Monday, September 2, 2013

Triathlon = Complete!

Around 15 weeks ago, I decided to run a triathlon.
This profound decision was based on the fact that I did one casual 20 km bike ride, I kind of like to swim, and had ran a five km...twice ever. 

I was not a marathoner, a biker or a swimmer who wanted to try out other sports. I did Zumba, and Body Pump with light weights. And in the Spring (Jan-May) I went to the gym maybe three times all season. My gym shoes got dusty. I consistently did Hot Yoga, but a "Athlete" I was not. 

After choosing a race (Ontario Women's Triathlon "With the Beginner at Heart"), I googled "10 week training plan sprint triathlon free" and the beginner plan came up. I started with the day of the event, and back tracked on google calender to schedule my workouts. 

My first workout was on June 18th. In the midst of crazy end of year tutoring, and switching offices, I managed to fit in working out. It started off slow, a 200 m swim here, a 15 min run there. My first outside run was horrible. Then the bikes started getting longer. And it was painful. And then the swims got longer, and I started to worry about the full distance. 

As I progressed with my training, I figured it would take me 30 mins for the swim, 1 hr for the bike, and 30 min for the run. 2 hours, I thought, would be a respectable time. Then I looked at the results from 2011...2 hours would put me near last. I freaked out. Suddenly I was worried about my time, and my pace, and how I wasn't going to be able to do it. 

Eventally I got over it, and decided if I was going to be last than so be it. I would keep training and working away. I was getting the physical results I wanted..I lost a ton of inches, I was able to jog most of city chase, and do Mud Hero 7 minutes faster than last year. 

On Sunday morning I got up at 5:00 am, and headed out to Milton. I was nervous, but excited. I got to the race nice and early (sorry to the organizers who weren't set up yet!). Since I had been to Mikes race, the commotion of race day didn't phase me. I claimed my transition spot, and set up all my stuff. 
Ooo So Organized

My borrowed road bike looked snazzy next to the mountain bikes. I dipped my toes in the water, which was 72 degrees (nice and warm) and glass smooth. 
See those small orange dots far far away..yah that is my swim.

The weather was perfect, 20ish deg and cloudy. I walked through and visualized the transitions. I ate my banana, did a warm up, and even with all this time, the last 2 minutes flew by. I put on my swim gear, posed quickly for a few pics and then next thing I know, I'm in the water with my age group (a bunch of other first timers as well). 

I am somewhere in this group..on the left

I don't remember the count down, just the whistle blowing, and we all taking off as a group. There was no getting run over, just a team of swimmers...which was nice. Until they all flew past me.

At that point I decided that all the training I had done doing freestyle (front crawl) was going to be wasted and I was going to do back crawl/breast stroke the rest of the way. I got passed by the second leg (3 mins after me), and then the 3rd, and spent most of my swim with the 4th group (the 50+ group, they left 9 minutes after my leg).
Notice the white cap in the distance!
But I survived. I survived swimming in deep murky water, and I still did it less than my expected time (26 min vs 30). I finished my swim last in my age group, but I was tempted to kiss the beach when I got there. 
These pictures are all the most flattering...not :P

I ran over to the transition zone and hopped on the bike.

At that point, knowing how far behind I was from EVERYONE in my age group, I decided just to enjoy it. And then next thing you know I started passing people.."On your left"..."On your left"!! I couldn't believe it! I started singing Avicii and Calvin Harris in my head to keep me going. The bike ride was hilly, but the uphills sections were where I passed most people. Wahoo!! When I checked my watch, I realized that I was making really good time. I got back to the transition and had to yell at Mike as I was coming in because he wasn't looking for me yet! 45 mins compared to a predicted hour!

Then it was the run!

Wobbly Legs!

The run was ALL HILLS. I thought from elevation tracker it was flat. It was a lie!! After doing all my run training on flat ground, this killed me. I did 3 min run, 1 min walk intervals, but I still did ok. It wasn't my breathing or my heart rate slowing me down, but my legs weren't having any more of it! I jogged the last stretch to the finish line, and looked at the time...1hr 47 min.

Not too bad for a first triathlon!! 

My results were as follows:
Place: 88/116
Total time: 1:47:03
Age group Place: 17/25
Swim 111/116 25:59
Bike 57/116 47:01
Run 92/116 34:04

But more importantly than the results were that I did it. I did something I committed to 15 weeks ago, not for anyone else, but for me. I didn't have to do it, I didn't want to do it at times, but I did it.

I stuck to my training plan and met my goal! I have now signed up for a 12.5 km hike/trail run in three weeks, and have a few more events lined up to keep me training. I don't want to give up all this hard work to go back to a point where I can't run a 5km. 

Will I do it again? For sure! Will I work on swimming more, and go to a few clinics next time?Absolutely!

And I will be back to the Ontario's Women's Triathlon. The event was fantastic, and all the volunteers were so nice! It was such a supportive event, and as much as it was a race, it felt like everyone was in it together! Amazing choice for my first Tri!!

Today I didn't feel too sore (still have that sore hip thing), and tomorrow I plan to go the gym. It may be painful, but I am going to fight through it...I've got to get training for that 12.5er!! 

Thanks for following along with my progress to this triathlon! I am planning a catch up post for all things non-tri related that I did this past month!

Anyone else get passed by a bunch of 50 year olds in a race...and love it?? Anyone else eat a ton of food this weekend to make up for doing a race...or just eat a ton of food in general???