Monday, September 24, 2007

I am Triathlete...Hear me Roar!

Now you guys can not only say that you know a marathoner, but a marathoner/triathlete! WHOOO HOOOOOOOO

Yesterday I completed the Disney Triathlon at Fort Wilderness. It was a .9 mile swim, a 36 mile bike, and a 6.2 mile run and I did it in 5 hours haha :)

I was never TOO concerned about the swim portion. My only issue with the swim was people all around me as I'm trying to swim. I'm used to swimming in a pool with lanes...or with my team, even when we did open water swims in the river I would pull out in front of everyone but like 1 other person, so there was no one around me. I had a mini panic attack to begin with with everyone so close, being kicked in the stomach and nearly swam over (seriously, the one chick nearly swam on top of me!) before I was able to kick my way out (literally) and get my own spot and into a stride. Once I did get going, I was OK. I ran into one of the buoys though haha!!! It was the last one before the finish and I literally hit it with my head, knocked my already-starting-to-come-off swim cap off (my goggles were under my cap to prevent them from being kicked off - a tip I got from another triathlete). So I swam the last 75 yards or so with my swim cap in my hand!

Transition from Swim to Bike was : Run up the beach (sand) onto the road (concrete) and for about 200 yards to the transition area...all barefoot! Good thing I'm a country girl and ran around barefoot my entire life!

The bike was BRUTAL! In the interest of safety, the bike was upped from the normal 24 mile ride to a freaking 36 mile ride. 12 extra miles that were hilly! YUCK! Every time I thought "this has to be the last hill" I was wrong! For some reason I really hit a wall on the bike. I knew going in that the the cycle part was going to be my worst leg but for some reason I couldn't seem to get into that "runners high" (which yes happens on the bike too) and was just stuck in the "bite me zone" for most of it. By the time I hit mile 20 I was ready to cry, throw my bike, and curse out the next person who zoomed by me saying "On the left" lol but I got over it and was never so happy in my life to get off of a bike!

Transitioning from bike to run was funny. Can you say JELLY LEGS!?!?! I nearly fell when I did get off the bike! haha But I ran my bike up to the transition area (probably an extra 100 yds that you weren't allowed to ride, you had to be off your bike). Since I'm too chicken to clip into my bike, I didn't have to change shoes for the run so my 2nd transition was pretty fast to start the my case the slow jog/walk.

The run was a loop that you had to do twice, and part of it, probably about 1/2 to 3/4 miles were in ankle length grass with holes and ditches and crap. It started raining also so the grass was wet...great excuse for me to not run (didn't want to risk twisting my ankle after all) but now my shoes/socks/feet are wet and squishing. I somehow managed not to get a blister, although I do have a sore spot where I keep expecting a blister to pop up but it hasn't.

Finishing was great! My coaches were there as well as the teammates who finished before me to cheer me in the last little bit. It wasn't as big as the marathon finish but it was just as sweet!

Lessons learned for my next (yes there will be another) Triathlon:
Sunblock is my friend! I have the most hysterical tan lines from my shorts now as well as my shoulders and down my arms. We were body marked so the number "904" can clearly be seen on my arm as well as the square where my Team in Training tattoo was.

Wet and tired is not the time to be fiddling with safety pins and attempting to pin a number on your chest! I definitely want a race belt. No one told me anything about them and I never thought about how I was going to put my race number on after the swim.

I need an aero bar. My shoulders are still killing me!

Don't fear clipping in! If I ever plan to do a century ride, in addition to aero bars, I have to bite the bullet, get the pedals and shoes, and learn how to clip into my bike.

Bring real food. I had plenty of water, sports drinks, gu, and sport beans but I was so hungry for some reason near the end of the bike. I would have killed for a granola bar! And yes...I did eat breakfast!