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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning I woke up at 5 am very alert considering I'd slept only a couple of hours, and had too much wine and limoncello at an Italian restaurant last night. (what? I was carbo loading!) I was very happy that I'd laid out and packed all of the 5,000,000,000 items I'd need for the event the day before, so all I had to do was dress, throw the gear in my backpack, wake up my DH, eat a Clif Bar, wake up my DH again, get the bike in my car, and go. It was at least 80 degrees out and 500% humidity at this point, but that's a given when you sign up for an event in SoFla in June.<br><br>
The tri was held about 20 minutes away in a beautiful park named Tradewinds. I was pretty nervous about set-up and the race when we arrived. But the birds were singing up a good pre-dawn symphony. That's always a good sign for me.<br><br>
Fortunately, this little event was VERY well run. They had more attendants directing traffic to the parking area than a Marlins game. We headed over to a lit table and I checked in and got my numbers, and let some woman write graffiti all over my body. Then back to my car to take out my bike, frozen water bottles, helmet, goggles, swim cap, hat, race belt, oars, floaties, catamaran... and off to the transition area we went.<br><br>
The transition area was set up extremely well -- if you had a road bike. Which I did not. Since I was riding my DH's mountain bike, we had to figure out a way to lean it on the end of my section's bike rack, in a way that would keep it from falling over. I laid out my arsenal and then headed out for a warm-up run. As usual, we ran into some guys from my DH's high school in Caracas -- is there anyone left in Venezuela anymore?<br><br>
Just before 7, we lined up at the starting point and our race director gave some last minute instructions. He assured us that the course was very well marked, though I was still nervous about the course b/c I was sure I'd be so far behind in last place that I'd have nobody to follow. He also announced that there would be prizes for the first 3 fathers to finish. That was cute. Then the event began.<br><br>
The triathlon was a reverse spring tri, with a 3 mile run, 10 mile bike and 300 yd swim. My main goal was to finish. My stretch goal was to finish in 'not last' place. With about 100 people in attendance, most of them looking like serious athletes, I had a feeling the second goal would be tough.<br><br>
I wanted to do the run at ~ 9 min mile pace. I knew I was capable, but since I started struggling with ITBS in Jan, I hadn't had a good race since. I pushed myself harder than usual at the start of the run, and about a mile in found that I could hold a sub-9 mm pace, though I had no idea what this would do to my endurance overall. There were 2 waters stops along the way: one cup went in my mouth and the other down my back. It was pushing 90 at this point. I finished the run strong, in just over 25 minutes.<br><br>
Into the transition area, where I discovered my lonely bike (there were maybe 10-15 ppl behind me) knocked on the ground, on top of my gear. I put on my helmet, then righted the bike. Since I didn't have to deal with any pesky peddle clips or cages, I was able to walk it out of T1 past the magic silver line, hop on and go. At this point, concentrating on following all of the rules took my concentration off of hitting the buttons on my Garmin, so none of my watch times are reliable.<br><br>
The bike portion consisted of three 3 1/3 mile loops around another part of the park. It was a very pretty and remote section with a mix of one-way and two-way biking. Since I wasn't trying to win the tri, my main goal was to follow all the rules and not get in anybody's way. So I hugged the right side of the path as much as possible. This was good, as I got passed, and passed, and passed, and passed... I was actually happy with my performance on the bike. I think I averaged ~15 mph and didn't have a speedy setup, nor had I done any training, so this wasn't bad. And I actually passed 2 people towards the end!<br><br>
My one big 'oops' here: after taking my first swig of water, I failed to put the bottle back in the holder properly and dropped it. So I was a little thirsty for the ride. On the bright side, I had forgotten my gel back at T1, so I didn't have to worry about eating it w/o water. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> The even bright side: I saw a raccoon (gave us a 'whatchou doin here?" look and ran across the road), a rabbit, peacocks, saw (and smelled) many horses, plus osprey and all kinds of other birds.<br><br>
After the third loop, we headed into T2 to prep for the last leg of the race. I was wearing tri shorts, a sports bra and a technical tank (race shirt from the 2006 Disney Minnie) and had no plans to change any of these. At the start of the race, the director had said that we didn't need to wear our swim caps, b/c we would be so spread out by the swim. But I wanted the full tri experience, so I put up my bike and helmet, yanked off shoes and socks, grabbed the goggles and cap and ran for the lake.<br><br>
The lake was the typical body of water we have here in SoFla, where they dug landfill to fill in the marshier areas of our community back when our areas were being developed. So it was a man-made lake, very deep and probably didn't have alligators in it (though you never know; those guys do like to lake-hop). The water was 82 degrees. I put on my stuff, looked out at the buoys that had looked so close earlier in the morning, and thought, "Holy shit. What have I gotten myself into?" I didn't do any swimming last week, b/c I knew a couple of swims wouldn't help much, and would probably scare me out of doing the thing. So I just hoped that I'd remember decent stroke technique from years ago.<br><br>
I ran in and got to it. And 'it' was not good. First uh-oh: I was having to breath on every stroke (breath, right, left, breath, right, left). Second uh-oh: couldn't see a thing in the murky water, so I had to keep looking up to site the buoy. Third uh-oh: "haven't I been swimming forever and that damn buoy is still miles away? What did they do, move the damn thing?" I actually paused for a second at this point to get myself into a better frame of mind. I put the 'that lifeguard kayak looks awful tempting' thoughts out of my head and made a deal with myself to take it slow and not worry about being last. Then I slowly closed the gap to the first buoy.<br><br>
As I made the turn and headed down the straight-away, I remembered that I was an ace at the backstroke. Back in middle school. When I was on the dive team and trained in a pool. Clearly not thinking straight, I flipped over onto my back and went into full back stroke mode. It felt great and my breathing was much better. Except cirrus cloud formations aren't as good a navigational guide as the lines on the indoor pool ceiling. Oops. At least the lifeguards (plural) for the tri were nice enough to holler for me each time I got off course. Let's just say I saw a bit more of the lake than I needed to. Finally, after a lot of swimming (I thought), I made it back to the shore. I stepped out of the water gracefully (not! hippos came to mind at this point) and ran for the chip mat for all I was worth (about $1.47 at that point). I finished in 1:13. Most importantly: I finished! And I didn't finish last -- close, but not last!<br><br>
The results should be on the web later, so I'll post my breakdown. I was really pleased with the run, and just super happy to finish the thing. The next time I do one (and there will be a next time; it's fun) I will actually give myself time to train for all 3 legs. Though I heard there's a tri next Sunday. And another the following. I see how this is addictive!<br><br>
Serious section: I really want to thank all of you for giving me pointers and encouragement; you guys rock! Now does anybody know how to wipe off this graffiti? <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Awesome!!! A multi-sport athlete is born.<br><br>
I so admire you for doing this spontaneously and giving it your all. It sounds like you had fun and learned a lot.<br><br>
Never having done a tri I cannot comment or give feedback intelligently, but from what I've read about open-water swimming suggests raising your head up every several strokes to "site" buoys and landmarks.<br><br>
Geez, it's hot down there.
 

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Congratulations triathlete<img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> I'm doing my first in Sept and I am very nervous. I loved reading your report.
 

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YAY! That is great! I'm so glad you did it!<br><br>
And I hear that rubbing alcohol works for the graffiti... I didn't have any, so mine have eventually worn off! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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~wow~<br><br>
you are SOY brave....I'm askeered of the water, so will never do a tri<br><br>
congrats on your accomplishment<br><br>
ps: I've always wondered what a tri would be like in reverse <img alt="confused.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/confused.gif">
 

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Way to go, Dia!!!! I always felt the same about the swim, if they could just string ropes in the lake, I'd be fine doing backstroke.....<img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> You still did something a lot of us wouldn't even try, congrats!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, I found the results on line. Out of just under 100 competitors I came in 65th overall. (rank below is out of 27 women)<br><br>
Run: 21:52 Rank: 17<br>
Bike: 41:19 Rank: 22<br>
Swim: 9:51 Rank: 23<br>
Overall: 1:13:03 Rank: 22 Overall Place: 65
 

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You are as funny as you are pretty, Dev! Great report and congrats on taking a chance.<br><br>
So, you whooped on 5 women and 30ish "others?" <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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wow!!! NOT EVEN CLOSE TO LAST!!!!!! Way to go!!!!
 

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Awesome job and a great report!!!
 
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