Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Race Repot: DC Tri (Sprint Distance)

I set out all my gear the night before so I wouldn't be rushing around in the morning looking for everything (I'm super messy so I can never find anything when I want it.)

In attempt to get a good nights rest and a full 8 hours of sleep I went to bed at 8:00pm so I wouldn't be shocked when my alarm was to go off at 4:15am. I already knew before I laid down that I wasn't going to go get a lot of sleep. I was so nervous about the swim and the whole race. And sure enough I tossed and turned and my stomach tossed and turned as well. I think I finally fell asleep at 11 or so.

I felt pretty good when I woke despite the fact I didn't get much sleep. Jason and I had decided it would be easiest to drive down to Haines Point to try to park in one of the parking lots. We left our house at 4:40 and were down there by 5. Of course all the lots were full, but there was a bunch of people parking in the employees parking only spots at the parks police building. We followed suite and just hoped they wouldn't ticket 100 cars.

After the walk up Ohio drive I got to the transition area with about a half hour to set up my area. I swore the day before I put my bike in row 11 but I couldn't find it anywhere. I went into panic mood and two other girls helped me find my bike. On sat I guess I mixed my numbers up and had racked my bike in someone else's spot (sorry). They had moved my bike to the right spot and that's why I couldn't find it. 20 minutes later it ended up being in row 11 all at the end, which actually would make it easy to find during the race. Ok I was out of the transition area and hanging out with Jason when I looked down at my watch ...umm...shit I forgot my watch. There was 3 minutes left before the area closed and I ran back into the transition area to see if I had it in my bag..score it was in there! But only my timex watch, I guess I forgot my garmin. Oh well, I was happy to see my old school one and decided I would just keep total time and try to do splits or anything.

Since my wave for the sprint didn't start till 7 I went down and watched all the oly distance swimmers start. And that's when I really started to get nervous! I went to the bathroom one last time and it was time to line up. I gave Jason a kiss and he wished me good luck.

I lined up for the swim and talked to the other girls around me. They made my feel better and I didn't really have any more time to be nervous about the swim because I was walking down the ramp to jump into the water. They did a time trial start, so swimmer went in about groups of 8 every ten seconds into the water. I think this was great for a newbie like me because it did spread out the swimmers and make it less of a fight in water.

That's me in the blue cap.. ha
The Swim: 800 meters: 16:03
For about the 1st 150 meters I did free and started to panic a bit. I was having a hard time sighting and felt like I was swimming off course. I decided to do the breast stroke for a bit to get my breathing back on track and panic less. About every 30 seconds or so from this point on I thought to myself: "ok any day now you can start doing free style again!" But it never happened! And I couldn't believe that I was actually passing people doing the breast stroke. During the swim my ankle timing chip felt like it was falling off and I thought about grabbing onto a boat to fix it, but just figured if I felt it getting any loser that I would just grab it and swim with it in my hand. The only turn that was really hard was near the end of the swim. People really started to kick hard and I swallowed so much water and was couching bad. What felt like forever I finally was running out of the water at looked at my watch and saw 16 minutes, so I was pretty happy! My goal was to finish in 18 :)

T1: 3:36
Ok I'm thinking I just survived the swim and can relax now, but I was having a hard time running from the swim and felt like my legs weren't working right. I found my bike and fumbled around with my socks and shoes then ran to the bike out. While I was running I felt like my bike shoes weren't tight enough and figured it would be better to waste a couple more seconds and stop and tighten them, then to suffer with loose shoes on the bike. When I got to the mount line I def. was not graceful about getting on my bike like the pros are.

Run in from the swim
Bike out
The Bike: 12.5 miles:  40:32 (average 18.4 mph)
Since I didn't have my Garmin watch I knew I would have no clue how fast I was riding. My plan was to just ride without totally killing my legs. There were a lot of people out on the course and it would have been impossible to stay 3 bike lengths behind any one. The course was fast minus all the 180 turns that you had to basically just about stop at. I saw about 4 people with flats and really was glad it wasn't me! The pavement defiantly was not great in all places. I saw Jason along the course and I started smiling and waving! Plus I knew I had to be close the finish at that point. I tired picking up the pace a bit because it looked like it was going to rain and I didn't want to get stuck on my bike in the rain with all the tight turns. Overall the bike went great!

T2: 2:13
My legs felt ok as I ran with my bike. I found my area fast and tired to put my bike back in place. This look me 3 times of trying before my bike stayed on the rack, what a waste of time. Another waste of time was the decision I made to take off my tri top and just run in my sports bra. Putting on my running shoes was the easiest part of this transition. I looked down at my watch and I saw 1 hour which made me happy. I thought I so have this run and I'm going to finish in under 1:40. 

The Run: 4.7 miles: 41:07 (8:51 pace)
And this is were I pretty much went down hill! My plan of attack was to start off the first mile slower and catch my breath and get my legs working. But I never picked up the pace! My stomach started to really hurt on this run and my legs weren't running as fast as I wanted them too. I was super thirsty (I didn't drink any water during the bike, how stupid can I be.) I threw up a couple of times on the run and kind of just re-swallowed it, gross I know. I saw Jason at 7th St and gave him a  happy smile face as best I could. He ran with me on the side walk for a couple of blocks and was running faster than me. I'm thinking this can't be good since Jason can't run faster than a 9 minute pace .. great!

For the life of me I could not run faster and I saw my goal of 1:40 slipping out of my hands. I looked at my watch and saw 1:38 and still had two little loops left and knew it wasn't going to happen. All the turns near the capitol were cruel when you could see the finish line. We basically did circles around the finish line. Next year can we please just make the course longer somewhere else instead of teasing us! These were the hardest 4.7 miles of my life.  It's not that I didn't do bricks, because I did, and I did them faster than this. I finally crossed the finish line and couldn't be happier / disappointed at the same time.

Almost there...thank goodness!
Total Time: 1:43:29
I finished 22nd out of 141 for my age group and 104 out of 613 women for the sprint distance.

As happy and excited that I have finished my first triathlon!!! I am also disappointed in myself on the run and the run only. My goal was to finish in 1:40, but this is when I thought the run course was 4.2 miles not 4.7 so I guess technically I did accomplish my goal, maybe. I guess in the aftermath of it all I just feel that I could have pushed myself harder during the run and I'm mad at myself.
But on the up note, I had the time of my life and I loved every minute of it! More races, please! Where is the register button!

And a special thanks to Jason. He is so supportive and I am so lucky to have him. I saw him at so many points during the course and it made my smile every time! Plus he got lots of good race photos! I think he got in 5 miles of running himself to see me all the over the place.


  1. You definitely placed REALLY HIGH for your first tri. That is so cool! Even if you didn't quite make your goal, you pushed really hard (that is what I tell myself whenever I throw up after a race).

  2. If after a race you want to sign up for another one, you know it was a good race! Did you eat anything during the race, like Gu? At least you know for next time to drink lots of water, and maybe pick a less cruel running course!

  3. Congratulations! I know you didn't have exactly the race you wanted, but I'm glad you still had a great time. And it sounds like the swim and bike went really well! Sorry about the stomach issues on the run, I'm sure without those you would have met your time goal.

  4. "Where is the register button?"

    LOVE IT.

    Congrats -- you totally rocked and should be so proud of the end result of your first race! I feel like you learn a ton from the first one and then can go into every future one even more prepared. Wahoooooooo!

  5. Congrats! I'm really excited for you!

    I've done the puke and run thing several times. Just think of it as being hardcore :)

    Let me know what you choose for your next one!

  6. congrats!!! your splits are fantastic - and this was a tough course. let me know what you decide to register for next. :)

  7. congrats!! That is an awesome race (except for the stupid 180 turns and cruel run!)

  8. Congratulations! You did so well. I can't beleive they were having you circle the finish line. Geez, how could they be so selfish. LOL.

  9. What a great job!! Your times and placing are great!! I like the idea of the time trial start for the swim! Nice.