how fast I normally run in races! Comparing to the Danskin, that was a 2 mile run and I finished in 23:54 so that was almost 3 min/mile slower than today!
In less than 2 hours!
So overall my first real length triathlon I was pretty please with myself. I beat my goal of under 2 hours...although I learned early on in the race that trying to do it significantly faster than 2hrs was not a realistic goal. I'm glad I have a baseline so I know what I need to work on and hopefully improve! And next time I'm recruiting more people to do it with me/cheer me on!