Yesterday I raced that first triathlon I've been working towards. It's funny to think it's over. I am so used to training mode. I finished the (Olympic distance) race in 3:05:53. I figured it would take me 3:15 so not too shabby. That time was good enough for #519 overall out of 770 and #69 in my age group out of 86. I was a part of the 35-39 age group. Apparently they didn't get the memo that I stopped aging at 19. It's a lower placing than I'm used to from running races but then 4 months ago I had just purchased a bike and I hadn't been swimming laps in 30 years.
What follows is an in-depth recap of my day. Hope you enjoy the ride so to speak.
I got up at 4:45. Phew that's early! I decided to eat more than I usually do before a morning workout and let the food settle a bit. I think that was a mistake. I'm just not used to so much food in the morning and my stomach gave me various levels of discomfort throughout the race. Nothing serious but I often felt a cramp coming on and at the top of one hill (on the bike) I was pretty close to putting on a regurgitation show.
I've noticed that lots of other people drink coffee before their races. What is up with that? I won't tell you how I know but you probably can guess.
Before I jumped in the water, Roby and Dejah arrived with their crazy signs. I can't believe anyone would come watch me race for 3+ hours but there they were at 6:45am.
more of my head than anyone needs to see
1500m in 36:27. Placed 623/770
trying to talk myself into the 67 degree water
As we gathered at the start line, a lone duck drifted directly in our path on the other side of the line. Unlike me, he had no fear!
start line, the duck had vacated
Let me just tell it like it is. Swimming in the ocean is disgusting. The water tastes terrible and you can't see anything. Add the chaos of a race and this part of the race is easily my least favorite.
I have no idea how to swim in a straight line outside of a pool where there is a line on the bottom. If I had a waterproof GPS watch, the resulting map would have been hilariously zig-zagged. I'm sure I swam much more than 1500m with all the meandering. I crashed into a lifeguard's surfboard at one point while I was off-course.
I was in the white heat which was men, 35-39. After us were the blue and green heats. How do I know that? The faster swimmers in those heats passed me easily. Oftentimes one on each side of me. Scary!
Finally I rounded the last turn only to be kicked in the head. I was so happy to be nearly done I didn't care. It was probably karma for me giving another guy a good grope earlier.
transition #1 (swim to bike)
At 8:17, I was almost the slowest in the whole field. Eh, I wanted to eat my cookie!
40km (25 miles) in 1:27:20. Placed 558/770
out of yucky wetsuit and ready to cycle
Even though it was cloudy, the bike route was scenic going up and down Point Loma. That's one thing I don't like about biking compared to running - I can't take pictures! Like always on the bike I passed people going uphill and they passed me going down. Actually, that only happened the first half. By the second half I had left most of those people in the dust. I think some people got competitive and pushed too hard. It's an endurance race.
Speaking of passing people, your bib number and age are written on your legs and arms. This seems cruel to me. (What, a 44-year-old just passed me!?) But more cruel for others than for me. It was the 24-year-olds saying that about me for the most part. Heh heh. Next time I do this I'm going to ask them to write "90" on my leg.
transition #2 (bike to run)
This one was better, I was middle of the pack. Still managed a bite of cookie.
10km (6.2 miles) in 51:11. Placed 329/770
A lot of people complain that they have "rubbery legs" when they get off the bike. I have "bouncy legs." They are somewhat numb but I start out super speedy! I had to slow myself down over and over because my legs wanted to go at a 7:30 pace but I would have died trying to keep that up.
As expected, I passed tons of people on this leg since it's my strongest. Most of them were older since the their heat started before mine.
Thanks Roby for the video!
At about mile 3, I spotted my friend Monika. She came to cheer me on too with crazy signage!
the best sign at the race
Around mile 4 I hit a divot but was ok. That would have been horrifying to sprain my ankle at that point!
Finally, the end. I met my only real goal of the day - having enough energy to sprint towards the finish.
Though my stomach felt less than perfect during the race, within 30 minutes I was at Point Loma seafoods ordering a huge halibut sandwich. I was fully recovered. That fish went down!
A lot of people have asked me how tired/sore I am afterwards. Not bad, my quads tightened up some on the way home. But now one day later I could go out for some activity. When I ran the half marathon in June my upper leg muscles were definitely more sore.
And many more people ask what I'm going to do next. That's an easy one. Watch football! Thanks again to Christine, Dejah, Monika and Roby for coming out!
I may have crazy hair but I'm done