Sunday, June 28, 2009

Well, I was named after the Bionic Woman.

So, a few months ago, my pal Barb quit smoking.
She decided to do a Triathlon to deal with it.
I decided to support her and go along for the ride. And the swim. And the run.

On Sunday, June 28th, I completed my first Sprint Triathlon.

The day started at 4:45am. I hadn't really thought about breakfast so ended up having cold pizza and a Peppermint Patty.
Breakfast of Champions, right?

We arrived at the race site at 5:45am.

The instructions they sent over the day prior made the pre-race period seem complicated but in the end we easily got everything done (get chipped, body marked, set up transition area). They write your number all over your body and on the back of your leg they also write you age. Er.

Prior to the race, all participants submitted a 100m swim time. This time determined you start time for the swim. I didn't want to get trampled by other swimmers so I was very conservative about my time. Turns out I could have trampled some of the people in front of me. Next time I won't pad my swim time. And, I've got to get comfortable passing people (you need to tap them on the foot or grab their ankle or something) and I'll do flip turns as well (it just felt too crowded for that). Even with the slowdown of the folks in front of me I was ranked #42 for swimming out of 150+ women. I'm proud of this and know I can beat it.

I need to work on my transitions "wardrobe changes" if you will. My transition time from swimming to riding was almost as long as my swim. Doh! I'm definitely going to get a tri suit and I'll also remember to do basic things like have my shoes untied so that I can slip them on (I will also get the plastic things that tie your shoes for you). Silly rookie mistakes! I also need to research using sneakers and toe cages for the ride instead of clip ons. I guess the question is how much time do clip on shoes save versus how much time it take to put them on and take them off?

Here's me after the race with more thoughts on transitions

The ride was really nice. As people were passing me, I admit I was curious when they had started. I was seeing a lot of low numbers like 40, 56, 28, etc and I thought to myself "Damn, I'm #175 and I'm with the folks at the front of the pack." Until I remember that I was looking at their ages, not their start numbers. Whoops.

I took the ride as an opportunity to hydrate. Somehow I managed to drop my waterbottle while riding. It was a Carleton College Reunion waterbottle I had just gotten the weekend prior and it killed me not to stop and get it. And, I was worried about littering (concern about littering seemed to be a theme during this tri!).

I was most worried about the run. It's my weakest leg of the tri and I had to do it after a swim and a ride. My goal was just to run the whole run. And I did! It was also hillier than anything I had ever done but I made it. Hooray again. The water stations were intriguing. It's very hard to run and drink (Ahem, drink water). And when I was done I did not know what to do with the cup. Especially given what I had heard about being disqualified for littering. At the second water station I asked (while I was still running) and they told me just to throw it to the side. "Really?" I asked (still running). "I can litter?" Finally, I just threw the cup on the road. How liberating.

In the end, I was happy. I made it. And now I'm hooked. I'm planning on doing another Sprint Tri on August 9th. My birthday! I want to have a nice dinner at Bella Monica with my pals the night before and then hope some of them can attend the race the next morning to cheer me on. I think I can improve a lot now that I know how this works. I know for sure I can bring down my transition times. And, I want to up the distances a bit so I'm looking at an Olympic Tri in October.

Hey, I was named after the bionic woman, after all.

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