Triathlete!

So – after all my fears of drowning, it turns out that a triathlon is not really so bad after all!Β  I was so nervous last night, that I could barely eat dinner.

This morning, I woke up before my alarm went off, and started getting ready. Everything, of course, was all laid out already.

I was upstairs in the bathroom, doing some pre-race prep, when the FIRE ALARM went off in our house. Woke the architect up (and that is NOT the morning alarm you want to hear), so he was feeling pretty cheerful! Fortunately, the coffee was already brewing, so at least we didn’t have to deal with too many bads. I’m not sure why the fire alarm went off. Nothing was on fire at all.

I had my morning cup o’ coffee and forced down a peanut butter & banana sandwich, and then we headed out to the race site. About three minutes after arriving, I saw my friend the Cheetah. She was #90, I was #91, so we were in the same transition area!

I got my bike set up in transition, and looked around for the Ambitious One. I felt that she must be there, because there was a pink hello kitty balloon near me, and I knew that’s the balloon she had (she’d also gotten a balloon for me, so I was excited to see her). I never did find her pre-race, but did see Solo Runner!

After getting my transition area all set up, I went to find the architect & tried to stay calm.

Don’t we look awesome? Someday, I want abs like that. Also, wetsuits? Not flattering! πŸ™‚

Pretty soon, we headed on down to the lake. I was in the second wave (first wave was the elites), so headed on into the corral.

Can you find me in this picture?

Im the third to last person headed into the water.
I'm the third to last person headed into the water.

The swim was 1/2 mile, and as I’ve mentioned, my last two open water swims did not go….swimmingly. This was not a problem. I didn’t panic even a little, and although it was a bit tiring, I didn’t have to stop & tread water even once, like I did in the shorter swim last Wednesday. I felt great, and once I rounded that third buoy, I knew I had the whole triathlon in the bag (yes, I like to count my chickens pre-hatching).

I wasnt nearly as tired as I looked in this photo
I wasn't nearly as tired as I looked in this photo

Swim time: 19:27 (I was hoping for 20ish minutes, so this is perfect).

The run up to T1 was LOOOOONG. And I was a little tired, so I took my time. Had some water. Pulled off the wetsuit, goggles, swim cap. Tried to dry the feet as best I could, put on socks & shoes. And helmet. Was still feeling a bit wobbly, so I took the time to put on Leo (my Garmin) even though I hadn’t planned to do that – he was waiting strapped to my bike.

T1: 4:21

Finally, I was ready to go, so I headed out for the 12 mile bike.

The bike was an out & back on Marine Drive. I’m so glad we went west first – there is almost always a headwind headed west on Marine, so I knew that if I just pedaled consistently but didn’t push myself, I would make up any time on the way back. My main goal for the bike was to finish in under 1 hour, and ideally in under 45 minutes.

I passed quite a few people in the first three miles. Was passed by a few people in the next six, and then started being the passer again in the last three. Other than the fact that my bike didn’t want to go on (it started rattling & shaking at about mile 4 – apparently the bearings are about shot! yay!), I felt strong. I think I could’ve gone harder (which is how I felt about the swim, too), but I didn’t want to shred my legs & have nothing left for the run.

Total Bike: 44:58 (16 mph average)

It seemed like a really long way to the transition area again. I ran in, racked my bike & took off my helmet. I attached my bib number (well, I put on my fuel belt which had my bib number on it), and took a gu, and then continued out of the corral to the run.

T2: 2:03 – faster than I expected

I love this photo – even if my race belt does give me love handles! πŸ™‚ This is me starting the run. I am feeling GREAT at this point.

The 5K run was harder than I was hoping. I did not finish in the time I meant to finish, but you know, I think I might be okay with that.

My splits:

Mile 1 – 9:58
Mile 2 – 10:51
Mile 3 – 9:46
Mile 3.1 -:54 (8:42 pace)

I made it! Im a triathlete!
I made it! I'm a triathlete!

Total run time: 31:29 – 10:09 pace. I really was hoping to keep my splits under 10 minutes, but that middle mile apparently was too hard for me! Oh well, now I have something to work towards, right?

Overall time: 1:42:18 (A total of 6:24 spent in transition). Under my super secret goal of 1:45!Β  Go me!

ETA: The numbers

219/388 overall
44/66 age group
211/388 – swim
271/388 – bike
208/388 – run

I can’t believe how well I did in the swim! I thought it would be my weakest area! I did train the least on the bike, so I guess that’s not too surprising that I did the worst in that area.Β  I can’t wait for the next one, I definitely have a better idea of how to train now!

Newly minted triathletes
Newly minted triathletes
Newly minted triathletes
Newly minted triathletes

I had to stand on tip-toe to be in the same frame as the Ambitious One!

Things for next time (because there will be one).

#1. More biking
#2. More swimming
#3. More bike/run bricks
#4. Lose the rest of theΒ  belly weight. I want a Cheetah stomach!

Now I just have to figure out if I can fit in another this year (what with that marathon coming up), or if I should just wait until next year & work on my swimming/biking (great crosstraining, right?) for now. I will probably end up waiting until next year, but there will be more tris in my future!

Honestly – that was the most fun I’ve had in a long, long time. I think I know why people do crazy stuff like this!

I really want to thank all my friends who supported me through this with pep talks & reassurance that I wouldn’t drown. My PBRs are the greatest!Β  But, most especially, I want to thank the architect for putting up with my nerves & my craziness, and for coming to the race & taking pictures, and helping me get my bike together & apart & back together! You are the best, baby!

Recent Comments

  • Jen
    August 1, 2009 - 3:12 pm ·

    YES!!! I’m so amazed and proud of you!! You nailed it. Your swim was amazing- so calm and strong, no problem! And the bike was FAST. Wow! And your run was killer too. What a perfect day. I’m so impressed. Congratulations triathlete!! πŸ™‚

    • gazelle
      August 1, 2009 - 4:29 pm ·

      Thank you so much for your support – especially on Wednesday night’s swim. That really, really helped me stay calm. I am so excited to do another one! πŸ™‚

  • kristen
    August 1, 2009 - 4:36 pm ·

    I am so not surprised that you hit every one of your goals (even the run was awesome despite the near miss sub 10). You look so strong and happy in all your photos. I am so happy and proud for you. Way to go Triathlete!!

    Next year – Portland xterra!!

    • gazelle
      August 1, 2009 - 5:37 pm ·

      I cannot wait until next year’s race! I am taking the architect out to Hagg Lake to ride the course soon – just so I can report back πŸ™‚

  • T.A.O
    August 1, 2009 - 4:41 pm ·

    Am I even allowed to hang out with you anymore now that you are like the fanciest triathlete ever?

    Awesome job! So glad that you are alive!

    • gazelle
      August 1, 2009 - 5:38 pm ·

      I will not forget the little people, even though I am now a famous triathlete! Maybe, though, you could throw some confetti at me next time you see me. πŸ™‚

      Have fun at the symphony tonight! I am so bummed that I forgot & bought theater tickets for tonight instead. πŸ™

  • Alisa
    August 2, 2009 - 11:32 am ·

    Yay triathlete! Your swim was super impressive given how you felt about it going into it AND dang chica your bike time was amazing. I know I can improve a lot in all three areas, it’ll be fun to have you as a tri training buddy!

    Yay so fun!

    P.S. I want cheetah abs too…dang!

    • gazelle
      August 2, 2009 - 5:59 pm ·

      How do we get those abs? CRAZY! We both did so well – I’m so proud of us!

      Can’t wait to figure out the next one. πŸ™‚

  • Cindy
    August 2, 2009 - 11:38 am ·

    way to go!! you are now among the triathletes of the world! that is HUGE accomplishment, and you look so happy throughout the event. i hope you’re off celebrating!

    • gazelle
      August 2, 2009 - 6:00 pm ·

      Oh, I celebrated. A little too much. Today I was WORTHLESS! πŸ™‚ But, I feel pretty happy about belonging to the triathlete club!

  • netta
    August 2, 2009 - 2:28 pm ·

    I am amazed and so impressed! You did a great job, and I agree — you look so happy. Inspiring, really, even though at this point I can barely walk around the block. Heh.

    Most Excellent — and congratulations!

    • gazelle
      August 2, 2009 - 6:01 pm ·

      It took me a LONG time to recover from my surgery. When my husband had the surgery, he was back to normal in about a week. Bastard.

      I hope the healing is progressing and soon you can walk around the block pain-free.

  • Big_Girl_Pants
    August 2, 2009 - 5:45 pm ·

    Woohooo! That is inspiring! I have been trying to get my big girl pants and actually compete in a triathlon. Maybe I will pick a date tonight!

    • gazelle
      August 2, 2009 - 6:01 pm ·

      It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It was hard work training for it, but so, so worth it! I say go for it!

  • Christine
    August 3, 2009 - 5:08 am ·

    Way to go!!!!!! I’ve always been afraid I would drown too, but maybe it’s doable! thanks for paving the way!

    • gazelle
      August 3, 2009 - 10:35 am ·

      It’s definitely doable! I also had some great support, including a soon-to-be Iron (wo)Man who helped me during my last open water swim. I might have been able to do it without my friends, but it was definitely more fun & less stressful this way! I absolutely recommend hanging out with people who are more athletic! It’s inspriational.

  • Carolina John
    August 3, 2009 - 9:18 am ·

    VERY COOL! You’re smiling in every picture? that’s a sure sign that you could have gone harder. my race pics look like i’m about to die.

    i kid. awesome job! you did really really well, and had fun. that’s the most important part. welcome to the world of the crazy’s! we like it here. Those are all great times, and you should be proud of your performance.

    Once you complete a triathlon, you join an elite group of people that replace fear with adventure. The sky’s the limit from here. Tri’s are addictive. I say shoot for another sprint in early september if you can find one. otherwise wait until next year and plan for a few sprints and an olympic distance too. you’re hooked now girl! embrace it. i’m so proud for you.

    • gazelle
      August 3, 2009 - 10:34 am ·

      I totally could’ve gone harder – this I know. I just didn’t know how hard I could go & still finish. Now I have some kind of baseline, the next one will be better! πŸ™‚

      Thank you for the congratulations – and I knew midway through the bike that this would not be my last tri. I am already addicted. If I didn’t have a marathon in 2 months, I would be scheduling tris right now! Next summer I will be doing more, for sure!

  • Danica
    August 3, 2009 - 1:18 pm ·

    YAY! You totally survived! Not even a question in my mind that you would, but that is so great! You even look so great at the end! Nice job and congrats. I bow down to all your swimmers and bikers!!!

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