Carpe Run

Seizing the day (and the run) one day and mile at a time!

Day 7 and My First Triathlon Recap

on July 6, 2013

My first triathlon was the first of the Virginia Triathlon series, the Smithfield Sprint!  This race features a 300 meter pool swim (shorter than most sprints), a 10 mile bike, and a 5k run.  The race itself is well organized and held in early April (hence the pool swim) and the bike and run are through relatively nice and scenic areas.  I personally feel the run leaves some to be desired but I was delirious by that point anyway.  My wave for the swim didn’t start until a little after 10:00 so I had two hours after setting up my transition area to sit around and crap my pants about the swim.  I had no idea what I was doing so I just wandered around like a lost puppy and gathered my materials, got people to write numbers on my body, and set up my stuff as best I could.

THE SWIM.  I can’t remember exactly, but I estimated my swim time sometime between 7 and 8 minutes.  I am not a swimmer and did NOT complete enough training swims for this race.  I did a few with my friend Nicole and had her swim right in front of me to get used to that, but I was definitely not prepared.  My adrenaline was already surging from nerves by the time it was almost my turn to get in and boy did I have no idea what I was in for.

Smiling, blissfully ignorant

Smiling, blissfully ignorant

It was a snake swim up and back each lane and then repeat until we reached the end of the pool.  The first lane went great, and I felt like I was doing alright.  After that, the wheels fell off.  I probably started too fast and my breathing became pretty frantic.  I started off breathing every 3 strokes, alternating sides as my friend had advised, but even that wasn’t enough.  I felt I couldn’t get a good breathe and just started breathing nearly every stroke.  I wasn’t ready for the roughness of the pool with all of those bodies in it (duh!) and I also swallowed a ton of water and was choking and gasping for air simultaneously.  I didn’t think I would make it.  Even the depth of the pool at 15 feet on the deep end freaked me out and caused me to panic at that point since I mentally wasn’t ready for that as I trained in a 5ft pool.  I know that probably sounds stupid but it scared me for some reason.  I was sure that every spectator thought I was drowning (it felt like it) and was waiting any second for a lifeguard to scoop me out, but none came to my rescue (darn).  I finished in 8:01 exactly (10 seconds of that bruising my knees trying to get out the pool fatigued) and miraculously, my sister said she thought I looked fine while in the pool and didn’t even notice my panic.

Super sexy coming out of the warm sweaty pool to 50 degrees. YIKES!

Super sexy coming out of the warm sweaty pool to 50 degrees. YIKES!

My transition area was right in the middle, so I cruised over and threw on my running shoes and sunglasses.  I knew not to TOUCH my bike until the helmet was on, so I made that a priority.  This transition was longer than I wanted at 2:24, due mostly to the fact that I was hyperventilating and struggled getting my socks and pullover on.  I grabbed the bike and rolled that sucker out of there for 10 miles of torture.

Off to the races!

Off to the races!

THE BIKE.  The bike was mostly fine.  I don’t mind hills on a bike (there were a few) and the cold wasn’t too bad.  I wanted to use a few of these minutes to guzzle some water but about 1/3 of the way in I tried to put my bottle back in the holder and it straight rolled off to the side of the road to probably find its final resting place next to a dead opossum or something.  It also sucked being on a hybrid commuter amongst a throng of road and tri bikes, many of whose riders obviously took pity on how slow I was having to go and were super nice and encouraging to me.  This part went by pretty fast, and I literally spent the majority of it trying to slow my breathing as I was still hyperventilating from the swim portion.  I could NOT catch my breathe to save my life (no pun intended).  Bike finish in 44:12 and I cruised back into transition thinking the worst was over and boy was I wrong HAHA!

Transition 2 was much faster, as well it should have been.  All I had to do this time was rack my bike and ditch the helmet since I was already wearing running shoes.  I did both grabbed some water and got on the course in 1:16.  The hardest thing about this transition was the fact that HOLY CRAP my legs still want to go in circles and now I’m running with them instead.  I did not anticipate that feeling and I thought I would fall over. Fun times.

THE RUN.  The run was supposed to be my reward, the fun part for me.  I never thought I would be so tired and unable to move!  That funny feeling in my legs lasted until about mile 1, and by then I was exhausted.  I saw my cheerleaders, Mom & Dad, my sister and Ben while running through downtown Smithfield, so that was a nice surprise!  I still struggled just to run the whole thing and finish and came in at 31:31 for the run portion, much slower again than anticipated.  My look nearing the finish line says it all.  I am so tired I can’t even lift my head.

My how far we've come from smiley swim girl.

My how far we’ve come from smiley swim girl.

Total time = 1:27:22.  Good for someone whose only goal was to finish and give swim bike run a try!  Although from my recap it basically sounds like I was miserable and hated it I definitely didn’t!  Was it extremely hard and painful at times?  Yes!  Would I do it again, probably!  I want to do this again for sure and improve but I need to do myself a favor and train better this time, especially for the swim.  I have been contemplating trading in my hybrid for a road bike or possibly keeping the hybrid for fun rides and investing in a used road bike to start.  I can’t even think about longer tri distances until these things happen.

OBSERVATIONS.  My first observation and one that I am still amazed by is HOLY SHIT triathlons are hard and everyone that does them is a total bad ass.  I have an indescribable amount of respect for these athletes now and know that they have to put in a great deal of hard work and dedication to make it even physically possible.  My second was OMG how do people do an Ironman?  For me the biggest hang up is the swim, and maybe once I get better it won’t seem so unattainable.  I guess there was a time when I thought the same thing about the marathon.  In the meantime been there, done that, got the tan lines, number tattoos, and the medal.

HOT

HOT

Looking tired as I felt

Looking tired as I felt

Can’t wait to give it a try again sometime soon, and this post has inspired me to go do a swim workout this weekend!

80 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Day 7: What is your least favorite healthy food?

I actually had a really hard time with this one!  I love almost all fruits and vegetables a lot!  I am pretty happy to say I have no trouble getting down nutritious foods including one of my favorites, raw spinach! As I mentioned last week I just discovered I like cottage cheese, and that’s one that is definitely a no-go for many people due to texture.  I had a hard time with the thickness of Greek yogurt the first few times I tried it but now I’m hooked and regular yogurt is nasty and thin.  After much deliberation my LEAST favorite healthy foods are bananas after they are too ripe and kale.  I am so weird about bananas and once they start to get mushy and have hardly any black spots on them, you can forget it!  I will sometimes freeze them when they get to this point so I’m not wasting and I like to eat them chopped up frozen with chocolate syrup to in smoothies.  I try to eat them when they are on the brink and I nearly gag every time.  Ditto for kale, tastes fine in smoothies but I’ve not had the best experiences with it otherwise.  I got a huge bushel of it in our produce basket last summer and tried to make kale chips which turned out a disaster.  I have had kale at a nice steak house before and liked the way they prepared it, so I think I just need to learn to cook it better.  Not a fan of it in salad.

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