After dinner, I laid out everything that I was planning to bring to the race. There is so much to remember so I am glad I had made a list last week! I got everything to fit in my bag, though, so that is good!
After that we watched a documentary about how Champagne is made and I obsessively checked the weather forecast. It was not looking good and the race director had sent out an email saying that the race may be cancelled if there was lightening so I was kind of freaking out a bit.
Luckily I woke up to overcast skies but no rain on Sunday morning! I was so relieved! My friend Courtney picked me up which saved me from having to bike to the race. It was only about 3 miles away but I didn't need to bike any extra miles that morning!
We got to the transition area, got set up and took some pre-race photos. Courtney is the person that talked me into doing this race as she's done it twice and loved it. However, she is 7 months pregnant so instead of doing the full race, she did the swim leg of the relay.
I was in one of the later waves so had a lot of downtime between when they closed the transition area and lined us up but it went by fairly fast. The first wave started at 8 am and my wave started around 8:39. I was soooo ready to start and just have the swim behind me as I was very nervous about the swim since it's my weakest sport. From here on out, I'll break down the race by sport:
Swim: 500 yards. Goal = 15 minutes; Actual = 12:40. The swim actually went better than I was expecting. It's definitely the weakest of the three sports for me but it went better than I thought it would. One thing that helped is that it wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be. When they released the waves, they had 4-5 swimmers start at a time, with 3-4 seconds in between sets of swimmers which meant that the swimmers were way more spaced out. I was expecting to be kicked and hit and swam into but I only had one little collision. That said, I was soooo happy when the swim part was over!
|Courtney snapped this shot of me running out of the water to the transition area.|
Bike: 15.5 miles. Goal = 1 hour; Actual = 54:41. I was really happy with how the bike went as my pace was 17 mph which is faster than I was anticipating. I ate an applesauce within the first mile which gave me some extra energy. Those were the only calories I had during the race. I probably should have had another applesauce during the run but all in all I felt pretty well-fueled. I passed quite a few people during the bike ride and pushed it pretty hard on the pace, which made me nervous that I might not have much left in the tank for the run. In the last mile I saw Phil so that gave me some extra energy and made me smile.
T2: 1:23. This transition went really fast as all I had to do was dock my bike, ditch my helmet and throw a hat and my race bib on (which I pinned to my spibelt).
Run: 3.1 miles. Goal = 28 minutes; Actual = 26:31. I saw Phil right away at the start of the run and he ran with me for a little bit. He asked me how I was feeling and I told him I was tired but he gave me some encouragement and said to remember that running is my strongest sport. I definitely needed that pick-me-up. My legs felt pretty tired and if I had to guess, I would have said I was running slower than 10 minute/mile pace, so I was shocked to look down and see a pace of 8:30-8:40. I was definitely very ready to be done at this point but I powered through! I was so in the zone that I did not hear Phil, Courtney, and Courtney's family cheering for me at the end. Those 3.1 miles were tough so I was shocked to look at my results and see that I maintained an 8:34 pace during the run!
|Courtney's husband snapped this photo of me as I was coming into the finish. You can tell that I am pretty 'in the zone'.|
Total Time: Goal = 1:50; Actual = 1:37:28.
|Officially a triathlete!|
|Phil and I at the finish!|
So the big question that always gauges how good the race experience was is - would I do this again? And the answer is yes! I think I would stick to this race, though, as it's really well-organized plus I think the sprint distance is the right distance for me. And honestly, I liked that it was women-only race. I feel like that made for a very supportive and positive environment. I will say that my next triathlon will be done at a time when I'm NOT training for a marathon, though! Training for two races simultaneously is too much. Lesson learned.
Have you ever or would you ever do a triathlon?