I survived my fist Olympic Triathlon and enjoyed myself immensely. I’ve had a lot of people asking me how it went, so here’s the Cliff Notes/Reader’s Digest version. The pros and cons list of my weekend (mainly this is an attempt to keep myself from rambling too much. We’ll see if it works).
Pro : Leaving the kids with the grandparents. Everything was a bazillion times easier without three children to try and keep track of in a strange place. Especially during the couple of hours between when my race finished and Sir Smiley’s race finished. Instead of chasing small children around, I was able to focus on recovering.
Con: not double checking everything on the bikes BEFORE we left. We had all our tools and such, but the night before the race my gears decided to act up and so Sir Smiley spent a good hour or two fixing them before we could head to bed.
Pro: driving the bike and run course. We got up there with plenty of time to attend the meeting, pick up our packet, and then check out the course. So the next day I knew what to expect and it was one less thing to worry about leading up to the race.
Con: making your hotel reservation for a hotel in a different city. In an attempt to be savvy I used some hotel site that pulled up the prices of all the hotels in the area and then booked the cheapest one. Didn’t realize that they randomly threw hotels from neighboring towns (and I use the term neighboring loosely as the hotel I booked was about an hour away) in with the mix. Thankfully, The hotel let me cancel. We had to check about three or four hotels before we found an opening and all they had was the king suite. So for about 10 hours we lived like kings…but instead of saving a bunch of money I ended up costing us a bunch. *sigh. Lesson learned, when you triple check the date…also triple check the location…
Pro: Eat a high quality breakfast. I felt good during my entire race!
Con: Eat a high quantity breakfast. Sir Smiley ate more than me and had such an upset stomach he ended up puking a bit during the swim. Unpleasant doesn’t begin to describe that.
Con: Not getting up early enough. We got up at 3:30am, but it still was barely enough time to get to the start line before the race actually started. I would prefer to have plenty of time to calmly set up my transition and get all my items assembled in the morning. Starting the day stressed does not help the race.
Con: Not warming up in the water. That water was a shock and when you add that to my chest cold (another con), I struggled to breathe the first few minutes. As I acclimated things went smoothly but it was freaky way to start.
Con: Having a chest cold and that time of month during a long race. Not much control over this really, but it seriously drained my energy stores for this race. By the run I was lagging and never really could push myself the way I wanted to.
Pro: practicing open water swims and sighting before the race. I knew exactly what to do, and wearing a wet suit and looking ahead of me to see where I needed to go were habit instead of hindrances.
Con: never ending hills. I climbed and climbed and climbed a hill and just when I thought I was about to die…I reached the peak. Only to see the next hill climbing up above me. I almost died.
Pro: never ending hills. I then turned around to head back and was going fast enough that I couldn’t even peddle fast enough to keep up. In my previous post here I referred to how insane it was that Sir Smiley stated he went 41 mph last year. Ironically, I glanced down and saw that on this hill I was going 41 mph. Who says God has no sense of irony? I also thank God I didn’t crash and die.
Pro: meeting new friends. There was another never ending hill on the run. I walked it. Not ashamed to admit it. During that walk I was with another triathlete and we found out we lived right next to each other. We will be running together on occasion now. I also finished a few hours before Sir Smiley so in the interim I spent the time talking to other random people. Everyone is so friendly at these events that the time went by quickly and I had made several new friends. (another pro…running back down the never ending hill).
I managed to finish in 3 hours and 36 minutes. I was 75 out of 95 ladies and 13/18 ladies in my age group. Not too bad for my first attempt while sick. I have another one in a few months and now I’m really looking forward to it!