So let me explain. I was a triathlon newbie this year. I am a pretty literal person so when you tell me a course is flat I take your word for it. So here is what I learned don’t ask a real swimmer about the swim in a triathlon. They will tell you something like ” it only a 3rd of a mile you’ve done that in the pool. True. Lesson one the pool is not the ocean or the bay. I swim four to five times a week in the summer and could do the distance that I needed for the tri’s. I was not however ready to swim the distance with waves, wind and people swimming over my slow head. Plus something touched my foot and there were no people near me.
Lie number two, bikers don’t count hills that don’t make them stand up while they are riding. At Iron Girl they said a little wind. What? I felt like I was riding into a wall for a mile or two and had to do it twice.
This time the runners didn’t lie and the course was flat and pleasant.
This past February though I did a 5K with my buds. We all walked it. Could anyone have told me that Morristown, New Jersey is built on a series of hills. I was talking to my self out loud by mile three.
So whatever an athlete tells you ask them first how fast they run, ride or swim and then multiply what they say by at least three.
Words to the wise!!!!
My First Triathlon: 2:22:57
Not sure where to begin this story. Yesterday I completed my first (and I vowed) my last triathlon. I was not a happy camper to be coming in near the end. I know that the time shouldn’t have been my priority but I was bummed out. Any way that’s not the beginning.
Thanks to the encouragement of my Brick City Masterswim pals, at the beginning of this year I signed up for Jersey Girl and Iron Girl. And in the spring I began training sans the bike because I didn’t own one. I think I bought my bike in the end of May. I was so fearful of the bike that it took weeks to get on it. It’s a hybrid and lighter than the mountain bike I had borrowed. Riding is not my favorite activity by far.
So, to yesterday. The rain really caught me off guard. I had thought of all sorts of conditions but not that. It was cool, dreary and rainy for the first hour in Long Branch. Tovah (Triwomen volunteer) had run a great seminar called Transition 101 for us newbies I had packed and double checked to make sure I had everything I needed.
Fast forward to yesterday, the transition area was as I had expected. My husband had made me a flag so I could find my bike and stuff. We were also at the edge of the transition area so we could clearly see everything. The rain kept me from laying out my event items even though I had plastic bags. Just seemed to complicated. So I pulled my helmet, shirt and glasses and put them on my bike seat and covered the whole thing with plastic.
The swim was okay. Pretty strong breakers. I was so slow in the water that people kept trying to give me noodles. I was fine but called myself saving my energy for the bike. I was in the water a very long time for the distance. But lesson learned. Did I mention the water was warmer than the air temp waiting to get in?
T1 was a bit of a mess because of the rain. Everything was wet and I didn’t have time to dump my Home Depot Bucket to sit on it which was my plan. Took me a while to change shirts, and do a balancing act to put on socks and shoes.
The bike ride was an 11 mile nightmare. My new friend Nancy rescued me at about mile six and rode the rest of the way with me talking to me the whole time. I was ready to stop. That course wasn’t what I’d call flat and we were riding into the wind coming back. I had on an open jacket which was like wearing a sail I’m sure. People have suggested that I might have done better with a road bike but one, I just bought my bike and two I swear people went by me on what looked to be the old Schwin bikes I grew up on. I just needed more training rides.
T2, I couldn’t feel my legs or hands. I asked my rack mate to take my helmet off because I couldn’t feel my hands. The legs were gone but I expected that. Again a shirt change and I started my walk.
The walk was not my fastest but not bad considering I had done swim and bike already. It took 53 minutes and the first mile or so I was just getting over “brick” legs.
I was bummed when I finished and saw the time clock. Duh! That was event time not my time. Today I saw my time broken down and I didn’t feel so bad. Except for the swim, the rest was about what I expected. Now I have room for improvement. Oh yeah and as of today Iron Girl is back on. I think!
So I just read Leah’s comment to me and I do have to remember that I am not competing with those ladies that are setting their watches and running like hell into the water. I cannot promise yet that I won’t let them fluster me. In the end of April my buddies and I entered and indoor Triathlon at Montclair State University here in New Jersey. This was just for fun as far as we were concerned. I didn’t even know that the “winners” were getting prizes. So the deal was swim for 10 minutes, ride spin bikes for 30 minutes and run(in my case walk) on the treadmill for 20 minutes. Keep in mind that I swim three to four days every week.
We had to swim two in a lane. I was in the lane with Debra who is one of our teams best swimmers. When the man said go I began to swim and by mid length I had lost it. I couldn’t breathe and was convinced that I was going to swim in to Debra who was at least a half-length ahead of me. I would be embarrassed to tell you how few lengths I did in 10 minutes. The bike and treadmill were fine.
So what’s my point? Most of the Triathletes that I have met so far did one of the three sports when they signed up for the Tri. In my case swimming is my sport. That doesn’t mean I’m good but I’m consistent. So I was extremely upset when it was over and I had gotten so psyched out that I couldn’t do the one thing I am counting on in the Tri.
I must get control of the mental game to finish this thing. Some of those ladies can be pretty aggressive when they are doing their Tri’s. That coupled with open water (I am a pool swimmer) has me pretty nervous. Not to mention that I am incredibly slow in all three at this point.
At least I can swim with my age group not that there aren’t competitive, aggressive 60+ women but maybe they’ll be nicer? We’ll see won’t we. Jersey Girl Triathlon, August 3, 2014, Long Branch, New Jersey will be my first!
So okay this is a sprint triathlon here in New Jersey in September. I registered last year but my very interesting health issues caused me to lose focus and then my training failed. I will not be daunted this year. I paid my money and am determined to make it this year. For those of you that don’t know what a sprint triathlon is, it is short distances.This year the website says the swim is 1/3 of a mile (1/2 in the past) 15 mile ride (longer than last year) and 3 mile run. I am still freaked out about the bike part but I joined HbWomen a riding group affiliated with Hilltop Bicycles in Summit and Cranford New Jersey. When they schedule beginners rides I will be there. I’m even buying a bike in the spring. Of course the knees don’t run but they can still walk and that’s what I’ll be doing. So it’s done. I’m even thinking about a second one.