Triathlon Number 1 Recap WHooHOO!

I wanted to write this up sooner when it was still fresh, but other life things got in the way so here we are.

I had a lot of fun at my very first triathlon. The two things I was most anxious about were the open water swim and the transitions – I really had no idea what I was doing with either and they both ended up being just fine.

Swim: 

500 Meters

Time: 14:13
Place: 351/470



The swim was a time trial start, so they basically just said line up where you think you should go based on your speed. Your race number was technically where you would get in. I was number 339 out of 500. Glenn signed me up for this race so I asked him what he put down for the swim an he said I was “average”. Hmmm, I think I’m slower than average so I probably went in about number 400? Not positive.

So many people tell me they freaked out on their first open water swim. I was prepared for that. And I made the decision to not let it happen. When looking out at the water at the buoys and where the turn around was, it look far, but I knew it wasn’t. It was 500 meters. I’ve been swimming 2,000 meters on a very regular basis now for quite a few weeks so the distance shouldn’t have scared me. I’d never done it anywhere but a 25 meter lap pool though.

I got in the water and just took my time and tried to get in a bit of a rhythm. I was sighting probably every fifth stroke or something though because I was afraid to get off course too much. When we turned the straight away to head in, I felt great, I was starting to feel warmed up and was excited to be on the home stretch of my first open water swim.

I wouldn’t say I absolutely loved the swim, but I did absolutely love that there was no freaking out and I  think I might have enjoyed it. It felt good to finish thinking I could have kept going for a lot longer. (good thing, since I’ll do almost 4 times that at Muncie 70.3)

Does my face indicate how excited I was that I finished the swim?

T1:

Time: 2:32
Place: 374/470

Yeah I didn’t really know what I was doing, I just threw everything on and did what I could. I messed with my watch a bit and feel like it took me forever to tie my shoes. I have old hand me down mountain  bike clip ins that my mom gave me 4 years ago. I need to get some velcro ones or something. Plus these ones are a size to big.

Bike:

10 Miles

Time: 34:18
Place: 307/470
Speed: 17.5 MPH

I should have had my watch strapped
around my bike handle like I do when I ride normally. But I didn’t and I jumped on my bike holding my watch. The GPS wasn’t picking up and at around mile 1 I said screw it and stuffed it in the front of my shorts. I’m sure it looked lovely.

I had no idea how fast I was riding but I was trying to ride fast and not burn out too much. I could have rode harder. I liked the course being an out and back because you could see the leaders on the way out and you saw people the whole time.

I think I only got passed by 3 people on the bike and passed around the same. One lady I passed around mile 3, I’d been eyeing her the whole time. I couldn’t hold it though and she passed me right back a minute later. I figured I’d find her on the run, because she looked quite a bit older than me. (not that that means much- the guy who won and is 52.

T2:

Time: 2:14
Place: 385/470

Yikes. Don’t know why I didn’t realize how quick this transition could have been. It was embarrassingly slow. Even though this event was super short, I took a gel because I didn’t eat enough for breakfast and figured I could hammer the run better with some energy.

Run:

3 Miles

Time: 19:51
Place: 38/470
Speed: 6:37/Mi Pace

The run starts going up a big hill. It’s kind of like WHAAAA? There were some people walking up it. I was ready to work though. Got up the hill heavy breathing and all and took off. The rest of the run was flat but really hot in the sun.

It felt good to just pass every single person I could. I was passing groups of people at a time. I did not get passed on the run. At the turn around I saw a girl kind of cruising behind me and it motivated me to keep up the pace. My watch was being funny again, surprise surprise, so I wasn’t sure of my exact pace at the time, but knew it was sub 7 so I was happy with that. The whole watch thing is tricky with three events- do you clear for each discipline?

Here is the video of my run finish:


Overall: 

Time: 1:13:09
Place: 201/470
Female: 28
Age Group: 2

*I’m not sure how many females were out there and I’m not sure how many people were actually in my age group.

Thoughts my finish:

  • If I took even a minute off of my total transition time, it would have put me at 185/470. There is no real reason I should have taken that long to transition. You learn though. 
  • Running fast can only move you up so far- it moved me up over 100 places, which is good, but if I could get stronger on the bike especially, I could rock this a lot better.’
  • I need to be a more confident swimmer. I’ve been putting the time in, I can swim faster than I think I can, I need to execute better form. 

Other thoughts:

I had my bike fitting today for Muncie 70.3.
The owner of T3, explained to me how much I’m slowing myself down with the bike I ride. My mom gave me this bike 5 or so years ago and it weighs nearly 26 lbs. He said with a lighter bike I could easily take 2-4 mph off my bike time. It was discouraging to hear that, although I’m not super competitive with triathlon at this time, I hate to think of 10-15 minutes being added to my time simply because my bike is terrible. That seems like a lot of freaking time! He also talked about how it would effect my run because my legs would be more fatigued. For now though, we’ve decided I’m going to ride it out with my old heavy bike. Maybe it will make me feel that much more tough at Muncie. And I’ll secretly be hating you if you pass me on a fancy bike.

Kyle, Glenn, Marshall and Chrissy were out cheering. Chrissy probably knew like everyone there. And Erika on the far right competed as well. She is doing a full Iron Distance in two weeks!

Comments

  1. Well done! Yes, for those short tris transitions make a hell of a difference. Have your bike shoes clipped into the pedals and just jump on, pedal on the shoes and get your feet in as you ride – I’m sure you’ve seen it on TV. Bike to run, elastic laces, no socks. No gel.

    Yes, bike is where you’ll save the most time, so practise that the most. Maybe hire a light bike for the 70.3, or borrow one. You can hire light/fast wheels too which would make a difference. Anyway, have fun training for it!

    1. Thank you! Oh my- I didn’t want to stress about the transitions ahead of time, but I should have thought about it more than I did! I have to tie my shoes is the only thing- I don’t think I can just slip into them! No socks on the run??? That’s asking for blisters! I def didn’t need the gel, not sure what I was thinking there! Good idea about borrowing a bike- I’m going to ask around. Why not?!

  2. Nice feakin job!!! I bet people didn’t know what hit em when you blew by on the run. I have to imagine pacing yourself for something like this is pretty difficult. The picture of you coming off the swim is priceless!! Should go on the race brochure!

    1. Thanks lady! Yeah the run was funny- it was like I was in a different race than everyone else. Most of the faster runners had probably been done for awhile when I was out on the run course!

  3. Awesome job! You did great not getting freaked out and finishing strong! I’m excited for my first. What would you do differently in transition? And though you aren’t competitive in triathlon right now it must be a good feeling to know that you could take so much time off with a different bike. Then you know if you do become more competitive one of the areas that you could improve quickly! Congrats on triathlon number 1! Can’t wait to read about Muncie!

    1. Thanks Meghan! When is your first again?? In transition, I would just be more prepared to hustle, I saw a guy like sitting down and taking his time, so I thought, oh no big rush. haha. I had my stuff laid out in front of my bike and I think I will do it more toward the bike next time. Did you get signed up for your half yet? Thanks again!! Muncie will be here before I know it!!

  4. Nice work getting your first triathlon under your belt. I’m glad you had fun! That’s why we do these things, right!?! As for your watch (it’s a Garmin?), it should have a multi-sport function that you can use so that you only have to hit “Lap” and it will switch from bike to T2 to run without you having to clear your time. …and another tip is to turn your watch on pre-swim and leave it in transition. That way it will have the satellite set by the time you need it for the bike. Hope that helps! Three and a half weeks until Muncie!!!

    1. Thank you!! Yes- exactly, if it was fun why would we do it- the most fun was definitely getting out of the water I think! My watch is a soles…. it’s the most basic GPS out there. Good call on having it on my bike already and having it turned on ready to go… then get it off as the bike is coming to an end. Fumbling with it was not cool. How is your training going??

  5. I completely agree that getting out of the water is the most fun! 😛 Good job staying cool and collected on your swim though… that is a huge accomplishment in itself. I wish I could figure out your secret!

    My taining’s going well. Finished up my last race at Muncie (before the big one) a week and a half ago… it was my fastest Olympic distance to date so I’m excited about that. I have one more race this weekend in Pleasant Prairie, WI to iron out any last minute kinks (mostly in my swim) and another long 65 mile or so bike ride the week after. Then its time for taper! I can’t believe Muncie came up so fast!

    1. Thanks! I’m excited about it. Think it will be fun and challenging of course. Excited for the finish line feeling.

  6. Try elastic laces – you an buy them esp for tris. All Olympic level triathletes use them and they’re running 10k. Just slip on shoes and run – save 20 to 30 seconds. practise on a run, also no socks – you won’t get blisters over 5k. For 70.3 though transition time not so crucial.

  7. I haven’t had the chance to tell you how happy I am for you! I was thinking about you all day on Saturday. Someday I hope to follow in your footsteps. Belle

  8. Wow! That’s awesome, congratulations! I did my first sprint triathlon at Eagle Creek too last summer and it was tough but I love that park so it’s pretty nice. That first hill is hard but you get to go flying down it at the end so there’s your perk!

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