You know you are an experienced triathlete when.....
1. You show up at packet pick-up 20 minutes before the race starts.
2. The race officials say there is no more room on the bike rack so you use a hole and a tree to rack your bike and set up your transition area.
3. The first thing you pull out of your tri bag to set up your transition area is the bra you took off when you put on your tri outfit.
Yes all of those things happened to me last night and NO they really don't make me a very experienced triathlete. However they do make for a good blog.
I am registered for the Lake Louisa Sprint Triathlon series. There are six events, one each month through September. I registered for them just for the transition practice which I need. These races are the low key no bells and whistles kind of race to use for training. There are not any race numbers, body marking is optional and the turn-around buoy in the lake is an alligator raft.
The race was scheduled to start at 6pm with packet pick-up opening at 5pm. I left work around 4:15, picked up the kids and was off. One of my co-workers who I am training for a half marathon, Richard was going with me to do his first tri. Here is where the hysteria started.
Richard put his bike on my bike rack. Being the naive trusting person I am, I did not make sure that he strapped it on correctly. So no sooner than I have gotten on the expressway than I noticed in the rear view mirror that his bike was hanging on by one strap only and appeared ready to take flight. I quickly pulled over on the side of the expressway and Richard adjusted the bike this time making sure the straps were tight. On the road again.....
We reach Clermont at about 5pm. Good time considering traffic was heavy. The girls were in the back talking about being hungry but I figured if I ignored them they would forget about everything when we got to the tri....What was I thinking. After passing a couple of fast food restaurants and gas stations, Richard said "Are you going to get the girls some food?" I was like no , I was planning on letting them wait. After all I knew I would be done with the race in under an hour and figured I would stop then to feed them. Well Richard had to potty so I agreed to stop. Of course the girls had to get out as well. So I went through the drive through, grabbed some happy meals and pulled around to wait. Much to my surprise the girls were out of the bathroom and into the car before Richard. Hmm does someone have a nervouse stomach? LOL
Richard came out eventually, on the road again.....
We arrived and parked at 5:35. We still had to pick up our packets, rack our bikes, set out transition gear and make it to the beach before the race start. I got out of the car and immediately went to packet pick-up. I am in race mode now. No time for dilly-dallying. Richard's wife met us out there so he went over to her for a chat. I quick grabbed my packet, ran back to the car telling Richard we had to hurry up. Thank goodness I had the forethought to change into my tri outfit before I drove over to Clermont.
I grabbed my transition bag out of the truck, my helmet and bike and was ready to head to the bike transition to rack my bike. Meanwhile, Richard was filling his bike bottles......Again this is his first race and I am in race mode so I have to be honest and say I should have been nicer and more helpful but I was worried about not making the swim start.
I get Richard and his gear to follow me, we head into transition. The race official says there is no more room on the racks for bikes just park your bike on the side. Well that would be all well and good but I don't have a kickstand. So I found a tree with a border around it and leaned my bike on that. I laid down my mat opened the bag and grabbed my bra. Lord knows what I was planning to do with that. I turned beet red and then quick stuffed it back into the bag. Took out my bike gear, running gear, grabbed the kids and said "Let's get to the beach." Guess what, Richard was not ready. Poor guy. Next time I need to give him more than 15mins time for sure. At least Tina, his wife was there to help him. We finished getting him setup and ran over to the beach just in time to see the professionals start. Next went the men, Richard was off. I had another minute to wait before my start so I looked out at the first couple of waves. To my surprise, they were running through the water. The lake was only ankle deep no way to swim. OH NO! I am supposed to get out of the water with fresh legs.
Now I am off. The water was remarkable warm or so I thought. Since it was only ankle deep at this point the sun had warmed it up. As we closed in on the alligator raft, the water was about knee level and now it was freezing. I got completely in the water and tried to swim but my hands were hitting the sand at the bottom of the lake and people were running around me. I stood up and decided to run the rest of the way in.
Out of the water, across the beach, up the boardwalk and down the road to the bike transition. Quick looked over to see Richard putting on his helmet and heading out onto the bike course. I put on my helmet, bike shoes, gloves and off I went. Out of the transition onto the bike course, mounted the bike. Clipped my left foot into the pedal and pushed down on the right foot. No go. The right shoe would not clip in. Wow the night is getting better! I just started hammering away on the bike obviously with my left leg doing most of the work but I did not want to quit.
The bike course was full of rolling hills. Now those of you who know me know I am terrified of hills and have never completed a workout or race that had hill on the bike without walking some part of it either because I could not change to a low enough gear or because the bike slowed to a stop and I had to walk. WELL TONIGHT WAS MY NIGHT!! I made up all the hills and even passed people as well. Of course a couple of people passed me but nothing like before.
As I was on the return leg of the bike I caught up to and passed Richard. As I was going by I said "You aren't going to let me beat you are you?" :-) Of course I was just giving him a hard time. I headed back into transition and racked my bike. Bike shoes switched to run shoes and off on the run. Can you just say screaming left quad and hamstring. Normally my legs are a bit wobbly and I need to adjust from the bike to the run but this was bad. My left leg was screaming stop and my right leg was like WOW I get to do something. It took me until the halfway point to be able to synchronize my legs. I turned around and headed back.
As I was heading back, I passed Richard on his way out. "Did you not pick the cone up and bring it back with you?" He asks. I just laughed, grabbed his water bottle took and swig and said get moving. I turned and completed my run.
I forgot to turn my watch off of course but I know I was 3 minutes ahead of the clock so the distance took me about 54 minutes! Yeah! Richard came across the line in 1:01. Awesome job!
I so cannot wait until my next event! Doing a long swim and a long, hilly bike this weekend! Wish me luck!