Sunday, September 29, 2013

My First Triathlon

Last weekend, I did my first triathlon!  Yeah, I can't believe it either... but I did it! I did the Redman Half Distance Triathlon in Oklahoma City.

That's... 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run.   (I didn't exactly start with the shortest distance)

A little background:  When I decided to do the tri I knew I could bike 56 miles, I knew I could run a half marathon, but I knew I couldn't swim.  So 1.2 miles of swimming? No problem right???

I am going to save you all the details of pre race and all and get straight to the triathlon.

1st...the swim!

So, I swam in the very last wave to start.... The SAFETY WAVE!!! That wave was for beginners or people that are slower swimmers and might need a less crowded start... Well, that's me... So, we had to walk out into the water to get to the starting point...and as we were walking in, they were playing bag pipes... that made it kind of eerie... So now the start signal sounds and everyone starts swimming, so I did...but then I realized I had forgot to put my goggles on.  So, I stopped, got those situated, and was on my merry way.  Remember I said I couldn't swim? Well, I worked on it over the summer and got adequate at it... but by no means good.  Well, I started the swim and I think I forgot everything I learned.  My arms just flailed around and I probably looked like someone had just thrown me in water for the first time ever.  So, I am swimming along, swallowing water, breathing water, all that good stuff, when I finally get to the first turn.  I look at my watch and I am 37 minutes in.  At this point I give my self a little pep talk and tell myself to focus and remember what I had learned.  I got into a better rhythm after that.  Then, a little later, a volunteer asked if I was ok.  [First off, I heard her ask... Second... I must have looked awful] I told her I was, and then she gave me a peppy "you can do it!"   Well no freaking way???? I wouldn't be out in the water if I didn't think I could.  Haha.  Well, I ended up finishing the swim in 1 hour and 12 minutes.  This is very very very very slow... but I will take it. I was actually hoping for a 1:15. 

Next, transition 1.

Why worry about my transitions when I have such a slow swim time? Not me! I was there to have fun anyway.  So, I sat down, and started on my feast of food.  I had a peanut butter sandwich, and a little bit of the following : chocolate milk, mike and ikes, bbq chips, and mountain dew.  I must have been comical to onlookers... I put my shirt on wrong to begin with and got all tangled up in it.  Yeah, people must have been looking and laughing :). 

Now, the bike ride!

I liked the course and enjoyed the bike portion for sure!  The course was mega easy compared to the hills I had been riding on and the wind was not bad either.   I kept a pretty consistent speed the whole time and actually got a little faster the 2nd half.  I surprised myself because I really hadn't biked as much as I should have.  I ended up finishing the bike portion...56 miles in 3 hours and 19 minutes.  That was a 16.9 mph average and I was very very pleased with that.

Transition 2.

Again, it was comical. I was ready to leave and then I couldn't find my inhaler, so I am having to rummage through everything.  Rookie mistake! 

Last...the RUN!

Want to know how to make a running not as enjoyable?  Be a triathlete!  [or maybe be an undertrained triathlete?]  The run started off pretty good, although I knew I was going too fast.  I was sub 8 pace the first two miles and I knew that wasn't going to hold... my mistake and I know better than that.  I settled into a pretty good rhythm though and slowed my pace up.  The run course was very flat and it was an out back that I had to do twice.  I don't mind out and backs to begin with so this didn't really bother me.  The aid stations were wonderful!!! The were well stocked with great stuff... I was able to get gu, oranges, pretzels, Gatorade, sprite, water... and lots of other stuff that I didn't partake in... including pickle juice?  The support on the course was also complaints at all about it.  Well, besides being tired. :)  So, at mile 10.. I started cramping up.  I don't really cramp up ever, and I had thought I had hydrated and got enough electrolytes in me... guess not.  My pace slowed way up because I had to keep stopping for a cramp or skipping a few steps.  Grrrr... Finally, I get to the finish line...  and I want to kick it to the finish...but yep...a cramp while I am on the red carpet... about 20 feet from the finish line.  I had to run it in and try and hide the grimace.  My final time was 2:00:26 seconds.  Stupid cramps... Not as good as I had hoped to do, but for my first tri, I can't really complain I guess.

So, for my first half ironman... I finished in 6:47 minutes.  I know I will never aspire to be a triathlete...running is where I will stay focused. I know it! I  do know I want to go back and do Redman Half again. I want to improve my swim...I have a long way to go there! With that, I will improve my transition times... I think I can get close to being sub 6 with just a few small changes...and that's the plan!

Next up... BQ!