September 21, 2013
Swim - 1500 meters
Bike - 24.5 miles
Run - 6.2 miles
Outer Banks Olympic Triathlon
I have to admit that I was SCARED going into this big event. I questioned everything - my training, my dedication, my ability to finish. Yikes. It was the longest and fastest week at the same time. Finally (suddenly!), Friday came around and I packed Mom and the kids in the car and off we went for our 3.5 hour drive to Manteo. The informational meeting was at 5pm and we arrived at about 4pm and went to packet pick-up.
|Swag! It's a solidly confirmed fact that I will do just about anything for a free t-shirt.|
I had received info with two bib numbers via email on Thursday - one said I was Athena (so despite the fact no one responded to my call and email, I guess they made the changes?) and one said I was Age Group. When I checked in, I showed them both numbers and the Athena bib had some guy's name on it, so the lady looked up the AG and it said Lisa. I asked again about switching and was told that I *could* but I shouldn't because the Athenas were a faster group. What? The chubby girls are faster than the super-fit early 40s ladies? DOES NOT COMPUTE. But the official said since this was my first triathlon, I should stick with Age Group. Who am I to argue? I know nothing about this, right? The meeting went quickly and we headed to the hotel on the beach at Kill Devil Hills (about 15 miles away). I slept poorly and woke up dizzy and nauseated. I ate some popcorn (which is what I eat for breakfast every morning. Is that weird?) and felt a bit better. I briefly considered that I might not make it to the start line feeling this way, but I think I willed my body to cooperate by sheer force.
Transition set up was from 5:45 - 6:45am, with the Olympic start time being 7:45am (the Half peeps started at 7am). We got there and I picked up my timing anklet and got marked up with my number: 537.
Setting up transition was something I had read lots about, so I felt good about it. I put out a little towel and had my running shoes out with socks in them. I have not yet committed to cycling shoes so I planned on wearing my running shoes for the bike and the run. I had two bags - one with a red shirt to put on for the bike and some snacks to eat in between the swim and bike, and another bag with my run stuff: my red Sparkle Skirt and more nutrition for the run.
I started off in a red/black/white TYR trisuit and had a wardrobe change for each leg. Why? Because I'm FABULOUS! Ok, not really. I wanted the shirt for the bike because I didn't want to worry about looking fat in my trisuit on the bike, but I did add the Sparkle Skirt for the run to be fabu. I felt like I needed something fun to finish this thing out.
But let's start at the beginning, with the...
The Good: I made it. And Lordy, it was hard.
The Bad: I was exhausted when I got out of the water, unlike anything I've experienced at the pool.
The Ugly: I was last out of the water by like 10 minutes. I hated being last.
What I Learned: So much! I needed more swimming practice and especially more open water practice. And maybe a wetsuit.
The AWESOME: My family was at the shore screaming and clapping like I was the FIRST one out of the water. I always love them at my races and this time was especially wonderful.
|I had a private escort as they patiently watched me swim. The lifeguard on the board was awesome and so encouraging.|
|Finally out and smiling (probably just grateful that I didn't drown)|
|Obligatory butt pic. Here's me leaving for the bike leg.|
|Four days after the accident. This was one of several bad|
bruises all over my body.
|Finished with bike leg and giving an exhausted smile.|
The Good: This was the farthest I'd gone on my real bike!
The Bad: The fall. Yikes.
The Ugly: The wind. Why is this worse than the fall? Because I fought it the whole time and it was miserable. The fall was over quickly and I was so pumped with adrenaline that it barely registered as a blip. But the wind was taking my breath away with its force and it was so hard to peddle against.
What I Learned: I need to spend more time on my real bike. PERIOD. The gym is nothing like outdoor training on a bike.
The AWESOME: Most everyone that passed me said something nice and encouraging. I was so impressed with my fellow triathletes and their support.
|Transition between bike and run. I was putting on my skirt here. I can't believe I sat down and then actually got back up!|
or more accurately...
Yeah, walk. My Garmin was key-locked and not working so I had no interval alerts and honestly, I was so damn tired. I tried to keep a brisk pace, and I did run a few times, but I really didn't have a lot more to give and I wanted to finish in the upright position. At this point, I knew I was going to make it, so I think mentally, I decided to take it easy and just FINISH. As proud as I am of my swim and bike (because I gave it my all), I am not proud of this last leg at all. And that's really an ongoing issue with the half marathons I've done. I just do not leave it all out on the course and this bothers me tremendously. I don't know how to get around it. My time was my worse 10k time ever - 1:44.
The Good: I got A LOT of compliments on my Sparkle Skirt!
The Bad: Walking. Ugh.
The Ugly: The fact that I didn't finish strong.
What I Learned: I've got to work on giving my all during a run.
The AWESOME: I actually finished this thing!
|Getting my medal. I did not ugly face cry, but I did get a little teary-eyed.|
So, I did it. WOW. I honestly can't believe I finished. I was not happy with my time, but it was about what I'd estimated (5 hours) plus the wreck, and transition, adding another 44 minutes. I was not dead last and there were people who DNF, so I was ok with it. My plan for next year is to take two hours off that time for a totally doable and reasonable goal of 3:44. I'm going to go ahead and sign up for 2014 this week!