My tri weekend started Saturday. I met some friends at the course in Chisago City Saturday afternoon to pick up our packets and do a practice swim.
Sophie hung out with my mom on the beach while I swam. After we swam and checked out all the ins and outs of the transition area, we took off. Had a great pasta dinner and tried to calm down my excitement and nerves to get a good night's sleep.
I was up bright and early and ready to go. We got to the park right at 6:00. Set up our transition areas and got my first ever body marking.
So legit! Because they have the half iron waves go out first (and I was in wave 30), I had lots of time to use the porta potties, chat with my friends, and get worked up. Finally, at about 8:00, I was on the beach and getting ready for my wave to start.
I was so nervous! As I stood on the beach watching the swimmers out in the water, I had to work hard to control my emotions. I was sappy about doing something I never thought I could do, scared of swimming with so many people, excited to get my race under way . . . Many deep, calming breaths later I heard, "5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO!"
I focused on staying calm and just doing my thing. I had to use the breast stroke briefly twice on the way out (once when I kept getting kicked repeatedly and decided to find myself a new piece of real estate and once when I started verging on a little panic). The water in this lake was even more disgusting than the water in the local beach where I do my open water swims, which I didn't think was possible. On the way back, I didn't have to breast stroke at all, so I was overall very proud of my swim.
Once I got to the beach, I ran out of the water and up the long hill to the transition area.
Total swim time (1/4 mile): 13:46. Yes, I am a super slow swimmer. Try not to hold it against me - I just started swimming in March!
I quickly found my bike in transition and got down to business getting my helmet, garmin, and shoes on. I was so happy with my swim and really felt like the hard part was over. T1 time: 2:59.
My goal on the bike was to ride about 16MPH. I know this is pretty slow, but I knew I could do that pace and still feel good for the run. I had to fight the urge to ride faster, but just kept telling myself to stick to my plan. I passed quite a few people from earlier waves on the bike, so I was happy. I think I had a smile plastered on my face the whole bike - I was having so much fun cheering on friends as I saw them, thanking the volunteers, just taking it all in. At about the 19 mile mark my friend's 15 year old son caught up to me (he started a wave behind me). We have done some training together and I had been waiting for him to catch me. I was so excited to see how much fun he was having - this was his first race of any sort EVER and he was having a blast. The last couple of miles flew by as we finished the bike together and I rode in with a smile on my face.
Total bike time (22 miles): 1:21:17. I navigated around a gal who fell as she was getting off her bike and headed back into transition. The walk through transition seemed to get the kinks out of my legs and after ditching my helmet, I felt ready to run. T2 time: 1:53.
My 15-year old pal Adam started the run with me. He was most nervous for the run, so I just kept encouraging him. I felt awesome. I was so excited to be running, and felt a ton of energy from the other racers and spectators. My plan was to take it easy on the out portion and pick up the pace on the way back if I had anything left in the tank. There was a water stop at the turn around and I walked while taking a quick drink of water. Then I started running right away again. As I got within a mile of the finish, I started feeling sad that the race was over - I did not want it to end. I think I even started slowing a little bit, just because I just was not ready for it to be over. Before I knew it, I was back in the park, heading UPHILL to the finish (torture!). I passed under the Swedish flag and then hit the finish line.
Total run time (3.1 miles): 28:35. Finish time: 2:08:31.
My litle brother and my running partner Jim were there to cheer me on (and take a ton of pictures) and I was ready to celebrate.
After I drank some water, I found my phone in the transition area and texted my husband: "That was awesome!" This race definitely sealed the deal on my love affair with triathlon. I can't wait to do another one and see where this new passion takes me!