It’s official! I can by all rights call my self a triathlete. What started off as “cross-training” by adding in a few other things like swim and bike has grown into a newbie triathlete a full blown athlete! My E-team sisters came out to race and spectate!
My first triathlon was 3 days ago. Location: Auburn, California. Distance: Sprint (aka Mini). Terrain: HILLS HILLS and just because there wasn’t enough…MORE HILLS!!!
The distance was called a mini or what some would refer to as a sprint triathlon distance. The first discipline is the swim. The distance for the swim for the mini is 500 meters or .30 miles. For those that need a further breakdown that’s 1640 feet or 19,685 inches…impressive! Here I am in the swim:
The swim was great. I know a lot of folks out there get nervous. I was a little bit but just the normal nerves one gets before any race really. I knew what I’d want to do in the swim portion. I knew what it’d feel like, what I’d experience, I was prepared because I had done this over and over in my mind well before race day! I knew there was a rolling start so I knew I would plant myself at the back of the group and take my time starting. I ended up back in the group and passing by some. Was great. Outside of the girl that was having extremely hard time sighting on the last stretch…she was zig zagging across me. I was told it’s ok to gently nudge her aside or simply sprint past but she looked stressed out and hey, I wasn’t in a rush really. I was enjoying the experience! Here is me exiting the swim and getting ready to head to T1:
As we exited the swim, the first of the hills (oh my legs quiver with memories) was to run up the boat ramp then take a sharp right up a rocky technical dirt path to a parking lot to T1. I thought I’d be a hot shot and start the “jog” on up, felt the incline on my legs, and said “nope save it for the bike”. I’m very smart! I transitioned (I thought pretty good for a virgin triathlete) and prepared to ride the bike leg of the race.
Off and riding on the bike. This is my before pic…poor legs, they have no idea what’s about to go down.
The bike course is beautiful!! It is a hilly course and a technical course. The distance is a mere 13 kilometers or 8 miles. Short, right? But it was HILLY!! Some as steep as a 12% grade in ascent. Tough and challenging. I learned how to handle shifting and climbing. My only fear was that on the steep climbs I would either fall or walk or both. I am extremely proud to report I did neither!! I did what I thought was best on the course and finished in the time I had anticipated based on my training and current skill set. I survived a tough bike course!
I was so excited to see my teammates and close friends the Baughs (who took the above awesome pic!)…and I was happy to be riding into T2. I was much faster on T2 I think and now I entered into my comfort zone…the run! I took off my riding gear, put on my shoes, race belt, tighter things up…and began to run out of T2!! Yes…Now on to the run!!
I know I can run well. I didn’t even think about the course because it is only 4 kilometers or 2.4 miles. Guess what? There were HILLS on the run!! What?!? I can run hills, I’m not afraid of hills; however, I just had my fill of hills on the ride and now I have to run them? Bring it on!! I fly downhill on a rocky trail out of T2 area to the wooded area behind the finish line. Down the trail, up the trail, back down a trail hill then a sharp right. After that it’s really a blur but I can tell you there were several quad killer climbs and runs down hills. There were switchbacks and great volunteers cheering us on. There was a beautiful canal that flowed with crisp cold water that I was positive would be great if I could just stop and stand in the flow…my mind wandered…ahem, I snapped back to reality and saw my teammate Brynda up ahead. Time to catch her and bring us across the finish! We motivated each other to finish the race because it was the longest by far the longest 2.4 miles I ever ran…seriously. Those HILLS!! But here I am…ready to finish the entire race:
The race was over! I did it! I completed and survived with a smile my first triathlon!
I am happy with my overall time. It was right around where I thought’d I would be but I was handed a nice surprise…I placed 2nd in my Age Group!! What?!? That can’t be?? I double checked and triple checked. It’s true! Although there were only 4 of us in the AG, I placed 2nd and I’ll take it thank you very much!
So what are all the little lessons in this race?? Well, there are too many to list and over time I’ll share. But for now I would just like to give a huge shout out to Coach Will from Enduworld and my wonderful Endurance Reno teammates that trained and raced along with me encouraging me the entire time. A shout out for a great race for Brynda and Andrea:
And to my husband, a great friend, and great coaching and athletic couple:
I have many more trainings, races, and lessons (hopefully more food posts too) to share in the future. But what I would love to hear about is YOU!! What is going on with you with your training and racing? Share share share….please?