Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mermaid Triathlon Race Report

Buckle yourself in - it's a long one!

On Sunday I completed my first triathlon with an open water swim.  I don't know why, but this triathlon just made it feel a little more real than the Moraga Tri in April.  I don't know if it was because of the open water swim, or the expo afterwards.  All I know is that I now really feel like a triathlete!

I didn't have major expectations going into this event - particularly since my experience with open water swimming is so limited.  I was looking at it as just a way to get some triathlon experience and to have some fun.  But I did have a super secret time goal that I was hoping to beat.

I picked up my race packet on Thursday and was able to rack my bike on Saturday, so that made Sunday morning a little less stressful.  Dan came with me to this race - a first for him! - and we got there about an hour before my wave started.  All I had to do was locate Meredith, set up a few things in transition, put on my wetsuit, and then it was time to head down to the water.

Good location, or so I thought!
The swim was as hard as I expected.  I know I can cover the distance easily in the pool, but open water is a whole different animal.  I knew that I was going to be slow and I was OK with that.  The water was much warmer than expected, so that was a plus.  I lined up in the back of the pack and to the far right.  We had to keep the buoys on our left and the current was going to push us to the left, so I didn't want to get pushed too far and have to backtrack.  I started off slow but after just a few strokes I felt like a cork being tossed around out there.  Most of the pack was gone - there were only two other swimmers near me - but I knew I just had to push forward and get it done.

The tiny orange dot below the bird is me.  The guy in the kayak is making sure I don't drown.
My biggest worry is that the wave behind me would catch up with me - they started 10 minutes later - and I'd get swept up in the crowd.  So I did everything I needed to get myself out of the water - some breaststroke, a little side stroke, more freestyle.  And finally I was done!  I wanted to kiss the ground when I finally got up the ramp onto land.

Into transition and wanting to get out on the bike, but my transition neighbor was sitting in my spot putting in her contact lenses.  So it took me a couple of extra minutes to get out of there.  When I finally got out on the bike, I was feeling a little queasy.  Maybe I was seasick!  I started shoveling in some calories hoping to calm my stomach, but finally gave up as it was making me feel worse.  About halfway through the first loop I started to feel normal again - just in time to take a little detour.  As I approached the turnaround, there were volunteers telling us which way to go.  All I heard was, "Second loop, turn left."  In my mind, that meant to turn left for the second loop...but what he meant was if you are done with the second loop, turn left.  So I wound up back at transition and had to turn around and head back out.  Oops!  Luckily the rest of the ride was uneventful.

Back into transition, only to discover that the same transition neighbor from earlier had done such a poor job of racking her bike that it had fallen off the rack and was lying on the ground underneath where I needed to rack my bike.  I stood there for a few seconds puzzled, then decided to just lean my bike up against the rack on top of my gear.  Changed out my shoes and I was off.

Run and done!
Surprisingly my legs didn't feel too bad on the run.  I was able to stick to the run/walk intervals I had planned.  I saw Meredith just before I got to the turnaround point and we gave each other a high five as she headed towards the finish line.  The run was on a trail along the bay, and by this point the sun was shining and I had a beautiful view of the bay and the Bay Bridge.  I actually got a little teary and felt so grateful to be able to do this.  And before I knew it I was crossing the finish line!

And that was it.  I had done my second triathlon, this one with a swim in the Bay!  I beat my super secret goal time of two hours.  And I have to say, I am officially hooked!  Bring on See Jane Run in October - I can't wait!

Me and Meredith - happy triathletes!

1 comment:

  1. Great job! I promise See Jane Run will be easy after this :)