Sunday, July 21, 2013

Race Day Recap

I realize that my "big race" is only a super sprint, but to the inexperienced swimmer that I am, it may as well be an Ironman! I mean, I had to take swim lessons just to figure out how to swim.  It took me 8 lessons to learn to breathe and stroke.  Now after 4 weeks of lessons and 4 weeks of practice, I can barely swim 300 yards in the pool with little 5 second breaks every 100 yards.  And this is alternating between freestyle and the side stroke.

Swimming in the open water is an entirely different story.  In the open water, I can only make it about 50 yards before I feel like I'm about to die.  So, leading up to the race, I was incredibly nervous.  I had to swim 300 yards in water over my head. The triathlon didn't start until 6:30 p.m., so I had all day long to think about it.

What if I sink?  What if I make a fool out of myself?  I'm going to be surrounded by some experienced triathletes. What if they think I'm crazy for attempting a swim when I'm clearly not qualified?  These were the questions running through my head.


 photo IMG_3700_zpsdba83bfc.jpg

The race that I was completing is a part of the Portofino Sunset Tri Series that is hosted by Team MPI and Infinity Bicycles.  When I arrived at Portofino, I was still a bit nervous, but not nearly as bad as I had been earlier in the day.  All of the volunteers and Team MPI staff were incredibly helpful and friendly and they certainly helped to ease my fears a bit.

 photo IMG_3704_zpsb570b7a7.jpg
Me & My Cheering Squad

When we arrived, we had about an hour and a half to spare, so I had plenty of time to set up my bike, walk down to the beach, and soak up all of the positive energy.


 photo IMG_3707_zps45e9e923.jpg
Wearing: Pearl Izumi Tri Jersey & Shorts via Zulily

I had been training for the race with my friend Charity.  It was her first triathlon, too, and we were so excited to be there together!

 photo IMG_3710_zps80974309.jpg

After we had set everything up in transition, we walked down to the water and waited for the horn that signaled my impending death... Or something like that.

 photo swim_zpse22e7a8a.jpg

As the horn blew, everyone dove into the water and took off swimming.  I stayed to the back of the pack and timidly began swimming.  I bumped into a few people as I got started (I believe one of them was Charity) and that kind of messed up my game a bit.  Trust me, I don't have much game when it comes to swimming.  I made it about 30 yards before I had to switch to the side stroke.  As I approached the first buoy, I knew I'd never make it another 200 yards without a break, so I signaled the kayak guy, and held on for dear life for a few seconds while I caught my breath. Yes, I felt like an idiot. But at least I wasn't drowning.  I took off again and had the hardest time finding my rhythm, so I ended up using the side stroke all the way to the next buoy, where I again clutched onto the kayak.  I put on a brave face, let go of the kayak, rounded the last buoy and headed for the shore.


I didn't realize how slowly I was walking until I saw the video. Ha! You can hear my husband in the background saying, "Let's GO!" 

You guys. I was literally the last person out of the water.  My biggest fear was that I'd finish last and it seemed like that was a possibility at this point.  I walked/stumbled/jogged to transition. My legs felt like jello! I took a gulp of cold water, threw on my shoes and my bib belt, slipped on my Garmin, grabbed my bike and I was off!

 photo bike_zpsf0d15556.jpg

As I got started, I realized that I forgot to start my Garmin.  Well, I wasn't going to worry about it.  I was simply too wobbly on the bike to try to turn it while I was biking, so I just kept on going.  After a few minutes, I started to feel really great and hit my groove.  I began to pass one, then two, then several more athletes. I mean, I wasn't trying to win any medals, but it made me feel better that I was making up for some of the time I lost on the swim.  During the swim, I had swallowed a bit of salt water and it felt like I had a salty film in my mouth. I desperately wanted to stop the bike and get a drink, but I pushed myself and managed to wait until my next transition. Next came the run.

 photo vlcsnap-2013-07-21-15h21m48s119_zps38f0d60f.jpg
Accessorizing with: My trusty Garmin, Road ID wrist band, Road ID hat and New Balance running shoes

After pushing myself so hard on the bike, I felt sluggish when it came time to run. I had a shoulder cramp that I sometimes get when I'm worn out and it was tough to keep on going.  I can usually run a 9-minute mile pace, especially when I push myself, but this time I ran closer to a 10-minute mile.  I still feel like I pushed myself hard enough that I finished strong and was elated to be finished with my first triathlon!

 photo finish_zpsefa44f96.jpg

I finished 36th out of 45 athletes with an official time of 53:41. We can finally call ourselves triathletes!

 photo triathletes_zps4038c7ae.jpg

I couldn't have done any of it without this guy. My very own Ironman. He's the one who inspired me to give triathlons a try and he's the one who encouraged me every step of the way. He even met me at the pool several days a week on his lunch break so that I could swim laps while he watched the kids. What can I say? He's the best.

 photo IMG_3706_zps54048d70.jpg

If you're interested in trying a triathlon, you should check out this series hosted by Team MPI.  They are a qualified group that includes several coaches. They offer camps and clinics that will help to train you for events.  They're a fantastic group! They're hosting a Women's Only Tri on August 1st. I'm trying to decide if I want to have another go at it.

I'm linking up today with Monday Mingle, Still Being Molly, Monday Bloom, Dear Abby Leigh, and I Feel Pretty. 

12 comments:

Style Journey said...

Congratulations Tiffany! What an amazing accomplishment :) You go girl!

tricia @ the domestic fringe said...

You. Are. Awesome.

Wow! Go you. And, you even looked cute doing it all.

Congratulations. You deserve it! That was amazing.
~FringeGirl

Unknown said...

Congratulations. . U r amazing. I want to do one someday!!! Thanks for sharing.

Andrea
Www.mommainflipflops.com

Carolines Day said...

You are AMAZING!!!! Period. What an awesome accomplishment. I'm barely a runner and here you are, a triathlete! Yay!! :)

Carly said...

Woo hoo! Congrats! What an accomplishment!

Sofia Donatelli said...

Wow! You are amazing!

Hope you had a great weekend.
Sofia

stylishlyinlove.blogspot.com

Jenny Moyett said...

Awesome job!! Congrats!

Hope you have a great week!

-Jenny
http://www.babblingsofamommy.com/2013/07/fffweek-2013-indie-showcase-sonsifffweek.html

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

That's awesome. I think swimming in open water would be the worst! You should be extremely proud of yourself!

Nicole Feliciano said...

Congratulations! So exciting and you looked fabulous!

Lauren @ Style of Ones Own said...

Congrats!! That is such a great accomplishment. :)

Lauren
Style of One's Own

rlutz said...

I am so impressed and proud of you... you are an amazing women!

oomph. said...

That's awesome, tiff! congratulations on this fine accomplishment! i'm not a biker or swimmer (or even runner for that matter!), so i totally give you credit for doing all three!