Fizzle Out

I'm not sure I've wanted to write a blog post less than this one. But, how can I not talk about my very first triathlon experience? I could totally pretend it didn't happen - which is actually what I want  to do, but then you'd probably just call me a big cry baby. And I am. I'm the first to admit it. I should probably be living some high of doing something pretty challenging and new, but I'm not. I guess I've been having what I'd deem a pretty successful year so not hitting my goals is a huge mental set back.

I don't hate triathlon and I will do another one. It's just that next time I need to focus on me a bit more. Mostly I'm sitting here really mad at myself for decisions I made that ultimately affected my performance. I suck at not living up to my own expectations - not anyone elses, mine. And having only myself to blame for the outcome of the race is hard. So, because I don't want to dwell on it, and you just want the gritty details anyways here's the synopsis.
Tri Family - Aunt Kath, Hubby, cousin Tricia, Me, Dave, cousin Christine

Because the race was out-of-town we opted for a hotel room and left Coach M with my mom at my aunt's house. Smart. Lights out at 10 - asleep at who-knows-when. I didn't really sleep. Wake up call 5:30 am - I was already staring at the alarm clock anyways. Quick load up of the bikes and gear, out the door by 5:50 to get to the Starbucks that said it was open at 5:30. It wasn't. (Curse word).  Have I mentioned I'm starving?

Family Photo Pre-Race
Bikes racked and transitions are set up by 6:10. The weather seems to be holding and the forecasted showers seem to be willing to wait until after the race is over. Meet w/ the family, get a bit excited, get numbered, get timing chip, and state to hubby that I'm getting hangry - off to the car to eat breakfast for 6:35 so we're back for the pre-race meeting at 6:45. At this point hubby and I should have left to get coffee but we didn't. We headed into the pool w/ the rest of the family and watched swimmers until it was finally our turn at 10am. I tried to listen to some music but I felt really rude. I ate an apple at about 8:15 but should have really walked to the car to get more food as I knew we still had a while to wait. Mistake which ultimately lead to a crappy run.

Hanging out in the pool pre-race - I took my headphones off for the shot.
My Aunt - She's got such a great sense of humor about things including her race number.

Hubby and I were originally slotted to be in the same heat/lane but were able to change. Good for him. Not for me. I ended up swimming w/ a dude doing breast stroke the entire time and who refused to let me pass for a couple lengths. I spent so much mental energy worrying about him I didn't get to focus on my swim. Mistake which ultimately lead to a 18 minute swim instead of the 15-16 minute mark which I'm more than capable of.

T1 went fantastic. Both transitions were probably the best part of the race. They went smooth as I visualized and I had great access to both the bike exit/entry and the run exit. I guess something had to go good. All in all I spent less than 4 minutes in transitions and considering the lengthy mount/dismount runs both from pool to bike and bike to road I think that's pretty fair.

Leaving T1

The bike was probably the best part of the race in terms of performance. I didn't hit my goal time but I did maintain a high cadence through out which was one of my main goals. I passed and got passed. I killed the hill for sure climbing really well but have some speed work to do on the flats. The wind was no help but everyone had it so not much I could do about that.

Cheer Squad - Coach M and her cousin Coach A, who after the race said to her mommy (Tricia) - I don't want to watch you race ever again. No reason, just 2.5 year old logic.

I grabbed some electrolyte mix leaving for the run, swigged a bit then tossed it to my cheering family. But in hindsight I should have grabbed my apple juice. About 500m into the run I knew I needed calories. Pushing as hard as I could I managed to pass a few runners which helped my spirits some but did nothing for my actual energy levels. I passed hubby as he was on the run back and he looked strong. So now it was just me on the course, the last of the family. This somehow defeated me mentally; It made me feel slow and like they were waiting for me. Which they were. High fives from my cousin's daughter and Coach M helped give me that final push to the finish line. All in all I was the 9th fastest female runner but it was by far my slowest 5km time in a long while.

Heading out on the run

Here are my results from the women only.

Place-12/117; 6/41-F3039; Swim: 65th-17:53 Bike*: 16th-46:35; Run: 9th-26:06; Total: 1:30:33.6

*includes transition times, about 4 min total I think.

High five for hubby in the final stretch

Ultimately I had the training to be about two minutes faster in each discipline but it didn't come together for me that day. Live and learn right? After the race we headed back to my aunt's. I ate copious amounts, napped w/ Coach M, and finally had a cup of coffee. My body is feeling a-ok and I'm ready to be back into the high gears of training.

And what about the fam? Hubby was the 15th overall male (17th overall) and finished in 1:18:58. He had a great run and was 8th fastest runner on the course. He is super excited about racing and I'm sure will be talking about triathlons more than ever now. My cousin Tricia blogged about her experience too.

Hubby looking strong finishing

Tricia finishing her run

Coach M and Papa

Post race shot - Christine missing

For now I'm just letting it go and focusing on what's next. I've got a 10km in two weekends and then lots of serious focusing for my half in August. I haven't lost the will to train and if anything my desire to be better burns even stronger.

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