This past weekend I completed my first ever Sprint Triathlon. When I woke up the morning of the race I was both nervous and excited to get out there and get my race on!
I was most excited to get down to the start line and get body marked!
Kate and I got body marked on our thighs and arms with our race number and then we got the back of our shins market with our age.
After getting body marked we headed into the transition area to set up our gear. The place was packed and everyone was getting excited for the race to start.
I was envious of all the cool bikes. I need a road bike in my life!
Here is my little area with all my stuff set up for transitioning between the three different events.
After setting up our area all the racers were shuttled into a holding area while the first few waves of swimmers started off.
The first thing I didn’t really understand/like about the race was that the numbers and order of waves were based on age – going from oldest to youngest.
So out of the 19 waves, I was in the 15th. By the time I got started, some of the pros were almost finished!
Kate and I patiently waited our turn, the time flew by while all the swimmers were called out to the water.
Before I knew it, it was my turn to get out there and swim!
The swimming was the part of the race I was fearing the most. I knew going into it that it would be my weakest event. I practiced and am confident in my abilities, but no amount of preparation in a pool could have prepared me for setting foot in the Schuylkill.
It didn’t help me mentally get ready when before I was about to go into the water I saw a rat scamper across the sand…
They were letting waves in the water with 4 minutes in between each group with an in water start. This was an issue for me. It was nice to get into the water and get comfortable before the race began, but we were all treading water, wasting our initial adrenaline rush for 5 minutes before we were allowed to start. It was a big waste of energy!
As expected the swim was long and hard. I put my head in the water and saw nothing but green murkiness which freaked me out. I was afraid some creature from the abyss was going to come out and grab me so I attempted to swim the majority of the race without putting my head in the water, and when i did put my head in the water, I kept my eyes closed.
This made the swim extra difficult.
Aside from my water fears and sad swimming form, I eventually made it. I am proud to say I didn’t stop once and didn’t have to ask for a noodle or of any of the lifeguards help.
I swam the whole way. I swallowed disgusting Schuylkill water, and even typing that makes me want to vomit, but I finished the distance swimming the whole way!
Here I am coming out from the water. I was super excited to run up this hill after swimming (
attempting to not drown) a half a mile.
At this point I believe I yelled to fiancé and my mom – “That was really hard” – I was really tired from swimming that whole way and wasn’t looking forward to hoping on a bike!
After making it up the hill and thanking my lucky stars that the swimming portion was over, I bee-lined it for the transition area.
Here I am getting my transition on.
To be honest, I was looking forward to sitting on the bike..not necessarily pedaling on the bike, just the sitting part!
Off I went!
As I posted last week, Kate and I went on a little test run of the Tri Bike Course for the actual race. The course consisted of two loops and while I thought the test run was challenging, the actual course after that tough swim was very hard!
There were a few pretty massive hills throughout the course, which kicked my booty.
While I did just get new tires in an attempt to make my bike faster, at the race I was in slow form compared to the rest of the competitors.
This was frustrating to me because I know I am in great shape but others with better gear were hardcore beating me!
I have a competitive nature and I clearly want to do well in the races I sign up for. Struggling in a race not because of my endurance or abilities, but because of my gear, was a tough thing for me to handle!
I did my best and found my groove on the bike…but the whole first two legs of the race I just kept thinking to myself –
I can’t wait to RUN!
I may not be the best swimmer, or have the greatest bike gear, but I am very confident in my abilities when it comes to running!
I came into transition, threw my bike down and headed out to the course to get my run on!
Kate had started 3 waves in front of me at the beginning of the race and it was my goal the entire time to catch up to her. I found her the last mile of the race at the turn around point and turned up my speed to catch up with her, I really wanted to finish together!
I went as fast as I knew how trying to catch her!
It was really great motivation to have at the end of the race!
She finished a few seconds in front of me, but I was pumped I caught up with her and finished strong!
I was really happy to finish strong, I felt amazing after the run and could have ran some more!
It was a really challenging and fun race. It was exciting to do something other than running and get a little bit out of my comfort area. I also really enjoyed the fact that this was an all women race. Everyone was laid back and relaxed and there were lots of first timers, like me, so we all helped each other out!
I was so proud of Kate for doing so awesome at her first Tri! I think her official time was only 10 minutes after mine according to the race clock. She only trained for 3 weeks for this bad boy! She is a machine!
I am still waiting for the official time with transitions but I finished around 1:50. It was a little slower than I expected, but the course was challenging! I am excited to see how my timing breaks down!
After the race I felt a little sick because I kept thinking of the Schuylkill water I swallowed (please pray for my insides). It was grossing me out thinking about it!
Aside from that, Kate and I were pooped!
Kate and I couldn’t have done it without our fans! Jill was awesome and came to cheer us on! She made us signs too! Love you Jill!
Noodles was there cheering us on and snapping pictures like a Champ! Thanks Noods!
And obviously, fiancé was up bright and early for me. He is seriously my superfan. He takes the best race pictures and I love when he comes to support me at my races!
Love you fiancé!
My mom also drove up from Virginia to cheer me on! Right after we took the above pictures it started POURING down rain, so my mom and I didn’t get a post race picture together!
She had a great time attending her first triathlon and cheering me on! I think she just wanted to come to see for herself to make sure I didn’t drown!
Thanks for coming mom! Love you!
After the race I was excited to add my first triathlon medal and bib to my race board!
I really like the medal. The colors are fun and I really like how the date and location are on the neck strap!
Can you see where I added my newest medal and bib? I think I am going to need another race board in my life! Things are looking a little crowded!
All in all it was a fabulous race. I had a lot of fun and would definitely sign up for another sprint triathlon in the future. Next time I would maybe do a few more practice swims and buy a road bike beforehand!
Have you ever done a triathlon? Do you have plans on doing one? What’s your favorite leg of a tri??