I didn’t think this was going to be a long report but well, turns out it is. This was my first Olympic distance and first co-ed tri. I knew I could do each of the individual segments, I knew I could finish and I knew I wouldn’t be the fastest. Luckily I had one of the first swim waves so I was confident I would get back to 108 before the bike cutoff.
Finish the swim in under an hour. Check
Finish the bike in less than 2.5 hours. Check
Finish the run. Check
I am so happy to be part of this club. Without it I wouldn’t have such great friends to train with, support before, during and after the race, a place to gather and stash my gear, and I probably wouldn’t keep challenging myself to continue racing.
One of my main concerns was keeping myself from getting hungry and shaky during the race. I had ridden the Columbia route the week before with Princeton and by end of Linthicum I was not well. Thankfully the guy that was with me had extra. So race day I had some breakfast before leaving for the park and took a peanut butter and banana sandwich for closer to race time. Also had a gel before the start. T1 I had ¼ PBJ sandwich. At T2 another ¼ PBJ. Also had a gel and consumed Stinger chews along the way every 20 minutes or so on the bike and every mile on the run. Seemed to work ok, but still not right.
This was my first wetsuit race. Let me just say, breast stroke is not easy in a wetsuit. I was actually more comfortable free style but I need to learn how to sight without breaking stride. I really, really want to be able to do IG all free style because I just know I can so improve on my time. I was very surprised at my time especially with all the breast stroke I did and the number of waves that started after me and passed me. I had been a bit apprehensive about the co-ed swim and was afraid I would get ‘trampled’ but it went well. Every time I heard the next wave and felt the chop from their swim, I just went back to breast stroke and tried to stay out of their way. Thanks Bob for unzipping my wetsuit as I came up the ramp. Not sure I would’ve found the string – I was a bit shaky.
T1- took my time. Sat down, got my dry socks, ate a quarter PBJ sandwich and a gel. I knew I needed to gather myself before heading out on the bike. Since a podium is not likely for me at this size race, I knew I had time so I took it.
Bike - I really didn’t want to risk wiping out on the wet roads, so I played rookie and stopped for my water and gel breaks. Based on the way my legs felt after IG Columbia, I wanted to make sure I took in plenty of water and ate and drank every 15-20 minutes. Unfortunately, I don’t think hydration is my issue for the way my legs feel on the run. Still need to figure that out.
Highlights on the bike:
So many club members passing me and giving me encouragement, making sure I was OK during my fuel stops. On one of the hills on Tridelphia some guy with a great accent (Aussie maybe) giving me tips on where I should be in gears.
I know for many the hill on Homewood after the circle is tough, but I was so looking forward to it. I knew at that point I was almost done. Coming back into the park I thought 2/3rds done – you ARE going to do this.
T2 – not fast, but not too bad. Again, I took my time and changed into dry socks. Had a gel and some water and headed out.
Run – nothing much to say except it was painful and slowest ever. The first mile my left leg was pretty much useless. I never really ran. I walked, I shuffled but I kept moving forward and I finished.
Now I want to thank some special people. This sounds like an acceptance speech and in a way it is…without these people I wouldn’t have made it through my first Olympic and wouldn’t kinda-sorta be considering trying for the 70.3 at some point in the future.
Jill E. – one of the most positive people I know and giver of great encouragement
Lisa G. – willing to go the snail’s pace with me to keep me training and got me in the Choptank in 61 degree water. That was just what I needed to know I could handle the wetsuit and cold water for the race.
Lynn M. – thanks for being at Gatorade Hill on the way out and coming back to walk with me around the damn. You really gave me that push to keep going and made sure I was fed and ok at the end.
Suzy S. – you said I could and I did. Thanks for that last shout out at the finish shoot. It was like a burst of energy and all of the sudden my legs cooperated!
MMTC friends – thanks for all the hugs, shout outs along the way, and positive attitudes that we all need to keep going.