I woke at 2:50am and quickly pulled on my TRI clothing and started my trek from Frederick. Having done the Disney Marathon with their insane 5:40am start time, I learned to extend my sleep the night before.
I consumed my first 22oz bottle of Ironman Perform and Powerbar as I drove. Once I arrived at the park and waited for transition to open, I sat in my car and consumed my second 22oz bottle and Powerbar.
This was my first triathlon and not having even attended an event in the past, I was feeling nervous when I entered the transition area. I put air in my tires before I started laying out my equipment. However I was concerned that I was missing something as it didn't take me long and I saw the people around me still setting up. So I rechecked everything. Everything I needed to bike and run was there, so I made my first of 4 trips to eliminate some of the 44oz I recently consumed.
Swim: 45:59 (3:04/ 100M)
After taking advantage of the free TriSlide, I pulled on the wetsuit and headed to the swim start. Again this being all new to me, I looked for my fellow orange headed friends and followed them in the water.
Once our wave started, those same people I was just talking and joking with couldn't swim over me quick enough. I heard about the hitting and kicking, but it still threw me off.
I knew the swim was going to be my weakest leg. I had just learned to swim last fall (what I did before was more not drowning) and I still have much work to do here.
The first half of the leg, I was freaked out. I felt disoriented whenever I put my head in the water, so I swam with my head up and was swimming fairly flat. With my body position thrown off and with very little rotation, I was wasting a lot of energy and not making much progress. You know you are going slow when the kayakers are offering you to grab on. No need, my wetsuit allowed me to easily float on my back while I got my heart rate under control.
After the second wave caught up to me by the 2nd turn buoy, I finally said enough and got hold of myself. I put my head in the water, completed 7-10 strokes, sighted, and did it again. I was amazed how much my progress improved.
The line of orange buoys was a welcome sight, and I climbed to my feet as soon as my hand hit the dirt. I pulled the weed off my face and slowly exited the water.
Comparing my T1 time with others, you would think I stopped for a sandwich. I am sure the TriGlide helped, but I still had trouble getting my legs out of the wetsuit. Once that was done, I consumed a Roctane Gel and downed 16oz of fluid. As I put on my bike shoes I realized my timing chip was on the side as my chain ring, so I moved it over to my left. I let out a scream as I sprayed sunscreen where the wetsuit chaffed the back of my neck and then made my way up the hill. The first of many today.
Bike: 1:25:29 (17.5mph)
I felt good on the bike. I was amazed at the number of people I was passing. I was afraid they knew something I didn't. I had driven the course a week before, so I knew what to expect, so I kept driving forward. I attacked the hills, passing as I climbed. One gentlemen even said "nice climb" as I passed. Which made me feel good. I thanked him for the compliment. On the down hills I noticed a lot of people coasting. I threw my bike in the largest gear and continued to crank using the momentum to carry me up the next hill I knew was coming. Around mile 18, my legs began to threaten to seize on me. I know from experience if I don't back off, they will follow through. So I let up a bit and even stood up a couple of times trying to work them out without having to stop. I killed one 22oz bottle during the leg. I had planned to consume gels every 25 minutes, but I lost all track of my time management and fueling strategy and by the time I thought of them I was on my way back.
A little faster this time. I switched out my shoes, ate a gel, and consumed 8oz of fluids before heading out.
Run: 55:44 (9:00/mile)
My legs were still not happy at this point so I backed off my pace. With only 6.2 miles left in the day, I didn't want to end up on the side of the road trying to work cramps out. I don't recall any downhills on the run. It seemed like I was always going up, especially through the neighborhood. This is where I regretted not having run the course before. With all the turns and hills, I lost my sense of direction. My Garmin was telling me I had just a little over a mile and a half left, so I knew it had to head back towards the lake soon. Sure enough, we popped back out on that main road and made our way back to the North Entrance.
Overall, I am happy with my first triathlon performance. I knew going in that the swim was going to be the challenge. Having the 4th slowest time in my age group, I was pleased to find that I was able to catch 30 of my fellow age groupers on the bike and run.
Having my first swim completed and feeling more comfortable with my face in the water, I am confident my next swim leg will improve.
I found it only fitting that the Muscle Milk and Food Tent was on top of a hill.
On to Eagleman.