Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tri for the Y

Yeah, I have officially completed my first tri of the year, and my third tri ever. I didn't talk a lot about it before the race, because I was already nervous enough. I don't get really nervous before running events anymore, except maybe the marathon (and that is more dread than nerves), because I know I can do the distance and I am not too obsessed with my time. But triathalons are still new enough, and the swim is still so far out of my comfort zone, that I was pretty jittery.

I got there at 7, a full 2 hours before the race. By 7:30, I was checked in, and my stuff was all ready to go. So then I had a long time to sit around and get more nervous. Oops.

Finally at 8:45 we all gathered in the pool for the pre-race meeting, and at 9 sharp the first swim wave went off. Unlike the pool tri I did last year, in this event the slower swimmers started first. I liked this because it meant I got to start earlier, and wasn't out on the course mostly by myself. Using this system, everyone finished roughly together.

The it was wave 2 and I was up! I was thrilled to find it wasn't a mass start. Instead it was 2 swimmers to a lane, which I am used to. I went out a little fast and started to gasp around lap 3, but I took a minute to pause at the next turn, take a deep breath, and remind myself that I had done the distance and more in training. And then, shocker, I actually liked the swim! I finished in 6:59, well under my predicted time of 9 minutes!

I ran out to the transition area and struggled to get my tank on over my wet suit. Next time, I'm not bothering with a swim suit for the swim, I'll just swim in my tri shorts and tank. I also tried pre-clipping one of my shoes into the pedal. Also a bad plan, it was so much harder to get my foot into the shoe on the pedal. I wasted 2:25 in the transition area. Lessons learned!

I love the bike. I feel fast and free and bad-ass. It was a pretty hilly course, but since it was down and back, I consoled myself on every uphill on the way out by imagining how good the downhill would feel on the way back. I managed to pick off a few people in front of me. I finished in 46:48, for an average of 16.7 mph. Love it!

And then the run, which I should love, because I'm a runner right? But coming off the bike and starting to run I just felt heavy and tired. I hadn't really studied the course map before, but I asked the woman next to me in the transition area before the race. "Just one killer hill," she said. She didn't mention it was a mile long! One I had turned around at the top of the hill and was flying down the downhill I thought I had it made, but oh no, we weren't headed back. We headed down a long slow descent before turning around again and climbing back up it. Urg. As I came into the finish I saw a guy from my bootcamp class in front of me and managed a final kick to chick him right before the line. 26:28 for the run, an average pace of 8:50. Decent, but I want to do better.      

All in all, I'm happy with how the race went. And I am more convinced that triathlon is a great sport for me. I love the mental and physical challenge of the 3 components, and I don't have time to get bored!

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