my first triathlon

posted on: 7.18.2012

This past weekend, I completed my very first triathlon! It was the TRI Aggieland sprint triathlon--400m swim, 12 mi bike, and 5k run. 
My day started at 4:15am. I pre-fueled with a whole wheat English muffin, sunflower seed butter, and a banana. 

My sister and I arrived on campus around 5:15 and had a little bit of time to kill before transition opened at 5:30. I took time pumping air in my bike, getting my stuff together, and finally walked over. I was surprised at few people got there early. There were less than 20 people in front of me in line to get into transition. We got our bodies marked, and then were able to go inside to set up. I wore my swimsuit with tri shorts over and flip flops and packed: goggles, swim cap for the swim, a towel, shot bloks, garmin, sunglasses, helmet, socks, running shoes for T1 & T2 since I didn't have bike shoes. 

Afterwards, all the competitors went inside the natatorium to wait for start, which was 7:00am. While waiting, I'm pretty sure I went to the bathroom at least 4 times. Since I had such a high number (285---we were assigned numbers based on the estimated swim time we put down during registration), I was still going in and out after the race started. Not sure if it was nerves or just drinking too much water, lol.  

Finally, I was able to start lining up. The line started outside of the pool and continued into the water. We were lined up against the wall and would move slowly to the starting point, where people pushed off every 5 seconds.

I began my swim at about 7:35am. Once I started, the nervousness was gone, and I felt pretty good about the whole thing. I got passed by two people, but also passed a few. It was a snake style swim where we swam the 50m length, turned around/went under the ropes and swam up the next lane. 

swim time10:20 

Running out of the natatorium, I saw my parents and sister cheering right by the door! I jogged to transition, and definitely took a lot longer than expected trying to get ready for the bike. I had my socks rolled so I was able to get them pretty quickly. I also stuffed half a packet of shot bloks in my shorts, put on my helmet, shoes, and garmin. 

T1 time: 3:05 

camera ready on the bike course!
My garmin was being weird and I couldn't get it to start until probably a quarter mile in. (note to self: leave garmin behind and save time next race) The bike route was 2 loops around pretty flat roads--there was only one small climb. I am really pretty weak on the bike, and was getting passed like crazy! I loved that a lot of people who passed me would call out encouragement though. It was so nice!

bike time: 45:56

I have no idea why this took me so long because all I had to do was put away my bike and take off my helmet!

T2 time: 2:24

I was pretty tired at this point...(I was lazy in training and did not get enough runs in!) The run was through campus, which was pretty fun. When I started, there was no one in front of me, which made me feel like i was really behind. I just kept seeing people run back in the opposite direction. It was really strange, but there was really no one in front of me for about a mile and a half. . . which is about where things went a little wrong. I took a wrong turn and ended up running a more than I was supposed to! (not a whole lot, maybe .15 mi) It was by a water station, and there were a lot of people around and people running in the opposite direction, but no one stopped me or anything! I didn't realize this until I was running back and realized people were going a different way. I wasted time to ask a lady about it because at the time, I thought I had taken a shorter cut, hah. Overall, I stopped to walk short bits several times but managed to run most of it. 

run time: 35:18

Overall time: 01:37:05

finisher medal!
I'm pretty happy how the whole race went considering I had my bike for only one month before the race and didn't follow a training plan. I learned a lot of things, and know what I need to work on. I am already looking forward to next year's race! And I had such a fun experience that I immediate signed up for another race the next day.