I did the Windcrest Freshman Tri, designed for beginners, but not limited to first-timers. I was most nervous about the swim. It was only 200 meters, but I had done exactly 6 lap swim sessions in the two weeks leading up to the race. (And that was the only lap swimming I had done in my life.)
Then, of course, there's the transition: Getting out of the pool, clipped into a bike, off of the bike and into running shoes. Whew! It was lot to think about, especially when my body was really more interested in making sure I was breathing than sending extra blood to my brain.
And the pool was cold! 72 degrees. For the first 15 meters, I had serious freezer brain- like the kind you get from Sonic slushes. But it wore off and then my only problem was all the other people in the pool. I knew there would likely be people walking the run, but walking the swim?? And the narrow lanes made passing difficult, especially since a couple people were doing breaststroke- that sort of takes the whole lane, particularly when you have people going in both directions.
I survived the swim, trudged over to my bike, got my shoes on my wet feet, put on my helmet and managed to get clipped in without incident. (That was my other concern- missing the clip-in and sprawling on the pavement. It would have been funny, but highly embarrassing.) I enjoy riding, and I had to keep reminding myself that this was a RACE, not a Saturday morning spin through Windcrest. I caught myself paying WAY too much attention to the scenery. Ten miles later, I fumbled my way back through transition and pulled on my running shoes.
I missed my music. For some reason, I have a hard time keeping up a good pace if I don't have music. Listening to the breeze and the birds singing is nice and all, but it doesn't make me run very fast. I guess I'll have to practice more "quiet" running.
Crossing the finish line was a major rush, but here I did make a rookie mistake: I glanced at the time as I crossed and thought that was my time. "Man, I am SLOW!" But I finished and that's what counted. Turns out, that was the time since the beginning of the race, so it included the 25 minutes I spent standing in line waiting to swim. Live and learn.
I was still pretty slow: 200 m swim- 5:49; 10 mile bike- 37:39; 2 mile run- 19:31. I definitely need to spend more time riding. (But not, apparently, in the city of Bulverde. Check out this story. A side note to the mayor of Bulverde: Share the road. Cyclists vote too.)
I'm especially grateful to my friend Amanda for inspiring me to do this. She has seven kids too, and she came in first in her age group! (And, thanks, Anthony, for the pictures!)
Here's to finishing! And to next time!