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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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. 


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.

Unknown said...

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


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.

Jenny Moyett said...

Awesome job!! Congrats!

Hope you have a great week!


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. :)

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!