Tuesday, June 17, 2014

St. Peters Rec Plex Triathlon

I signed up for this triathlon on a whim about a month ago. I've been wanting to do one for a while now... I did an indoor sprint triathlon last year, and it was a blast. However, I wanted to actually bike and run outdoors! I have a fear of swimming out in open, murky water, so since the swim portion was indoors, I thought this was the perfect triathlon for me.

So, to prepare for the triathlon, I practiced in the pool three times, went on two 20+ mile bike rides, and obviously spent a lot of my time running and doing yoga.

No information about the triathlon was really posted online, only the race routes. I thought this was a bit irritating since I had no clue about race transitions and such. I did my own research and got to the Rec Plex about 45 minutes before my swim start time. I checked-in, received my race packet and headed outside to get my bike and running gear set up. I asked a volunteer if there was an assigned place for our bikes, or if we just set up where ever. She replied pretty snarky, that the information was in the race packet. Doh!! Ok, so it took a little time to find a place to put my bike (I had a hard time finding space). I should have arrived a bit earlier, I guess! I observed how others were setting up, and did the same. I then realized I had to get my numbers marked on me, so I had to go back to where I got my packet to do that. Wish they informed me about that while I was there!!

I got to the pool about 15 minutes before my start time. I wanted to observe how to do this serpentine swim. It looked easy enough, but I was irritated because they were letting swimmers start in 15 second intervals, and we were in order by when we registered and not by our pace. My swim start time was 6:43:15. That's great and all, but I didn't start until 6:43:45. Which is fine, but the instructions that I received day of stated:
Your swim start time has been entered into the computer and the clock will stark ticking at that moment. The start time cannot be altered. Failure to start at your appointed time will negatively impact your overall finish time which will not be altered. 

Swim Start.
I started in my number order... so I hope they altered our time by 30 seconds!! I found the serpentine swim very annoying. The pool was split into eight full lanes, but the first and last lane was split by a smaller rope.

St. Peters Rec Plex
I was feeling really strong in the pool, and ended up passing 8-10 people overall! I did accidentally run into one lady. I felt bad about that, but she was doing back stroke and taking up a lot of room. I passed on her left and was breathing towards the left, so I totally drifted into her. I really wasn't trying to be an asshole. Two times, I had to sidestroke behind slower swimmers because there was no where to pass (in the first and last lane).

Passing someone on the narrow lanes (far right, white cap).
I finished the 500 meter swim in 10:04. I'm still wondering if they altered the time by 30 seconds, because I had no way to get in there at my "start time." So it wasn't my fault! Grrr! I placed 61/267 (woot woot!).

I took my time at the transition 1... I guess a little too much time. Josh said I was a little slow and easy going at the transitions, ha. But, I told myself I was doing this as a learning experience. I got on my bike and nearly forgot my helmet!

Leaving Transition 1.
Like I said, I've only gone 20+ miles two times. Both were leisure rides. I was super naive, thinking I was prepared to ride 21.7 miles. I started painfully slow, and ended even slower. I just felt like I couldn't get any speed. I can't even count how many people passed me (it was a lot). I hated every second of the bike, and instead tried to take in the scenery. The route was also very flat, and there was a strong headwind at times. The last mile, we had a huge uphill climb. I slowed down to turtle speed trying to get up that hill. I ended not as happy as I started out.

Done biking!!
I finished the bike portion in 1:40:11. I placed 240/260. How horrible is that!!! I returned my bike and put on my running shoes. I even had a banana and an orange. I was not in a hurry to start the run.

You can tell by the expression on my face that I was not thrilled at the running start:

Looks like speedo dude was having a stellar race, however.
I actually really enjoyed the running portion. My legs were way tired, but the route was excellent and flat! I ran what I could, but at this point, my only goal was to finish. I walked some, but ended at a 10:30 pace. I'm fine with that. I placed 192/265 in the run.

My first triathlon finish!
I finished in 2:39:55. This is my PR, and I can only get better. I didn't place well at all - - 215/265 overall, but I'm okay with that given my lack of training. Also, I now know the importance of brick workouts!! I would like to sign up for another triathlon, but I'm currently going to focus on my three upcoming half marathons!! I hope to finally get in under 2 hours!!

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