Sunday, June 7, 2009

my first tri - TRY HARDER!

So this morning I did my very first triathlon. I signed up for it kind of on an impulse - I track all my workouts at this tri board and I absolutely love the people on this board. Just a seriously great group of people - and so I think I was kind of swayed by that sense of community. Also - if I'm being honest, I think my confidence got the better of me and I thought, ohhh, a sprint tri??? I can TOTALLY do that..... (.25 mile swim, 15 mile bike, 3.1 mile run)


The following is basically taken from my race report on that board.....

Met up with buddy DJDavey at the Speedway in the mean streets of 'stally (west allis for those not fluent in djdavey speak).... traded bards, insults and general mockery and then we were off to Lake Mills.

So I got there, registered, walked around, got my bike set up, basically taking my sweet little time and then DOH!! Realized it was 28 minutes before my wave started and thought to myself - huh... I should probably put my wetsuit on and maybe get into the water to see what a lake feels like.
This was my first time swimming in open water, my first time wearing a wetsuit, my first time wearing a SWIM CAP.

Have I mentioned yet it was my first tri???


I guess the best way to describe this is "wow" - I was very humbled by this whole experience. I did not expect it to feel this difficult at ALL. I signed up for this tri on an impulse 3 weeks ago and was traveling and crazy busy at work for the past two weeks. Apparently that combo makes it difficult to prepare for this sort of thing. I was thinking, oh, I just ran a half marathon a few weeks ago, I work out all the time - I'm fine.... no worries.... um, holy train FAIL!

Here's how my race went.

Took a dip before about 15 minutes before the race started, felt really good, very happy that the water didn't feel like an ice cube - generally felt fairly confident. I was totally wrecked the night before with nerves but standing in the water before the race started - I felt great.

All that changed rather quickly.

Wave started and I waded out, went freestyle stroke 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - thought to myself, "man, it's funny that people hyperventilate on the swim" and GASP!!!! hyperventilated.

Totally, completely freaked out. I could not catch my breath, I could not settle myself down, I could not put my head in the water - heck, I couldn't even bring myself to put my ARMS in the water! Flipped over on my back and proceeded to backstroke the entire thing. Just kicking though. It was exhausting - I could not breathe at all. And could NOT turn back on my stomach - seeing the water freaked me out.

Had to grab on to the life boats 2 separate times, I was so freaked. Seriously contemplated having them haul my sorry a$$ in twice. Decided to tough it out and I guess I'm glad I did but wow.... That was honestly one of the scariest things I've ever done. And I normally consider myself fairly brave - but today I was a giant - well, insert your own choice word here. If you were on the course anywhere near me, you probably heard me audibly whimpering the entire time.

Yea..... humbling.

I was so mad coming out of the water and into transition, I don't even remember what I did. All I know is that I was THRILLED to be on land. As I ran out of the water, I must have been rockin some serious mad-face because as I see amyjo and craig - craig's yelling something on the bullhorn and as I approach, amyjo says something like 'are you ok?' and craig slowly lowers his bullhorn like 'don't disturb the beast' . I was MAD. sooooo MAD. stupid water.

I cheered up when I saw the other donkeys yelling and hollering - but I was mostly just running as fast as I could away from the water though - i didn't want it to catch me and make me swim in it again.

I actually felt kind of good on the bike - but I must have been pretty gassed because this was slower than I was on the duathlon a couple of weeks ago and i felt like I was pushing WAY harder today. I was still coughing up lake water and trying to catch my breath for the fist half of this. djdavey caught me at 27 minutes which frankly - shouldn't he have caught me earlier? I mean, really.....

Also - someone said 'hi stacey' to me about 3 or 4 miles in and I have no idea who it was (you were going to fast! which..argh! jealous) so hi back and who were you mystery man!?!?!?!

Oh - and my chain kept slipping but whatever. It was like my bike was saying 'yea, we're gonna go in THIS gear and YOU'RE just going to deal with it'.. yea, the bike made me it's b!tch today.

My feet were totally numb but I didn't feel too bad coming into the second transition. I kept thinking I was forgetting something to take on the run but hello - shoes, race number, clothes - what else do I need? Not sure what I thought I was missing (turns out it was my mo-jo).

What would I differently? Yea.... I would pack my mo-jo!

UGH. This run totally sucked. I felt like if I could just get through the bike and the swim, I would rock the run. NOPE. I was 100% gassed by this point. I think I held it together ok on the bike but I was spent by the time I got to the run. It was, how you say, being no fun. My legs felt awful - just no push at all. I stopped and walked a few times - the only thing that kept me from walking the entire first mile is knowing that djdavey was about to pass me as he came in on his last mile and I didn't feel like dealing with the death glare. (turned out he was so focused he wouldn't have even noticed - I'll remember that next time when I feel like walking!!) Of course, immediately after he passed, I think I walked for about 2 minutes.

Felt WAY better after the turn around though - FINALLY started getting some feeling back in my legs and was able to feel like I was actually running. Oy.

I think my crappy run had everything to do with the fact that I hyperventilated for about 14 minutes straight on the swim - I just had nothing left on the run. Soo.... yea, I should probably learn how to swim. because I'm kind of an ok runner.

After the race, I found the donkeys and hollered and yelled for the rest of the donks coming in - then I got really cold, realized I should probably put some dry stuff on.

Lesson learned - I am either never going to do a tri again OR I am going to spend all summer in a lake learning how to swim. Verdicts still out. Unfortunately, the people who do tris are WAY more addicting than the tri itself so I can see myself suffering through this again just for the fun afterwards.

And if you're into times (like I am!) my final time was 1:39

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