After words of encouragement I decided to go ahead and race in the Splash, Pedal, Gasp triathlon yesterday. I went into it with the attitude that it was a long workout, not a race. And though I came in second to last overall (make shame!) I am still glad I sucked it up and did it and I have learned valuable lessons for the future.
Here is a quick recap of my race.
The swim portion took place in a 50m pool. When I saw the length of this pool I got so nervous I seriously considered grabbing my bike and leaving. I had given a seed time of 15:00 so I was in the slow lane. Getting into the water and talking with the other racers in my lane it was pretty much the same story, first timers who were really nervous.
The swim went so much better than expected. I panicked during the first two laps because I couldn’t catch my breath. I was using the three strokes one breath method I was taught in my triathlon training course back in university. After two laps I started taking a breath on every right hand stroke and lo and behold the swim became a lot easier and I was able to catch my breath.
My swim time was 13:48
My transition in the bike area was slow. I hadn’t adjusted my helmet before hand and I was dizzy from the swim so I moved very slowly getting out of there.
Once I started it felt good. I forgot how much I enjoy riding on the road, zipping along and enjoying the view. My butt and thighs were killing me but I pushed through it the best I could and chugged along. One thing I noticed was that my butt and inner thighs would get numb after a bit so I would stand up for a few seconds, let the blood flow and sit back down and go. Anyone know why this is? I’m guessing I have my seat arranged incorrectly I just don’t know how.
Coming into the transition area, I forgot my feet were strapped in and I came VERY close to falling over.
My bike time was 57:41
Oh the run after the bike. Your legs are jelly and you wonder “how the hell am I going to finish?” Off I went and as soon as I was out of sight of the crowd I began to walk. The run was mainly a walk/run until I came up to the last km. You see, Runners Soul race planners are sadistic and like to make people finish on hills. The Moonlight Run ends with a long ass hill and so does the Splash, Pedal, and Gasp.
I walked so slowly up that hill I was glad I was so far back so no one could see me. I almost cried on a couple of occasions and I honestly thought I would NEVER make it! When I finally made it to the top and had a flat 50m left to the finish line I started to jog and my left quad seized up. I have never had a muscle seize up on me before! I’ve torn a muscle but not a seize. But seize up it did and I did not want to walk over the finish line so I limped that last 50m and finished my race.
My run time was 43:49
FINAL TIME 1:55:19
- TRAIN! Yes I did it without training but it was hard and my time was slow
- Make sure your top doesn’t drag in the swim (I wore a sports bra)
- Practice your transitions and have as much ready as possible (helmet straps adjusted, headphones detangled)
- Have more than one energy gel. I had one that I ate halfway through the race and I really wish I had another while I started the run. It may have helped.
- Drink powerade! I almost never drink it because of the sodium, but in a triathlon in the heat, it will really help
- Lube up your inner thighs before the race! Oh man! I am paying for this one. My inner thighs are rubbed raw today. Make sure you have vaseline or some other lotion, gel or lube to keep that painful rash away
- Bring support! Ryan offered to go but I figured he would be a grump waiting around all morning but it was really depressing to cross the finish line and have no one there to congratulate you or care. I won’t be doing races any more without a cheer squad
Now I am prepared for the Magrath Triathlon this July and I intend to actually do okay because my training starts this week! For reals!