I have finished my first sprint distance triathlon. WOW! What an experience! The whole event was AWESOME. I was so scared I could not think straight but I finished the entire race in a respectable 1:52.
The night before the race I met some of the other first time triathletes for dinner. I had pizza which I figured out the next day was not such a good idea before a swim. Well at least not my first swim. It was pouring the rain outside and I was a nervous wreck. Of course it did not help that the race director changed the bike course at 6pm the night before the race either.
After dinner I went home to pack my gear and get to bed early. Ha! What was I thinking. After packing everything in my house except the bathroom sink, I fell into the bed. Sleep was not going to come however I was just too scared. As I watched each hour pass on the clock, I wondered what I was thinking.
The alarm went off at 5am. I got out of bed, put on my tri suit and loaded my car. It was still damp outside and a bit chilly but I like running in the cold so I was not worried. What was I thinking? As I drove into Moss Park, I saw all of the experienced triathletes milling around looking oh so prepared. I thought about turning around but I decided well what is the worst that could happen? I parked my car and headed over to the transition area to set my stuff out.
As the time inched closer to the race start of 8am the butterflies in my stomach became Japanese Zero pilots dive bombing Pearl Harbor. I walked to the swim start and put my feet in the water. HOLY CRAP! The water was 69 degrees. No I did not have a wet suit on. There were very few competitors wearing wet suits so I decided I did not want to look like a chicken. Next time I am opting for looking like a chicken and being warm.
3 - 2 - 1 the race started and we are off. My swim coach Karen came out to swim with me not as a race participant but just to make sure I as able to finish. THANKS SO MUCH KAREN! For the first part of the swim, I was so cold I could not catch my breath so I rolled over on my back and did the back stroke just to keep moving. Suddenly I was at the first bouy. WOW I can do this!! I kept swimming and after about 25 minutes I was getting out of the water and onto the beach.
What you might ask was the first thing I heard after exiting the water - GO COACH BETH! A few of my runners that I had coached during this past WDW Marathon season had come to cheer me on! I think this was just the incentive I needed to get past my fear and get the run to transition done and get my bike gear on.
I put on my shoes and bike helmet, gloves etc and walked my bike through the grass and sand to the road and hopped on. Once again Karen was waiting for me. She would ride the bike course with me to help me with anything I needed. The first few miles were tough. I was still freezing from the swim, dripping wet and getting comfortable on the bike. So my speed was a bit slow at 15 mph but I was getting the mileage done. After about 6 miles I started to warm up and get more comfortable. I was able to maintain a 17-18 min per mile pace through the end. I still haven't figured out the eating and drinking on the bike. It will take some more practice so I was a bit thirsty and hungry when I headed into T2.
I changed from my bike gear to my run gear as quickly as I could. My watch said 1:19 and I was off on the run. Just under a 5k left and I would be done with my first triathlon!!!!
I crossed the finish line at 1:52 and some change with a big smile on my face. I DID IT!
Now off to find the next race!