Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I tried Triathlon

That is the name of our hometown mini-sprint Triathlon.  I had intended to participate in the Triathlon last year, but due to the "fish bowl" accident I didn't participate and watched from the sidelines as my husband, sister and brother in-law participated.  A year later and a year healthier with no "fish bowl" accidents and I entered the pool 44th on this past Sunday morning.

The swim was tough for me this year. The swim is such a small portion of most Triathlons, but it can be the toughest for many athletes. All I had to do was swim 250 yards or 10 laps in our community pool.  My breathing has been off most of my training and this breathing thing is pretty important when you are expending energy.  I have felt like a whale in the water not a slick moving swimmer during training and so it shouldn't have surprised me that about 4 laps of the pool I started to feel this kind of panic set in.  I even stopped my free stroke and did a couple of breast strokes just to keep my head above water and breathe easier.  I regrouped and finished strong.  I was so excited to pull myself out of the pool.

Onto the bike- 6 miles on a flat course.  The bike historically has been my worst part of the Tri the last two times I did the event.  The first year I rode my bike on a pretty flat front tire; so basically I was turning my wheels as fast as I could, but not going anywhere.  I didn't realize how  flat my tire was until I saw a picture of me on the bike and the front tire looked totally flat.  The second year I participated it went better, but I still didn't feel great about my ride.  This year I felt better prepared and I borrowed my father in-laws bike which was a smooth ride and I really felt a lot easier to move on.  I didn't get passed the entire bike and I passed a few so that is always positive and I knew I was pushing it because my quads were burning.

Last was the run- short one- 2.1 miles.  I wanted to finish strong and feel like my run is the strongest part of the Tri.  Getting off a bike and starting to run hard can feel really funny.  It is like you know you are running, but you can't feel your legs that well. Like your legs went to the dentist and got some shots of "numbing medicine"- you can feel, but you can't feel.   I didn't really feel my legs until a mile into the run.  I kicked it in with a 1/2 mile left and passed a couple of ladies which felt good, but most importantly I finished strong kicking it in at the end.

I felt good about my effort and I felt a definite all over body fatigue.  Husband came in after me, he started in the 68th slot.  He finished strong too.  We waited around for the kids tri, which both the kids you now know participated in.  Before the kids Tri the awards were handed out.  I was pleasantly surprised to be awarded 3rd place for my age division  for women (30-39 y.o.).  Husband also got third in his age division for men. Pretty cool to both have matching plaques.

My official time was 49:49     Swim 5:14.6      Bike 26:29.3     Run 18:05.1

1st place in my division was 48:39.1 and 2nd was 49:36.1, so I wasn't far off 1st or 2nd by much.

If I could go back and do anything different I would've done more time in the pool and worked on increasing my breathing capacity so I would've made up some time in my swim portion.  Bike and Run I really felt like I gave it my all.  The feeling after doing even this mini-sprint is very different than even the recent 1/2 marathon I did.  My quads were still sore the next day, but I had an overall body fatigue, not just legs.  That's what is great about Tri's- it is an all body workout.  Now let the fun begin- big time long runs and training for Chicago.  I hope to still throw in a swim or bike a week, but now focusing on running long and increasing speed.  I'm hoping it will pay off in October.

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