I have been enjoying a few days off. Sleeping in more than once a week is great. Not being on the computer for more than 8 hours a day is quite awesome, too. So, sorry for being late with my race recap, and sorry for not being sorry at all.
In the days leading to my first triathlon, I thought about my goals many times. I even thought about writing a post with all my goals, but the night before the big day, I decided that the first triathlon was not supposed to be raced with goals.
I had a lot of other fears to fight with, and I wanted to focus on doing a race I would love.
The biggest fears were definitely connected with the swim. I never swam in the open water before, and my biggest anxiety was that I would panic during the swim. Also, I feared to loose my contacts during the swim and get a flat tire during the bike ride. Another big issue for me: how the heck would I get out of my wetsuit?
All those fears might seem ridiculous, and I am glad to say that none of them were an issue. The triathlon itself felt easy. It didn’t feel like it was my first time and it kind of felt like I was always meant to be a triathlete.
On race day, I woke up at 6 o’clock with all of my stuff already packed. I ate my breakfast, and braid my hair. Soon, my dad came to pick me up.
It was raining when I arrived, so I didn’t get my transition area ready right away. I checked in my bike and we still had a lot of time, as my group didn’t start until 11 a.m. Around 10.40 a.m. the rain stopped. I got back to the transition area, got everything ready for the transition area, and got my wetsuit on.
I walked over to the swim start and got into the water. I felt confortable right away! No longer was I feared to panic during the swim, and I was quite calm when the gun went off.
I waited a few seconds to make sure I didn’t have to defend my space during the swim and then I swam. I lost my orientation a few times, so I decided to swim breaststroke for every 5 or 6 breath I took. That worked quite well for me, but definitely something I will try to improve next time.
Swim: 12:08 (41th place, 500 m)
I ran to the transition area and found my bike right away. Trying to remember everything was surprisingly easy. I know I can improve the transition, but for the first time, I was quite proud. The wetsuit wasn’t even a problem.
T1: 2:00 (38th place)
I took my bike and run, but I didn’t quite know where I could start riding. There was also no one in front of me (well, there were, but they were already out of sign). I just run, and then someone told me that this was were I need to get on the bike.
During the bike ride, it started to rain again. I have never ridden my bike in rain before, and I have always thought it would be smart to ride at least once during rain so that you are prepared during a race. Oh well, I still felt great. I was careful while going into a curve, but otherwise, I just ignored the rain.
We rode a 10 k lap for two times, and as soon as I knew it, I faced the run.
Bike: 41:52 (51th place, 20 km)
T2: 1:49 (71th place)
The first hundred metre felt great, but then, it got bad.
I never practiced the transition between cycling and running. The training for my first marathon has been a priority. However, I must say that the run would have been easier and more enjoyable. That counts as well, right?
My legs felt weird. Some said it would feel like running on eggs, but I can’t describe the feeling I had. I also felt awful slow. For the triathlon, I decided to run without my Garmin, so I had no idea how fast or slow I was going. Sure I wouldn’t be under 30 minutes.
Halfway in the run, I felt sharp pain in my left shoulder. I kept going, even though I was sure I could not finish the run. What was it? Maybe my back got cold during the bike ride, I thought.
After a few minutes, the pain went away. I still felt very slow, but I was passing a lot of other triathletes. I, myself, was only passed once or twice.
I made a few turns and saw the finish line.
Later, I found out that I ran much faster than I tought.
Run: 26:29 (38th place, 5 km)
I can’t wait for my next triathlon, which I will definitely train for. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of my time, but I know I can do much better when I actually train.
While my goal race for this year is my first marathon, I will make my goal race for 2014 a triathlon.
I love the sport, I am so happy that I stumbled over it five years ago and it was worth the wait!