I finished my first tri today and I am so happy to have it done. There was so much anticipation leading up to the race after 5 months of training, I am happy to say that I am a triathlete!
I completed the Pocomoke Triathlon this morning and it was quite a neat experience. We got there really early so I could watch other people set up their transition spaces and then set up my appropriately. I stuck a few toes into the lukewarm pond water and began a two hour long debate of “wetsuit v. no wetsuit”. The time finally came for the pre race announcements and the next thing I knew I was stuffing myself into my wetsuit (for extra buoyancy) and wading out into the seaweedy pond.
Women 29-under went in wave 2. I sized up the wave, lots of ladies in swimsuits…..several admitted newbies like me. But considering my comfort with water, my discomfort with pack swimming and my extra layer of neoprene and rubber, I stepped up on our sand bar starting point in the front and center. This turned out to be a great strategic move as I had open water (it was really clear) for the first half of the swim. As I looked around me only two other ladies from my wave were up ahead, which was nice. We caught the mens wave (29-under) and I passed several fellas but still not a lot of wake or kicking, which was nice. I think I “over sighted” and could have kept my head down but I just didn’t want to swim to far in the wrong direction. All in all, I swam fairly straight. We hit the sand bar, walked across and I waded/swam until I had to walk again. I came third woman out of the water, which was a good mental boost. (10:01) Took off running and headed for the scary part….the bike.
T1 was funny. I couldn’t get my wetsuit off around my ankle chip and was panicking for a short while that I would not be able to ride because of my darn suit, but finally it acquiesed and I was quickly jersey-ed, socked, shoed, helmeted and off. The bike course was nice and flat as paper. We had some small technical turns, but without hills and with little to no traffic it was smooth sailing. I just kept trying to remember to pedal fast, pedal fast. I kept getting passed by fast men and then came the quick ladies, but I had someone in front (not too close, of course) that was really riding well and so I stayed 50 or so yards from her most of the ride. We passed all sorts of God’s creatures, cows, hogs, bleating goats, a horse and lots and lots of chicken farms. I certainly wasn’t fast on the bike but I did make a little attack (that word sounds so sinister) towards the end of a gal who had passed me in the last two miles (grrrrr). I had not been as fast as I would have hoped on a flat course, but the head wind sucked tremendously. To the point that I was afraid I would be knocked over. But alas, I finished (50:something) which meant I could move to my favorite part….the run.
T2 was superfast (thank you lace locks) but I got so excited I almost feel down forgetting my legs would be anvils. I recovered well and took off for the 3.5 mile flat run in completely direct sunlight (did I mention it was about 90 degrees in Pocomoke this morning?) I passed several people on the run including the lovely gal in the white top I followed the entire way on the bike. My first mile was a 7:20 and I was really hopeful I would maintain, but the sun just kicked my tail. I just wanted to get to the turn around which felt as though it would never come, but slightly past the sickly sweet gaseous chicken farm, there it was water and a turnaround!! So I made the turn and just kept kicking. At this point, my heart was about to jump out of my chest and I am pretty sure my brain turned off, but the pavement called. Finally the turn for the finish, through the grass and I even passed a gal in the last 200 y, not sprinting, just keeping pace (which averaged 7:46). YEA FINISHED!!!!!!
I have never felt so tired after 91 minutes of exertion, but it was so fun. Each portion presented a unique set of challenges, all new to me. I thought I would be best at running, but have decided that the swim is really my best and my favorite. My biking is still pretty slow, but I have two months to keep at it to get ready for IG. And running after the other two will only get easier the more I do it.
I have officially reached the point after a race where “it hurts and I’m tired”, but I am still really pleased with the day. (1:31)
The race was very well run and the whole experience was positive and friendly. Woo Hoo!