Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tri del Sol

I survived and finished my first triathlon, the Tri del Sol. And, after fretting about the weather, it turned out to be a perfect day.

With my parents home with the girls, Steve and I went out alone for a little bit Friday night. We didn't do anything special but did go to Gazelle Sports, one of the sponsors of the Tri and did some shopping. I didn't get any shoes, but did find a nice pair of tri shorts on sale (still pricey).

Got back "home" and managed to stay up visiting until about 11 pm. I didn't sleep all that well and was awake well before my alarm went off at 5:10 am, partially due to Emily talking in her sleep. She said something about if we get this wood and organize it, we can have a fruit stand.

My crew, Steve and Kate, and I were out the door by 5:45 am for a McDonald's stop (coffee) and the half hour drive to Middleville. We were there by 6:45 or so, got parked and got the bike and my stuff set up in the transition area. I quickly made some mental note for next time (yes, I'm doing more).

First, bring some sidewalk chalk to mark the end of the row so you know where your stuff is. Someone marked the end of the next row otherwise I probably would have had a little more trouble finding my stuff. As it was, Steve stood at the end of the row in the spectator area and yelled to me so I knew where to go.

Second, bring an old towel to lay on the ground to lay your stuff on, stand on, and dry your feet. It will also catch your eye as you are running down the row looking for your spot.

Third, and I'm not sure I would go to this length, but it was smart, a couple of people got a spot on the end, had a tub of water to wash their feet off, and a five gallon bucket to sit on and put on their shoes.

Okay, so back to the race. Got my number written on my legs and arms, made sure I knew which way I needed to go when, and headed towards the lake.

At 7:45 am, four teams started their race. They were part of My Team Triumph, a program inspired by Dick and Rick Hoyt. Four young people with various disabilities participated in the triathlon with the help of the team captain and angels. They rode in a raft for the swim, a bike trailer for the ride, and a bigger jogging type stroller for the run.

At 8, the first wave of swimmers set off, the women 35 and younger. My wave, women 35 and older started at 8:05. Thankfully, the lake was pretty clean and felt like bathwater. It was a half mile swim and we basically swam across the lake and back. I knew the swim was going to be my weakest leg so I got to the back and side of the group.

The horn went off and we headed out. As I usually end up doing, I went out too hard and by the time I got to the second buoy, I was a bit uptight. I was having trouble seeing where I was going and getting a good breath. To avoid a full out panic, I decided to do the breast stroke for a little bit. I felt kind of stupid until I looked around and there were several other women doing the same thing.

I ended up alternating breast and freestyle the rest of the way, gaining confidence as I went along. I had finally found an open spot toward the end and decided to swim it in, when the next wave of swimmers, the 35 and under males, caught up to me. I ended up finishing doing the breast stroke.

I swam the half mile swim in 16:04 and ranked 256/405.

There was about a tenth of a mile run up a hill to the transition. I found my bike fairly easy, thanks to Steve and Kate being at the end of the row yelling at me. I had my long sleeve tech shirt with my bib number on it to wear for the ride and run. I should have run a towel down my arms because it took a bit to get it on, but that was the only problem I had. Looking back now, I didn't really need the long sleeve shirt but I had the bib pinned on so I was stuck.

Transition 1 time: 4:36.

Heading out onto the road, I had to watch out for the speedy 35 and under males who rode a bit more aggressively than I do. It made me a little nervous as anytime I was out riding, I was by myself, only needing to watch/listen for cars and wildlife. I settled in, and while I was passed a bunch, I did start picking off people. There were spotters along the way yelling at you if it looked like you were drafting. I heard them twice but don't think I was the culprit. The first time, I was stuck in a pack of four or five riders trying to get around a slower rider. The second time, someone was coming up behind me.

The route was an out and back on rolling hills. It felt a lot like riding down the east shore of the lake. I kept moving, changing gears as necessary and attacking the hills.

I finished the 18 mile ride in 58:12, an average of 18.6 mph. Ranked 199/405.

Coming into the second transition on the bike, I was a little unsure of where I needed to get off so I slowed down much sooner than needed. No biggie because in this transition, all I needed to do was dump the helmet and take off. I also grabbed part of a poptart in hopes of sopping up a bunch of the lake water sloshing around in my stomach.

Transition two: 53 seconds.

The beginning of the run was on a trail that took you to the road. It was sandy and uneven - not a good combination for jello biking legs. Around a half mile, I think my legs were back. The rest of the run was fairly uneventful. Rolling hills once again (a lot like the route I run around the lake here) and more people. I'm working on trying to recognized when I'm going down hill and enjoy it rather than get to an uphill and wonder where was the down/easy section (that may not make sense but it's one of those things I've been thinking about lately - probably needs its own post).

I kept it together and was really happy to see the turn into the camp meaning there was a quarter of a mile left and a nice downhill into the finish. One of the volunteers screamed at me to keep going. I picked up the pace down the hill, saw Kate and Steve at the final turn and crossed the mat.

4.5 mile run: 39:21, 8:45 mile per minute pace. Ranked 214/405.

Final results: 1:59:08
Overall place: 223/405
Gender place: 55/141
Division place: 10/31

I had a lot of fun and will definitely do more triathlons (I'm already looking at a sprint in September). I need to work on swimming in open water. I really don't have any excuses as I can walk five blocks to the local swimming area. That, and I just need to swim (the three or four times I swam in preparation for this event didn't cut it and I knew that going in).

My knees are kind of sore when I stand up after sitting for a while, but that is all. I didn't do my scheduled 12 mile run today but I'll get that in tomorrow and switch around my rest day this week.

My numbers are still on my legs and arms - kind of funny looking this morning at church. A couple of people asked/commented on the numbers. I laughed and explained one was my race number and now everyone knows how old I am.

I may post a couple of pictures tomorrow.

Sorry for the long post but I hope you enjoyed it.


Joe S said...

Great job!!! Congratulations!!! It's a little weird, huh? :-)

Mom on the Run said...

Thanks Joe!

The whole swim thing was weird. I swam on a team in high school and, although I was slow, felt really comfortable. But there are no waves and you can see everything in a pool.

I'm not sure if it was the issue of not being able to see where I was, avoiding arms and legs and hitting others, or just not wanting to end up going the wrong way that got me. I have a friend who does a lot of open water swimming so I might try to hook up with her.

What about you? Are you up for another one?

Regina said...

Wow! That is a great race. I was going to ask where the pics are? It's why I bring my husband along. I had an end spot on the bike rack at the tri I did last month, it was great. Of course it also means getting there early and then just hanging around.

You really kicked butt on the bike (ok, you are also much better on the run than I am as well).

Great work! Congrats!

Nikki said...

You go, girl!
And to think I was exhausted Saturday just from standing in line.
Good job :)