Saturday, June 22, 2013

My First Triathlon

Well, I did it!!!

Or as my 3 year old niece would say, "me did it!!!" :) (Every time I finished a hard training workout, I could hear her sweet voice in my head.)

I am officially a triathlete.

When I woke up this past Monday morning, I had butterflies in my stomach because I knew it was race week! I've looked forward to this week and simultaneously been dreading it for a long time! :)

I also started feeling sick mid-week.... I think I caught Billie's sinus crud. But I loaded up on pseudophedrine and Benadryl and I got through!

On race day, we woke up at 4:30 am and got on post at 5:30 am. I checked in and set up my transition spot. Then we waited. And I felt surprisingly calm. I was in the 3rd heat/group. So although the race started at 6:30, I didn't get into the water until about 7:15. 

My transition spot
 The swim (800 yard or 1/2 mile): I felt like the swim was the calm before the storm. The water was COLD, but I had practiced swimming in this exact pool. It was familiar. So I mentally convinced myself that this was just another practice swim. Each lane was shared by two swimmers, and a lap counter was sitting at the head of the lane. The lap counter would wave a marker in the water when you had just one lap left. Before each turn, I loved seeing Billie standing right behind the rope, cheering me on. I beat my estimated time by a few minutes, which was awesome. Billie said I was the third female out of the water in my heat.

The lap counters

The bike (13 miles): I'm so thankful I had already ridden this bike course. It helped me be prepared. There were a few small hills and then one looong stretch that was steady uphill. And the wind was brutal... Going right against us on this climb uphill. To given you an idea, my average bike pace is about 15-18 mph. On this climb, I could barley go 9 mph. BUT, when I made the half-way turn and went back down this same stretch, my bike got to 31 mph!!!! I have never even seen that number on my bike computer. I couldn't pedal fast enough for my pedals to "catch." The wind and the decline were doing the work. That was a great feeling :) It made me want to yell across the road to all the bikers still on the incline, slowly slogging it up... "it gets better! You're almost there!"

Towards the end of the bike ride, a lady rode up beside me on a road bike and said, "for someone on a hybrid, you're darn hard to catch!!!" haha I laughed and thanked her. (A hybrid bike is a mix between a road bike and mountain bike... Tires are medium size.) I'd say me and my Trek did just fine. :)

The run (3.1 miles): I had practiced the bike-to-run transition 5 times. And I had run 3-5 miles many times before. But this run. Was. Miserable. I came in fast from the bike and when I transitioned to the run, I felt like I just couldn't get my heart rate and breathing to slow down and steady out! I definitely have to work more on this transition next time.

Highlight of my run: I have become friends with the guys who own and work at M and M Cycling. I took my bike to them a couple times during my training. They were so helpful! Mike and Martin (owners) used to be big-time competitors in the cycling and triathlon world. Well, Martin is from Scotland and always comments on my Louisiana accent. During the run, I all-of-a-sudden heard a bike behind me and a voice say "hey there Miss Louisiana. You having fun yet?" in his Scottish accent. Martin wasn't competing, but he was there to support some friends. It was so fun to see someone I knew!

If you ever consider a triathlon, I SO recommend it. It's so fun and encouraging. Other athletes cheer you on as you pass them. And training just takes you a little past what you think you can do... each time. If you have any questions, please ask me! I've learned so much, and been given lots of great tips along the way. For me, this has been a goal for so long. That made it even sweeter.

Here are a few of the quotes that have encouraged me during these last 10 weeks of training. :)

This one was helpful every time I put on my swim suit, swim cap, or tri suit! :)


  1. Felt like I was there with you! We are all so proud!!!! What an accomplishment!