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First Race Report
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I've been posting to ST Womens for a few months, but as of today, I am officially a triathlete!!!

Race Report:

Let me start by prefacing that this was my very first triathlon and second time swimming in open water while wearing a wetsuit.

And the story begins.

I awoke to my normal work alarm tone, just an hour earlier. It was 5am and I was ready to rock. My eyes popped open and I dashed to start the coffee maker, heat the water for my shower, and displace a cat from my crate 'o gear. I was able to stomach a bite of leftover pizza (I tried to get some carbs, Kevin... they refused) and a few bites of leftover steak (so delicious, just completely unappealing at 5am) before bullying Kyle(my fiance) out of bed. Regret #1 - Not enough fuel to start

We arrived at the site and trekked through the weeds (quite literally) to get to transition, where we ignored the easily-distracted volunteer and brought in my crate to set up. People do this WITHOUT a sherpa? Stuck my toes in the water and was pleasantly surprised - not icy! Regret #2 - Didn't spend enough time adjusting wetsuit pre-race.

5 minutes to launch, I said my final goodbyes and headed for the water. Rocks = bad. I ended up sitting down and wading out rather than torturing my tender toes. Awkward, funny, and led to a great pic. http://i.imgur.com/PY7k3J9h.jpg

Swam out to the starting buoys and tried to get as much water into my suit as possible, via the neck. It was stuck on me like... Kyle. J/k ^_^ Super constrictive on the throat, and no matter how many times I pulled the neck out to let water in, it just didn't go all the way down. I was miserable. Kyle ended up hiking alongside the hill while I zig-zagged between shore and ... feet pointing toward shore, floating on my back to breathe when I was frustrated. I smacked my hands on rocks, then 5 strokes later was pointing away from everything. When I was ready to give up, Kyle grimaced at me and pointed toward the next buoy. Thankfully, a lovely Athena from the wave behind me swam in a rather considerate straight line so I trailed her for a bit. http://i.imgur.com/uVGeH5Th.jpg She slowed and I was left to my own back-paddling, gasping for air, expletive-filled devices. Kyle PROMISED there were still purple caps (my wave) behind me, so I kept faith I wouldn't be last. Suddenly the ramp was in sight. CLAWING my way to the ramp, I reminded myself how much I love the speed of a bike. Regret #3 - Not enough open water practice in a wetsuit

T1 was faster than I'd planned. Had a small issue with the wetsuit not rolling over the Garmin 910 (damn little girlie wetsuits wrists!) so ended up waiting till I met Chrissie (my beloved hand-me-down bike) to move the watch to her and finish de-wetsuiting. Slammed a Gu, drank some Perform, walked Chrissie to the start, and was ready to roll.

WHAT A BIKE COURSE! Because Kyle and I had ridden it the week before, I was ready. I knew the turns, I knew the hills, I knew that nasty spot where I wanted to sit down and pout like a 3-year-old. I paused at mile 4 to drink Perform, as I lacked the handling skills to drink and ride. Regret #4 - lack of experience with roadbike. I'd rather the few seconds off than a crash. I handled my gears well, and was very pleased with my first 8 miles out, even dealing with the expected-but-nasty headwind. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE. So I later learned some of the team was abused more than I, but the extra .6 to a very tight, awkward turnaround spot was disheartening. WHY DID YOU LIE TO ME!? By this time, I'd passed 6+ people, including 2 men from a wave before me, so I was feeling smexy. Annoyed with the excessive climb at the end of the halfway marker, I paused for a quick breath before I slid into fun mode. Tailwind and a fast finale. I may have dreamt of transmission issues for each of the cars that honked at me...

The signs for transition were lacking, so I unclipped too early and one-foot pedaled into T2 till a doofus volunteer put his hands in front of me. Awesome. I came to a halt and was MORE than ready to get that bike saddle out from under my tush, so I headed back to my spot and carefully geared up for a little run. Regret #5 - SO THIRSTY: TOO FULL. Because I was unable to drink while riding the bike, I was under-hydrated and overcompensated with 3 HUGE gulps prior to the run. You can only guess how well that worked out. Hey, I didn't realize my fear of starting the run with my helmet on, but I was... SLOOSH SLOOSH SLOOSH. UGH. No game. Started jogging a bit and had a bad calf cramp (my right calf has been the bain of my training since day 1) then later had two side-stitches at once (that's new...). Fan-effing-tastinc. I was keeping pace with this guy http://i.imgur.com/8H8GQYMh.jpg who was also jog-walking. I may have sped up a little and adjusted my top (it was riding up) for the photog... The heat was beginning to be noticeable - after 4 months of training through cold weather, this was an utter oddity to me. WTF hot? Good thing I am purchasing a TriForce sports bra so I can strip down to that... Anywho, I looked at my watch and realized that, with 3/4 of a mile to go, I was at 2:20. With my goal of 2:30, I was startlingly close.

Then it was up the ramp into finish area and time for KNIFE HANDS. I have always had a strong belief in finishing with anything I have left, and I kept to that. It was a brilliant finish and I was so pleased to get that icy towel for my calf.

Pros: Finished 1 minute after my goal time (2:31:09 with a goal of 2:30). Rocked the bike.
Fails: Regrets listed above. Time to start training a lot more on the swim and run.

All told, I was smiling at the end and glad I'd signed up for another. Kyle's version of the story at http://imgur.com/a/mHtTt


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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You go, girl!!!!

Looks like you had the perfect day for it and learned a lot while having a ball.

Onwards and upwards from here - stronger, faster and longer. But revel in that feeling of achievement for a little bit longer before you do :-)
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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Nice job! Uvas is such a fun race.

clm
Nashville, TN
https://twitter.com/ironclm | http://ironclm.typepad.com
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am psyched for you.
Thanks for the rr - the pictures are just awesome.


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I smacked my hands on rocks, then 5 strokes later was pointing away from everything. When I was ready to give up, Kyle grimaced at me and pointed toward the next buoy.

That totally made me laugh :-)

running the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money for LUNGevity. Many thanks for any donations! (https://lungevity.donordrive.com/...r1SFBxtl9s3SYCVnOF0c)
disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: First Race Report [tigerchik] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, swimming in a straight line turned out to be madcap tricky! Thankfully, no panic attacks like my first open water swim when I couldn't see through the water. I really look forward to being a strong enough swimmer that I can "find feet" of someone with a decent pace.

The swim traced around this big hill, and without a path, Kyle hiked over trees and roots and rocks to follow along with me. He knew that if I got through the swim, I'd be fine (true) but that it would be a miserable 30 min for me. Because of the curve, the end wasn't in sight till I'd reached the last buoy, making it a mental struggle as well as physical.

Kyle took amazing pics - I still think there's some magic in his camera that made me look so skinny.

I have very much that same feeling as after my first fencing tournament - this is fun regardless of if I am good, but I want to not suck at this.


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: First Race Report [blackthugcat] [ In reply to ]
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It was a great day for me - a true victory. Unfortunately, the race planners did an awful job with signage and the volunteers were terribad at their jobs, so 3 members of my team (who were in the TOP TEN!) were pointed in the wrong direction while on their bikes. 20 miles in the wrong direction. These guys are top age groupers and all around badasses, just doing the olympic length as practice for Wildflower. One gave up halfway through the run but the other two finished very strange 1.5/85/5k races. Apparently the race director promised to refund their fees and gave them wine and sponsor gifts (one guy got a bike rack). I would have been livid. The extra 1.2 miles on my bike was enough to make me grumpy, but 20 miles?


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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How do you feel today? are you sore?

running the Marine Corps Marathon to raise money for LUNGevity. Many thanks for any donations! (https://lungevity.donordrive.com/...r1SFBxtl9s3SYCVnOF0c)
disclaimer: PhD not MD
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Re: First Race Report [tigerchik] [ In reply to ]
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A little sore, but nowhere near as bad as I expected. I spent part of yesterday sitting in a hot tub, took some time with the foam roller for my quads/ITbands/calves, took a few doses of Aleeve, and went through 3 rounds of ice packs on the quads. No limps or real pain. Whew! Heaven only knows if it will hurt more tomorrow (DOMS?) but I hope not.

So this triathlon took 15 min less time and hurt a lot less than my half marathon (which left me in tears wanting to destroy the world).

Yay for a nice relaxy day today :D


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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Awesome job!!!!! And fun race report to read. You sound like you would be a blast to train and race with!

So when is your next adventure?
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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Congratulations on a great race and great report! What's smexy? It sounds like a keeper . . .
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Re: First Race Report [kiki] [ In reply to ]
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Haha, one of my high school girlfriends used "smexy" and it stuck. Sexy with a little... something extra. Feel free to propogate/steal. ;) She also used the "sticks and stones may break my bones but whips and chains excite me" a lot... I was miffed when Rhianna got it all bass ackward.


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: First Race Report [themadcyclist] [ In reply to ]
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Well, what kind of adventure? I have to pick out wedding invitations today and am concerned with the prospect of discerning shades of ecru. Thursday I have lasers installed in my eyeballs... not quite, but getting LASIK done so I'm no longer blind. Unfortunately, I won't be able to swim for 2 weeks after that and the swim was BY FAR my weakest part of the day (and yet still somehow finished in the 30 minutes I'd planned...).

A LOT of training between now and my next race.

May 4th is my fiance's Wildflower half IM, so I'll be cheering him on in my old college town (I volunteered at Wildflower twice as a student!) My team is "TriForce" so I'm already planning awesome "May the Fourth Be With You!" signs that align with my signs for his Oceanside race "Do or do not, there is no Tri."

May 12th we're doing a little 5k in San Jose called "The running of the bulls" with people dressed as bulls. This sounds fun and silly, but has a deeper meaning for us. Last year we went to Spain for the festival of San Fermin - Kyle wanted to run with the bulls in Pamplona for his birthday. It didn't end well. He got tripped by another runner and stepped on by yet another... One concussion, 4 staples, and 11 stitches later... I brought him home in one piece. Thank GOD for my mom being a Spanish teacher and not letting me study French - the doctors spoke no English. So this will be a funny, safe version of that awful day, and a nice little race to boot.

My next triathlon is June 16th, so I have a full two months to prep. It's at the same length and location as the one I did yesterday(Morgan Hill, CA), so I get revenge on that reservoir and will actually SWIM the distance rather than flounder, cling to the shore, and backstroke. Different bike course, but it's one I've done for practice and, while there is one super nasty hill I had to walk up, I know it will be a fun bike for me. Thankfully, it is also hosted by a different company, so I'm hoping the coordination of volunteers will be better.

ALWAYS looking for people to train with - we're in San Jose, CA and need to start finding groups to ride and run. Our team doesn't do much practice together, but I have great training plans set up for me so I can ramp up my speed.


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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Congratulations! I love the photo of you coming out of the water. What a smile~
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Re: First Race Report [QRgirl] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you!!!!

The swim was SO bad for me, so embarassing, I was completely relieved to have finished and head toward my beloved bike. Of course, I'm also a terrible poser and was trying to look happy toward the formal photographer, my team's photographer, and my fiance. I really was enjoying the challenge as a whole.

We learn humility through failure and pursue strength, eh?


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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Congrats!!! Great job! Thanks for the report. :)
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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Congrats!! Glad you had a good experience! :)

- JB
"There are only two days in a year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday, and the other is called tomorrow." - The Dalai Lama
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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Totally stealing the smexy thing. Congratulations on your first triathlon and well wishes on your upcoming nuptials.
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Re: First Race Report [fembeast] [ In reply to ]
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Hehe, glad you like it. Can't wait for my next tri, and taking one step at a time with the wedding planning.


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You. You make me stronger.
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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I just now read this. Congrats on your first race! It is always intimidating but it looks like you have a great attitude. I'm looking forward to reading your next report :-)

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Jen - @ultragrrl

"In order to keep a true perspective on one's importance, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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well done...congrats!
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Re: First Race Report [Agilecipher] [ In reply to ]
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Hey, don't be embarrassed, that swimming thing is HARD. ESPECIALLY when it's one of your first times in murky water, one of your first times in a wetsuit and one of your first times in open water period.....you did better than anyone that didn't finish & WAY better than anyone who didn't have the guts to even try.

The learning curve for open water swimming is HUGE...a few practice sessions & you'll feel tons better with sighting & finding feet, learn a crapton about how it feels to cover the distance & how your body adapts throughout the process. Not saying it'll be like angels singing, but a few lake sessions & you'll be ahead of the ballgame. Glad you had a super stud to look up at while floundering for reassurance & encouragement....that's awesome. He's a keeper.

The bike-handling thing is key also....spend some time with that water bottle thing. If nothing else build your confidence & stop doubting yourself. Slow practice on straight roads & soft shoulders. Dropped water bottles are super easy to pick up. Super easy tip, grab the bottle with one had, squeeze it into your mouth upside down. Not sure if that makes sense, but the time & energy & concentration it takes to turn a bottle right-side-up & drink out of it like we "normally" would is useless while on a bike. Just squirt in the general direction of your mouth....drool is smexy.

Not sure if those are good explanations, but those are the things I remember people telling me that helped. Way to rock it out & have fun....the hardest part is over - YOU'RE A TRIATHLETE!

AW
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