So I had the crazy thought to try a tri- can't be that bad, right? God help me if I ever have a crazy idea like that again!! The race was put on by the local YMCA and was a 500y snake swim, 12 mile bike ride, and 5k run. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! Add a cheap mountain bike and 20 mph winds and you have the recipe for a rough day.
I went in without expectations. I knew the bike would slow me down, and I had never done anything like this so I didn't want to give myself the oopurtunity to be disappointed. My only hope was that I would break 2 hours. I did that with a time of 1:47:51! Field was a little over 300 people with what looked like a good mix of athletic ability. At 7:30 we lined up for the snake swim. We were numbered by our anticipated finish time for the swim. I had guessed 11 minutes and had been rewarded with a middle of the pack number - 155. Took about 30 minutes to get in pool and I was off. I had trained some for the swim so felt pretty strong there. Started getting tired about 300y in and taking more time at the wall each time. I was passed by 2 people. The guy right behind me who confessed before the race that he timed himself at 9:30 the week before and then one other guy. Nobody else "caught" me so that made me happy. Finished swim in 12:09 which included a short run into the transition area so I technically swam under 12 minutes, yea!
Transition went pretty well. Had a 2:22. Had not anticipated how tired my legs would be and being out of breath so that slowed me down some. Funny point- my ghetto bike was too short to use the rack so mine sat under with the kickstand down. Oh well. Started to jump on bike in transition but then remembered that I had to walk out so I did. Jumped on bike at the line and was off. This is when I discovered the massive wind of the day. Luckily the worst of the wind was out of the north which was only half of the two loop section of the course- overall about 4.5 miles of the ride (felt like 12 though). I had to just bite down and push through the wind. There were times I felt like I was standing still. Just couldn't get the power on the bike to do anymore. I got passed by many people - which I expected- but did pass one person which surprised me! Finished the bike portion in 59:17- which broke the hour mark I was expecting to hit so another win. I did finish 132 of 144- award for coming in the 90th percent anyone???
Transition 2 was a quick one, just had to rack my bike and grab a new water bottle. Needed a few seconds to get my legs back so I walked through it. 1:01 was the time. Headed out on the run. Took my second gel (first was on the bike) and worked on keeping my pace down. I had forgotten to start my Garmin on the bike so I decided to do without and just run. I left with one other lady who seemed to be keeping about the same pace as me so I stuck with her in my sights. It felt like the run was taking forever! It wound through some back streets and parking lots before hitting an asphalt trail. By the time I got to the 1K marker I felt like I had already gone over a mile. Legs were just tired, no pain from the bike though. Around 2K I could start feeling the affects of the bike seat on my butt which started to slow me down some. Lost my pacer at this point and started shuffling. Only walked once through the water station, which I was proud of my stamina in the run. Overall run time was 33:00 (same time as my very first 5K 4 years ago!).
So looking back: From the second I hit the water I was already thinking what did I get myself into. I guess because of that I never really relaxed. I just didn't get the enjoyment of doing a tri like I do a road race. At the finish line I just felt relief to be done, not the amazed satisfaction of doing a tri. I guess in a way (especially because of the bike) I didn't feel like I belonged in the field, like I was inferior to the rest of the athletes. I know alot of that is due to the fact that it is my first attempt, but overall just didn't enjoy it enough to go through it again.
Stats: (all rankings for overall female)
Overall 1:47:51 (124/144) (28/32 age group)
Swim 12:09 (93/144)
T1 2:22 (80/144)
Bike 59:17 (132/144)
T2 1:01 (40/144)
Run 33:00 (90/144)