My first Triathlon
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Block Island Triathlon - TriathlonSprint
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Block Island, Rhode Island
= 2h 16m 25s
Age Group Rank
well, my mom came into town with her best friend to support me during the race and we went out to olive garden the night before so i could load up on carbs and hang out. that was fun and a bad plan all at the same time as my intestines really protested the preservative-laden fast-food and i felt horrid the morning of the race. but i just tried to keep my sh!t together
) and have a good time. We stopped by the dunkin donuts for some pre-race breakfast on the go, and i just got a croissant and a decaf... but i couldn't eat anything. luckily we had gone out to the race site the previous week so we knew what the drill was with parking and with the ferry. so when we got to the parking area, i told my hubby to hop out and get the tickets and i would park and get the bikes off and meet him at the ferry. we got on the ferry without a hitch, and i admired out of the corner of my eye all the pretty bikes in the cargo hold! then up to the top to find a seat. i had stupidly forgotten my mp3 player or some knitting or something to do on the ferry, so i just tried to visualize everything going well and relax. my stomach was still rolling and being on a ferry wasn't really helping things... but i saw a friend of mine who kinda perma-jockstraps for her office-mate who is part of the brown tri club. so i went and said hello and talked to her and her three friends who were racing that day. it was so nice to be around all of these tri-geeks on the ferry since last week we were surrounded by folks with cases of beer drinking at 8:00 am.
(seriously! wow, 8 AM!
so we get off the ferry, and i make a pit stop at the welcome center as my intestines are just refusing to settle. it helps a bit and i feel a little better and we get on our bikes to head over to the staging area for the race. i get there and i'm just so excited. all of my fear just turns straight into anticipation. i'm there! people have set up! i see the towels and the shoes all lined up and gallons of water and buckets for foot washing... and i'm thinking to myself, holy sh!t i'm actually doing this... today! so i put my bike on a rack, i figure, i'm slow like molasses, so my spot won't matter all that much because there won't be that many bikes left when i'm getting mine and la la la. i decide to go and register and get marked before i set up completely because, well, i guess i was just shy and i wasn't sure quite how i was going to put everything out and i didn't want to take up too much space. so i get marked. i make my obligatory joke "i'm not a number! I'm a free man!" when i get my cap and t-shirt. and i go back to my bike, and put things in what seems like a logical order around my bike. i pull out the tongues of my shoes... i put my happy little rolled up socks on top of my bike bag. i get out my squirt bottle.
then we head for the beach, to check things out and to get my sweetie's spectating area figured out. i slather on a bunch of sunblock on me and the sweetie and we wade out to hang out in the water. and i'm so thrilled because the water is freaking perfect. the temp is nice, the waves aren't that had and it's really clear that day. it's just perfect. we paddle around, i dive in. we go back and sit on our towels cause holy sh!t we were up early! i read my race info and realize that i'm in the third wave and i start to freak out. i mean, i am not fast and i don't want to get run over. but whatever, there's not much i can do.
after about a half hour
(we got there really stupid early because of the ferry times...
) i go back in the water because i want to see if it's a shock after being in before and of course, it's not really, but i was trying to calm my nerves. about a half hour before the race is to start i decide i need to go to the bathroom again, i kiss the sweetie and tell him where i want to see him
(so he can take my picture
) when i'm coming out of the water. i'm nervous because i haven't seen my mom yet, but i figure she's a grown up and can figure it out.
in the bathroom and my butt explodes and i finally start to feel a lot better. thank god i manage to get most of it out before the race, or i would have felt really really horrid. so i walk out to grab some stuff from my transition area and put the sunblock by my stuff and it's a sea of people. unbelievable! it's really going to happen. i stand around and chat with my neighbors and they start calling out that the pre-race instructions will be read out at the starting area and we need to head out. so i get my swim cap on and start heading out. i'm in this sea of people and some of them are insanely fit, some of them look freakin' anorexic, and there are others who are normal and some who are large and it's just amazing. i overhear two guys telling eachother that this is the craziest thing they've talked eachother into ever. i see a couple who have different colored swim caps on wishing eachother luck. there is such a level of excitement and anticipation in the air, it was intense and i'm finding hard to describe... the race guy is getting us to line up by cap color and i'm around all these yellows. the first wave goes off and we all cheer and clap. a minute later the orange caps go off and we all cheer and clap. and i think to myself, i should get off the soft sand to help with the sprint to the water
(we sprinted down the beach a bit and then jump in...
) so i edge myself closer to the water and...
02m 40s / 100 yards
off we go! i decided early that running/wading would tire out my legs and i wanted to do everything to keep them as fresh as possible for my big fear: the run
(da dum daaaaaaaaaaaah
) so as soon as i was just over my knees i dive in and start doing my freestroke. only, i'm way too excited and my heart is pounding and i can't keep my breath. so i try to get myself under control, but i'm failing so i decide to switch to breast stroke. which was a good plan. it got my heartrate under control and i started to breathe normally. and it gave me the opportunity to look around and see what was going on. i was shocked at how not-clobbered i had gotten, and it was so nice. i was still mostly in a sea of yellows, so i didn't feel all that slow, which was nice. i was passed by my first green cap before the first bouy but by the end i had only been passed by some of the two waves after me and only one of the third wave after me. so it wasn't so bad. i went a little off course between bouys and i had to get myself back on track, but it was really not bad. after i turned at the second bouy and we were swimming back to shore i got a bit discouraged because the waves kept on pushing me back. so i switched to side stroke and looked at the people next to me instead of the shore, this helped and soon i was seeing people stand up and wade in, so when i got to about waist deep i started walking in. i started running up the beach and saw my sweetie on my left and then heard my mom shouting my name and cheering! sweet!
t1 was awesome. my next-bike neighbor offered me her bucket of water for washing my feet, but i decided to stick with my spray bottle. i had brought just a little hand towel and it worked fine. the rolled up sock thing is brilliant and worked like a charm. my sweetie ran out to the transition area to ask me how the swim went and i felt awesome, i had beaten my predictions for how fast i would go and i was feeling really confident that i may not cross the finish line last. so i got my helmet on, pulled out my bike, ran to the starting line
(like a few feet away
) and off i went.
What would you do differently?:
use my neighbor's bucket! spray bottle is nice, but really not as fast as just a quick dunk.
well, the bike was what i was really looking forward to. sweetie and did the loop when we were out there last week and it was just beautiful. of course, we went the opposite direction round the loop and that is probably a good thing because otherwise i would have been having nightmares about this one hill by the airport that i would have to go up twice and was f*cking murder. but i just cranked down into my granny gears and pumped up the hill, what else could i do? lots of folks passed me but i passed a few of my own and i really just had a great time. at one point i look down and i'm going 30mph, which is a speed record for my bike, holy cow. it was just a great time. i was chatting with people i passed/were passing me, and it was just a lot of fun. i was thrilled that i had tuned my bike up the night before. pumped the tires, lubed the chain, checked my gears... it really paid off, especially the freshly pumped tires... i was just flying. i usually do 10 miles in that time, not 12. go me.
i stopped to put on more sunblock as i was feeling crispy and i also stopped for an orange slice and a cup of water at the finisher's station, as the top guys were going to be finishing soon they were setting it up and i couldn't resist the orangey goodness.
What would you do differently?:
nothing... it was fine.
well, the run is the run, and what i fear, because i'm slow and i run out of energy. the course went down one side of the beach for a while, then you turn around at the water stop and run past where we began and then waaaaaaaaaaay up the beach to the other water station and then back to the beach house where we began. the run down wasn't that bad... i had only gotten my shoes a little wet and i was keeping with my 5 min run, 1 min walk schedule. i was feeling good. then on the way back up i start getting hit by more waves and i get some sand in my shoes and past the beach house is the crazy busy part of the beach and i'm dogding toddlers with boogie boards and crazy people and my shoes are really filling up with sand and many people are passing me. but i am still just excited because i'm going to finish and there's a really good chance i won't actually be last. sweeeet. i do trash-talk myself a bit. everytime someone passes me, i say in my head, 'well, you _weren't_ last...' to try to keep me running. and i do run a good portion of the way between the last water stop and the beach house and then i poop out and walk for like a half mile and then i run the last bit. i'm just wondering where the end is and i hear my sweetie and my mom cheering for me. my mom had made me a sign and was waving it at me and just past them there's a race guy saying "good job! turn here and run past the beach house! you're almost finished!" and so i start running on the soft sand up the beach to the beach house and my sweetie is running past me telling me that it's just round the corner and i'm almost done... and i turn the corner and there's the big clock and the guy asks me what my number is and i'm done! i'm a triathlete!
What would you do differently?:
train more, get better at the run.
i get my shoes off because there is an entire beach in them and i realize that the ground is burning my feet. i wander to my transition area thinking my sandals are there but they are at the towels where sweetie has been hanging out. so i drop my things and we run back to the beach because my feet are flaming. so i get my tevas on and i'm chatting with my mom and josh and some friends who made it just for the end of the race and i start to feel really light headed and i kneel on the towels. i hop in the water because i want to wash off a bit to hug my mom good bye and i'm barely able to stand. but i rally and make it through the hugging and i get back in the water to try to cool down a bit. after about 15 minutes i realize that my intestines are still unhappy and my adrenaline high is leaving me very fast so i tell sweetie and our friends that i want to go change into my real clothes and get home. so i grab my bag and head for the changing rooms. wouldn't you know, i get completely undressed and in my bag are my underwear and bra, but not my pants and shirt? joy. so i get back into my wet race clothes, go back down the beach and get my clothes and then get back and change. i go out to the finisher's food area and grab some oranges and a couple glasses of water, which help me feel better and someone says that the race results are up by the porta potties, and i go and i didn't finish last! woo hoo! so back to the beach to get the sweetie and say bye to our friends and back on the bikes to ride back to the ferry
) and then home, sweet home.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
well, besides my crappy swimming form, the fact that i'm riding on a mountain bike with high-pressure tires and i've only been running for 3 months... i say i did a kick-ass job.
this fall i focus on running some road races to improve my running speed and endurance, i hope to join a master's swim class to make my swimming form better and i'm hoping that at the end of the season i might be able to pick up a road bike on the cheap. i should be able to shave quite a bit of time off if i can just drastically improve the run.
but my goal was to finish and i did that. so go me!
this race will always be special to me because it was my first. but the bike leg was beautiful and just enough of a challenge.
Last updated: 2006-08-07 12:00 AM
00:11:42 | 440 yards | 02m 40s / 100yards
0F / 0C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:44:00 | 12 miles | 16.36 mile/hr
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:12:00 | 04 miles | 18m min/mile
on the beach! a fully active beach... which means, dodging waves and toddlers.
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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