Saturday, October 9, 2010:
Phil, Brizzy and myself headed down to Richmond around noon on Saturday after a quick stop for bagels at our favorite place. We had to head to Richmond the day before because there was no race-day packet pickup. Once in Richmond, I picked up my race numbers, t-shirt and other goodies and then we went to check in to the hotel. On our way to the hotel, Phil spotted this gem and of course wanted to go in.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) it was closing as we were pulling in to the parking lot. I really did not do a good job of picking a hotel. It was cheap and dog-friendly and on the same street as the start of the triathlon so I figured it was a sure thing. Well apparently that street is really long and there are some not so great areas, and that is where the Days Inn was. Lets just put it this way- the establishments closest to the hotel were strip clubs, Pay Day Loan store and a Taco Bell. But the room wasn’t bad. Brizzy liked it.
After a quick dinner at Olive Garden, it was time for bed. I was nervous and did not manage to sleep very well. Plus, Brizzy kept switching sides of the beds to cuddle with Phil and then myself and she kept waking me up.
Sunday, October 10, 2010- Race Day!
I woke up at 545am to give me plenty of time to eat, walk the pooch, use the bathroom, and get myself together. My stomach was feeling very nervous and I was not able to eat my cliff bar. Thank goodness I brought my Cytomax Pre-formance drink. It is a pre-workout drink that is especially designed to digest easily. It was the only thing my nervous stomach could handle.
Once we got to the race site, I set up my transition area, picked up my time chip and got body marked. I asked the kid to put a smiley face on my calf where my age is displayed just for fun.
Before I knew it, it was time to head inside to the pool.
The swim was a 400 meter pool swim. We were lined up in order from fasted to slowest. We had to provide a swim time when we registered for the race and we were able to change it up until 3 days before the race- so you had plenty of time to go and time yourself to make sure you had the time correct.
As I was watching the first 100 or so people I realized how much of a mess it was. Some people clearly did not take the time to time themselves and seriously misjudged how slow they were. There were people running in to each other, there was one guy doggie paddling, another walking along the bottom of the pool. Which is all fine- but not within the first 100 people! They are supposed to be the fast, strong swimmers. Seeing this made me scared for the swim because I didn’t want to get trampled.
All of a sudden, I was a few people away from getting in to the pool. The woman who started in front of me told me that if I caught up to her, tap her on the foot and she would slow down so I could pass. In to the pool I went and had a 5,4,3,2,1 go countdown. It was a 50 meter pool so the laps were super long, but I felt great.
I passed the woman in front of me within the second 100 meters. No one passed me, and there were no issues like the ones I had seen earlier. Total swim time:8:31
The run from the pool to the transition area was long! And it was concrete so it hurt my little feet! Other than sore toes, the transition went well and was uneventful. T1 time: 2:55
Despite the fact that I practiced mounting my bike last weekend during my own transition practice
, I fumbled big time during the race. I got on my bike ok but I had a hard time clicking my bike cleat into the pedal! It took me a good ten seconds before I had both of my feet clipped in. I need to practice this more…or get pedals that I can clip in on from either side
. Once situated, I kicked it up and got going. The bike course was FAST. The first 2 miles were flat with a slight downhill- I was going between 24-28mph the whole time. Even when the road evened out I was still going pretty fast and holding a steady 22mph. Then came the hill climb. During the race briefing the previous day, the woman said it was a slight “climb” (she even used the air quotes!). Because of her tone of voice and sarcasm, I was expecting something resembling a climb…but a pretty easy one. I was so wrong!!! She should not have used those air quotes. That hill climb was almost 3 miles long and pretty steep. I was able to hold 11mph up the hill. It hurt. After the hill, it was back to cruising between 17-20mph to the finish. I was extremely happy with my bike time. Bike time:43.37 (17.1 mph)
My goal for the run was to do it quickly. I was not able to hold an 8:30 pace like I would have liked because my legs were sore from the damn hill on the bike! It took me a good mile to find my legs and then I was able to pick up the pace a little bit. I think for longer distance triathlons I will have to take it easier on the bike to save some energy in my legs. It was a flat out and back and before I knew it I was headed to the finish line! It is amazing how short a 5k feels after running and training for a half marathon (soon to be a full marathon!) :) 5k time: 30:08
Total Time: 1:26:32…7th in my age group! 276th overall out of almost 700 people.
I am so excited to be able to finally call myself a triathlete and I was very happy with how well I did for my first triathlon- I was 14 minutes faster then my goal time! A huge thank you and I love you to my triathlete boyfriend for sitting this one out to be my cheerleader and personal photographer