YAY! I did it! I finished my first sprint distance triathlon! It was absolutely wonderful! As promised I want to give you a race recap.. Feel free to check out the course over at the race website or from my post about it!
So I arrived on Belle Isle around 6am, I went and set up my run transition (T2) since it was by the finish line. Then I picked up my timing chip and walked back to my car to get my bike and head towards T1. Luckily my parents passed me while I was at my car so I didn’t have to find them later.
We walked together over to T1 (where you set up your bike to get once you get out of the water).. I was getting pretty nervous at this point.. But I tried to calm my nerves.. I set up my bike and probably stared at it for a good 15 minutes to make sure that everything was there.. It was, I was just getting scared that I’d forget something big.
After setting up T2 I had a good hour+ to kill before my wave went off for the swim (we started at 8:35am). I got my body markings then still had time so I just got to hang out with my parents and meet a new Level teammates! Here I was getting a Hammer Gel out of my bag to put in my jersey!
It was finally time to put on my wetsuit and get ready for the swim.. Had to tell here but I was SOOOOOO nervous! It made me feel a little bit better to see that through almost all of our course the olympic distance triathletes were able to walk because it was so shallow.
Ok, so the swim was HORRIBLE. The water was rough and I’m definitely not well prepared for open water swims, it’s definitely the thing I need to work on for next race!
I decided to position myself to the inside of the pack but near the back. I didn’t want to get caught up in the frenzy of kicking and pulling. The swim out to the first buoy was rough. The water was cold (62deg!) and on top of that it I was super nervous for the open water swim. I started to swim some of it, but for some reason I’m not very comfortable with swimming with my head in the water in open water, so I was increasing my drag and not helping myself. I ended up walking a good bit of it until it dropped of before the buoy and I had to swim again. Then on the way back to the second buoy, even though we were going with the current, we were going against the wind. This means that I got a good handful of waves to the face.. not a good experience on a first open water swim! I laid on my back and kicked (there weren’t people close to me so I could do this without kicking someone) which helped calm me down a bit, but then I’d get a wave over my head and get a mouth full of water again.. It’s safe to say that I just need to get in the open water more!
FINALLY made it out of the water and COULDN’T have been happier! I kept telling myself that AFTER the swim was were my race began (I know, being a TRIathlete I need to change that.. but for this race it was needed to be said), so I was SO happy to get to my bike!
(Nice thing about BOTH my parents coming means that both of them were taking pictures! aka: I have a TON of pictures from this race!)
T1 was uneventful. Well, minus that I kept reminding myself not to forget to put my swim gear in the plastic bag so that the race people could take it back to the finish line for me.
The bike was awesome.. I think I’m just a cyclist at heart. It was windy, so one side of the Isle had a nasty head wind, but that means that the other side had a fantastic tail wind.. I mean, on an Isle you just kind of have to live with that! But it was great. Once on the bike, I was still winded, but I knew that I could make up time that I’d lost while walking the swim.. And I’m sure that I did.. I was picking people off left and right.. But seriously.. They had two+ lanes open for us the whole way around so I got VERY good at saying “coming up on your left/right” and passing someone.. It was great.. DEFINITELY not a bad thing to realize that you’ve said 1000times in a race.. I’m also that person that says thank you to the volunteers while I’m racing, so yea, definitely had to do that too..
One part on the bike I thought was particularly funny.. I’m female, obviously, and I passed a guy in a Michigan jersey (he was probably my age).. I think he took it hard that I passed him (on the windy side no less), because he essentially followed me around the Isle, then passed me about where we were making the turn from the tail wind to going back into that head wind.. then I passed him again.. Maybe he was just pacing on me since he was going the Olympic distance and I was just doing the sprint (written on all of our calves were an S for ‘sprint’ or T (or O depending on who did the markings) for ‘olympic’).. Either way, it made me giggle.
THEN got back from the bike to head into T2.
T2 was EXTREMELY uneventful.. Just got into run gear to head out.
Mom caught me on camera just as I was heading out for the run.
I was definitely breathing hard going out on the run.. But I knew that I’d practiced this in brick workouts and that I could do it. I looked at my GPS and I had a pace of 8:42 (or so) and I knew that that would be a good pace for the first two miles (5K = 3.2miles), so I just stuck with it. Once I got to the start of the third mile I kicked it into gear. My GPS later told me that it was a 8:09mile, which I’m MORE than happy with.. So then a final push to the finished and I’d finished my FIRST SPRINT TRIATHLON!!
I was a bit excited!
Then, when the sprint finishers time sheets went up it took me FOREVER to find my name.. There were 8 pieces of paper and I never would have thought that I’d finish somewhere on the third! THEN I started checking the ages of the females that finished in front of me and realized (even though I had to check about 6 times to be sure) that I finished SECOND in my age group!!! No, I have no idea how many people were in my age group, but I finished SECOND! I was so happy & excited! And all I could think about is how I have to get that swimming thing down so that next time I can get first! Either way, I was overly happy!
Upon checking the results online, I actually got 1st in my age group.. The girl that they said got first was in the “Athena” group (150lbs or more).. Race results are here.
Well, that’s Motor City Triathlon in a jiffy! Hope you all have a fabulous Monday! =]