I woke up the morning of the triathlon not sure if it was going to happen or not. The weather was rough – heavy rain and strong winds that had been going all night long. I was woken up at least twice by the rain it was so loud and by the time I woke up at 7 I had no idea if we would actually race.
Since we live thirty minutes from the course and they were making the decision at 8, we had to drive out there no matter what. So I went about the preparations as if it was going to happen no matter what. We left on time but after 10 minutes I realized I didn’t have my helmet. We turned around and picked it up along with headphones so I could listen to music on the drive to calm my anxiety down.
We ended up arriving shortly after transition opened to find out WE WERE RACING! I felt completely unprepared for the weather conditions because I hadn’t trained in the rain at all. Not once. I slightly adjusted my mindset and decided instead of going after all the goals I had set my only goal would be to finish. That was enough for me when I saw what I was up against.
I got my stuff set up but unfortunately was hardly prepared for the rain and the plastic bags I had didn’t provide enough rain protection.
Then we stood around in the rain for 45 minutes. Couldn’t hear any of the “safety briefing” and mostly I just tried to stay warm wearing layers and moving around. We had a warm up which just left me wetter and colder, but it was fun to get in there and joke around with other participants.
By the time I headed down to the beach I was freezing and my teeth were chattering. Like I said, I wasn’t prepared.
I didn’t really know how to approach the triathlon because it was such a new thing for me. I feared going in I wouldn’t know how to pace myself and I’d tired myself out early. So I tried to set mini goals for each of the portions of the race and an overall goal to finish by 1:15 based on practice times and a random guess of transition times.
I was set in wave G for the race which was toward the middle. The waves went every 30 seconds so by the time we had lined up on the beach it wasn’t long before we started. The whole time I was down there I was trying to stay warm so I kept cheering for “Team G” and wishing everyone good luck.
The swim was interesting. The water was warm and the rain was cold and overall it felt nice. I tried to keep to my pace which meant the fast ones in my group left me and then the others behind me caught up. I kept strong knowing that I could push but not to the point of getting tired.
The weirdest part was that we started toward the shore but had to swim around the last buoy so we basically had to swim diagonally away from shore. That was the most frustrating part for me but I just kept swimming because I didn’t want to stop no matter what.
I actually didn’t get kicked or hit at all until going around the buoy at the end. Then a woman doing breaststroke side kicked me. Ouchies. Here I am between the buoy and the flag.
Coming out of the water was awesome. I knew I had finished and I survived.
I even had a smile on my face when I got out of the water.
I got out of the water and realized I hadn’t started my heart rate monitor. I started it as I climbed the hill up to the park where transition was just so I would have an idea of how I was doing.
The transition took me about 4.5 minutes. It was harder than I thought because I hadn’t practiced doing everything in the rain and being wet made everything a bit trickier.
My swim time was 13:30 which included the first transition so I swam the 300 meters slightly faster than my regular time of 10 minutes. I was 94th out of 123 for the swim overall.
Swim mini goal: swim the whole way without stopping. Result: I did it!
I was so excited to get on the bike because I knew it would be an easier part of the race for me.
The bike was definitely my favorite part of the race, but the heavy rain was rough. I was freezing and halfway through had trouble breathing because my nose started running. I used my sleeve as a tissue and just kept biking.
I tried to pass as many people as I could while still taking safe slower turns in the rain and standing water. Water got in my eyes a lot so I tried to keep my head down but that hardly worked to keep the water away. Still I managed to keep a good pace and toward the end passed as many people as I could see, then sped up so another girl wouldn’t pass me. I’m competitive if I get the chance and I actually had some competitive spirit on the bike.
My bike time was 20:30 for 8km. I was 69th out of 123 for the bike overall.
Bike mini goal: pass at least five people. Result: I passed 19 people!
I knew going into the run it was going to be my weakest element. And I’ll be honest – the run was hard for me.
It was only 3km but it felt much longer. By the time I started my shoes and socks were soaked. Each foot felt like it weighed 5 pounds. I tried to run like normal with 4 minutes run/1 minute walk but I ended up doing shorter run/walk intervals. I passed a walker or two but a lot of runners passed me when I was doing my walking parts.
Even though it was hard and I was slogging along I was loving it. There were several parts where I was so ridiculously happy I just wanted to high five everyone that was making the return trip on the loop. I couldn’t stop smiling and telling people they were doing great. :)
I did finish strong and ran (where I could since part was slick muddy downhill you had to walk) through the park to finish.
The finish was the best part. Ran up the hill and then through the end.
I was the only one finishing at the time so everyone was cheering for me and the announcer announced my name and talked about me while I finish. It was so cool to be the center of attention and have everyone – even strangers – be proud of me.
I swear I had my hands in the air the entire time crossing the finish line. I was just so freaking excited to finish!!
And of course the rain stopped for a few minutes right when I was finishing.
My run time was 27:44 for 3km. I was 117 out of 123 overall. I was one of the last people in the run because I ran/walked it, but I still managed to do great for me.
Run mini goal: run as much as I can and finish in 30 minutes. Results: I ran and I beat my time by over 2 minutes!
I got my medal then took a few post race photos. I felt sooo awesome in that moment. Killer, really.
We cheered on the next few finishers then packed up to head home. I tweeted about the race and I’m so grateful for the response. I love y’all.
I feel so amazing. I completed my number one fitness goal. I did a triathlon. I’m so proud of myself and so happy that despite everything that could have made me quit I just did it anyway. It rocked and I loved it.
Results: 300 meter Swim 13:30 (94th), 8km Bike 20:30 (69), 3km Run 27:44 (111)
Total time: 1:01:44 (107th of 123)
Woohoo! I beat my goal time by 13:56!! I wasn’t last! I did good!
I felt so amazing after I finished. This was a benchmark for me so now I know what I need to work on (running! swimming!) for my next tri. Yep, I’m already signed up for another one. I’m excited to get back to calorie counting and training so I can drop more weight and make it even easier on my body to go faster next time.
I’m psyched and I’m so proud of myself!