That's right. I got 3rd place in my age group! And no, there were not just 3 people in my age group. :) I got 3rd out of 9 women age 24-29! I have NEVER been so proud of myself.
The triathlon was the MOST fun I have ever had doing an athletic event. I was terrified the night before, running around like a crazy woman, stressing about every little thing. I woke up at 4:50am (ten minutes before my alarm) and was READY to go! I ate some toast, almond butter and banana (my favorite pre-race breakfast) and then...got really sick to my stomach. Uhoh. Nerves maybe? But my sisters and my friend Katie were picking me up at 5:30am so I gathered myself and was ready to go when they got there. After fighting to add my bike to the already full bike rack, we headed downtown.
One of the best things about this race? Being local. We took the back roads to the starting line and were able to park RIGHT by the race start. SWEET. We grabbed our bikes and our bags and headed to the transition area. First we were body marked. I felt soooo cool at this point. I actually LOOKED like a triathlete! We headed into transition and were thrilled with our placement. I was on the end of a rack and we were all toward the bike start end of transition. This meant a much longer time running after the swim, but I didn't mind! We got all our gear set up and then headed to the pool. (Yes, the picture is from after the race - sorry!)
The breakdown for this mini tri was:
200 yard pool swim
5.4 mile bike ride
1 mile run
And it was PERFECT. We all lined up on the pool deck and my nerves were racing through my veins. They started each swimmer about 10 seconds apart and I was 65th in the pool. As soon as people started jumping in, I felt better. I was afraid I would be the worst swimmer out there. Not even close. I saw every stroke known to man - even a few I think were created right there in the pool! I jumped in and quickly started passing people. Then I quickly got passed by my friends Katie and KellyAnn. They have been swimmers all their life. And it showed. We swam "serpentine" - up one lane, under the rope, back the next lane. I tried to keep count, but thought I still had two laps to go when I saw the stairs! SWEET! I got out of the pool and ran toward transition.
Transition went really well. I decided to forego a shirt, so I just threw on my workout capris (with my race number already pinned to them), put shoes and socks on, grabbed my helmet and headed out of transition. I got on my bike too early though and had to get off and walk/run it to the "start bike" line. Whoops. Once I was out on the bike course, I felt GREAT. I had only ridden one time in training (yikes) but I think all the spin classes really helped! I started flying by people on my little mountain bike. I really gained some ground on the bike and enjoyed most of it - except the awful head wind we had to deal with for most of the ride!
I kept thinking "Keep pushing - after this, all you have to do is run ONE mile!" I got to transition with a big grin on my face. I had no idea how I was doing time-wise, but I felt great! I racked my bike, took off my helmet, threw on a baseball cap, and headed out on my run. Oh and I took a nice swig of Gatorade too - I needed it! I started running and...felt like I was running in quicksand. Holy crap. I'm a slow runner anyway, but I felt like I had lead in my shoes! I just kept pushing through. I couldn't stop smiling. I felt so proud of myself! I was sure I was running a 15 minute mile, but I didnt care. I just kept going. And then...I was rounding the last curve. My dad was there cheering me on as he had been at every point during the race. Those cheers mean SOOOO much to me! And then there it was - the FINISH LINE! I raced toward it (in my mind I was flying - in reality, it was a slow jog - haha). I finished with a HUGE smile. The announcer even commented about my smile. I couldn't believe it. I AM A TRIATHLETE!
I ran around for the next half hour, cheering on my friends and sisters and everyone did a GREAT job. My friend KellyAnn finished first in our age division - no suprise there!
Here is my overall time/split time:
Overall time: 42:31! (I was hoping for under 45 minutes - I crushed my goal!)
Swim: 5:05 (better than I thought it would be)
T1: 3:39 (need to improve on this!)
Bike: 21:53 (averaged 14.8 mph - not bad!)
Run: 10:46 (actually REALLY good for me - especially since it was so hard!)
If anyone is thinking about doing a triathlon, I would HIGHLY recommend doing a mini tri like this one. I've already signed up for my next one - May 22! I'll give you the details of that one soon, but it will be a step up in difficulty from this one. And I can't wait!!
Anyone else out there thinking about doing a triathlon?