This was my first Olympic distance triathlon. I did a sprint on a mountain bike 5 years ago and did the Bethesda sprint last month. Last year, I did the swim in a relay team for Columbia with fellow member, friend, and training partner Laurie Travisano. We thought it would be “fun” to try the whole thing. Bought a bike in October and started training. Couldn’t have done it without the YMCA. Have swum with the master’s team there since it began and started taking spin classes to work on the biking. It’s a terrific place full of friendly, supportive people (thanks Troy!) Picked up lots of tips/advice along the way from MMTC members Bill Wheeler and Don Knott. I’m thankful to have gotten so much support, especially trying to learn to bike!
Swim: Immediately started hyperventilating upon entering the water. Concentrated on continually putting my face in and swimming around before the start. By the time we started, I had gotten my breathing under control. Swam over to the right with the masses and quickly got kicked in the face, though I’m happy to say there was no blood or nose breaking involved. Had trouble swimming straight and kept veering right. It kept me out of the traffic, but I think I went too far over and had to keep adjusting left to get back to the buoy. Felt better in the backstretch, but was cognizant not to kick hard or get too tired. Probably should have pushed harder. Overall, the swim was OK.
Swim Time: 28:35
T1: Was a little lightheaded coming out of the swim, forgot to start unzipping the wetsuit. Sat on a bucket to get on my bike gear (thanks for that suggestion Greg S.), I think that helped with the dizziness.
Bike: Had issues getting clipped in and almost bit it on the curb…very graceful way to start. I was anxious about the whole bike etiquette/passing/no-drafting thing. I tried to remember what Don kept saying about not going out too fast. I felt fine, but knew I had to concentrate on drinking during the ride. Hydration seems to be an issue with me that I still haven’t worked out. Tried experimenting with things during training, but most made me nauseous. Stuck with water, but only managed to drink about half a water bottle through the ride. Felt fine the whole way though and thought I’d be in good shape for the run.
Run: OK, wrong about feeling good. Legs were fine, but my stomach was upset. Decided I swallow my pride and try walking up the first hill. Didn’t help, still wanted to hurl. I was ¼ of the way around the lake when I heard Laurie yell she was right behind me. She threatened, bribed, and cajoled me through the rest of the run. OK well, maybe not all that but she definitely pushed and encouraged me, despite my pleas to “just go…I’ll see you at the end”! In the end, my finish was ideal for me. I was way under what I thought I’d finish in and I crossed literally, together with my friend Laurie. We could make one of those commercials: entry fee $75, shopping spree to buy gear to look like a triathlete many $$, crossing the finish line with a best buddy…priceless. It could have been a Hallmark moment if only I could have stopped trying to yak!
Thanks to this club for your help, resources, and support. I was amazed at how well-run this event was. I guess that’s why Vigo, the CTA, and all the volunteers have such a phenomenal reputation…outstanding job! Finally, thanks most of all to my biggest support…my family. 5 kids ranging from 3 to 9 and one amazing husband; couldn’t have done it without you…you’re the best!!