Monday, April 29, 2013

Moraga Tri Race Report a/k/a I Did It!!!

Two days later and I still can't wipe the smile off my face.  I had such a great time.  It was so well organized and a great setting.  So let's get down to the nitty girtty details.

I got there just after 6:00 am when transition opened and quickly found my race buddy Meredith.  I was so glad to have a friend there for my first triathlon.  She lives in this area and is the one who told me about the race.

Meredith had already picked up her packet and claimed her spot in transition, so she walked to my car with me and helped me lug all of my gear. I picked the same spot in transition as Meredith but one rack over.  I wanted an end spot and this worked out well as I felt I had more room.

Meredith all set up and trying to stay warm.
Am I really about to jump in a pool?  It's so cold this morning!

All set up and ready to go.
After getting organized we made our way over to the pool.  It was a self-seeded race where you gave them your estimated swim time when you signed up. Your bib number was the order in which you were to get in the pool.  I was number 203, so I had a lot of time to stand around and watch everyone else start, but it was good.  We had to swim down one lane, under the lane ropes, and then back up the next lane for a total of 400 m.  I got to see everyone's strategy for going under the ropes and turning around (not many flip turns!) and I got to watch people's passing strategy.

By the time I got in the pool I wasn't even nervous. I had only one goal for the swim, and that was to do the entire thing without stopping.  If I had to resort to breast stroke, I was fine with that.  But I did not want to have to hang on the wall and rest.  As it turns out, the swim was my favorite part of the day.  I passed a few people; got passed by a few; saw a guy hanging on the ropes in the middle of the lane to rest; saw a woman doing the backstroke; saw a girl have a full-on panic attack and had the lifeguards attending to her.  But I did not have to stop and rest so it was a success!

It was a pretty long run to transition but I was so happy about my swim that I figured the hardest part was over. Boy was I wrong!

The bike started out pretty flat.  Just a few miles in I rode by my friend Stephanie and her dog Gil cheering on the racers.  I was so glad I noticed her there and that gave me a little boost.  Shortly after passing that point things started to get tough. I expected some rollers, but a few of these hills were more than I expected.  At one point I got to the top of the hill and was happy to see the downside, until I realized I'd have to come back up it on the return.  I realized I was going to have to really concentrate on getting in enough nutrition on this ride so I wouldn't bonk and I'd have something left for the run.  I decided that whenever I got to the bottom of a hill I'd eat a shot block and drink something.  This seemed to work well for me because I never ran out of energy and made it up all of the hills - and there were many.

The miles seemed to go by slowly, and I was never so happy to see the end of the course.  By the time I got off my bike, I swore I didn't want to ever ride again.  OK, it wasn't that bad but it was harder than I had expected.  This is probably a good thing because I wasn't able to worry about the bike course ahead of time.

On to the run course, or should I say up to the walk course.  The 5k started out with a little flat part, then up a steep hill.  Since my legs weren't too happy about running after that ride, I figured this would be a good time to walk and take in a Gu.  I was about a third of the way up the hill when my legs finally decided they could handle some running, but boy was this hill steep.  So I started playing a game with myself.  I would pick a spot in the distance - usually a parked car - and run to that point.  Then I would walk for a few seconds and pick another point to run to.  This worked well for me and I was up the first hill without too much suffering.  At the top was a turnaround so I figured this would be a good time to run downhill and try to make up some time before tackling the next uphill.

For the second hill, I followed the same strategy.  Run to a spot, then walk for a bit to recover.  I got to the top and ran all the way down back again.  I love the downhill!  The finish was up another hill (of course!) to get to the track of the high school, then around the track to the finish line.

Trying to sprint to the finish.  Not much left in the tank!

Crossing the finish line.  I am a triathlete!

It was such a fun event.  I think I was smiling the entire day - even on those bike hills.  This was such big deal for me.  This time last year I could not even swim one length of the pool, and to go out there and swim 400 meters, and then follow it up with a bike and a run - it was such a great feeling.

We really did it!
Thanks to Meredith for some of these photos, but especially for all of the encouragement!  I can't wait to get out there and do it again.

Official time:  2:15:16


    That is so awesome. You are such an inspiration.

  2. So proud of you! You did awesome, can't wait to do it again with you!

  3. Wahoo! Sounds like you had a fantastic time! So proud of you and impressed with your progress. :)

  4. Great job finishing your first tri!