JCC Tri: The real breakdown

First off, it was huge for me to have my Mom and my Hubby attend the race with me. It made more excited the morning of, and it drove me to push hard during the race knowing they were waiting for me. Seeing them at the transitions and knowing they were sending me good vibes was positively huge. So thanks to Mom and Hubby for being the bestest support team ever!!!

Now the race report.

The night before. With Mom in town, Mike and I decided to make the leap and FINALLY buy a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. We got the Artisan style, red in color. It is gorgeous. We have been talking about this for YEARS. We decided to bite the bullet because we were making pizza dough. Why am I mentioning this? Because I would love for homemade pizza to become my new pre race fuel food. Carbs, veggies, lycopenes and just go light on the cheese. The dough came out awesome, and I had a lovely veggie pizza the night before the race. Luckily, I fell asleep with no problem whatsoever and got a great nights sleep. Since the race was only about 30 minutes from the house and I had already picked up my race packet, no need for a ridiculous alarm in the a.m. So, I set the alarm for 6 and ended up waking up at 5:45. Totally works.

Race Day. Got the car loaded, put my transition bag into the car. Had coffee and a granola bar for breakfast. We headed off to the race. Mom and I scouted out the bike route the day before, and I was really nervous about the ride. There were two areas with a big hill, and I was terrified. One was right in the beginning, the other was near the end. I definitely had the race day butterflies going. In a very smooth move the night before, Hubby said to me, "Oh, while you were in the shower I got a phone call. It was those hills. They said they are scared of YOU." I love this man.

I get my bike up on the rack and set up my transition space. As the weather warmed up, I was very glad I opted to bring my fuel belt and a couple water bottles for the run. I was going to need them. We decided to go ahead and head over to the pool. Here is the one kind of crappy part of the whole race. The run from the pool to the transition area was not only kind of long, but it was also partly on gravel. Yeah, gravel. The JCC Park has all gravel roads, so the gravel flies into the grass. There were tree roots sticking up in the ground. And oh yeah, the gravel. Several people brought their shoes into the pool area and put them on before their run over to the T area. Smart move and mental note for next year.

SWIM: We ended up standing next to the pool for quite some time. They started us off right on time, but with a 5-10 second delay between swim starts, I knew it would take a while to get to my number - 186. In fact, they told people to line up by number if they felt comfortable with their reported swim finish time. If not, move to where you think you should be. As I feel my swim isn't that strong, I navigated to the back. Bad idea. I should have sought out my actual place in line for two reasons - one, I was correct in my time estimate and two, it took forever to even start my race. I ended up in the last group of about 25 swimmers, and the swim went really well. I never felt like I was gasping and I actually SWAM. I had FORM. I did my breathing correctly. I only pushed off the bottom 2-3 times. I saw guys who looked like they should be on the cover of GQ actually walking down the lap lanes. So I felt pretty strong. The 300yd swim went by fast - so fast in fact that I thought I accidentally skipped a lane. I did not - as hubby confirmed for me later. My swim took me about 7:30 for 300 yards, but the times included your run up to the T area. Final swim time: 9:28. (165th out of 241 - not too bad!)

BIKE: I got to the bike with no problems - no rocks in my feet or tripping on roots. The only kind of crappy thing was as I made it into the T area, I heard the announcers saying the names of the first few finishers. FINISHERS? I had barely started.... Anyway, I get my sunglasses on, get my helmet on, my shoes and my socks, and I run the bike over to the start area. Jump on the bike and head single file down a gravel driveway. Nearing the end of the gravel road prior to turning onto the main course, I gripped my handlebars to apply the breaks. Ummmm.....left break, WHERE ARE YOU? SHITIFORGOTTOCONNECTTHEBRAKELINE. I pull over, almost taking out the course volunteer and pop in my break line. Okay, good to go. Pull around the corner. Start to shift into the big gear. Grrrr. Ummmm why won't the pedal move. Did I leave the kickstand down? What the hell? WHY WON'T THE BIKE MOVE??? DAMN IT! The chain is not connected somewhere - and I have no idea how to find it or how to get it back on. i fiddle with it on the side of the road for a few minutes with no luck at all. None. Evidently some other lady wipes out going around the corner somewhere behind me about 100 yards. Not a good day for us slowpokes. I run the bike back to where the volunteers are. I ask anyone - DO YOU KNOW HOW TO HELP ME???? I started to panic. DAMN, I won't be able to race. SHITSHITSHIT. Right then, a volunteer from Roll, a bike store in the local mall, runs up and helps me. In two seconds he has the chain back where it needs to be and I am on my way. I bless him with karma and say thank you a thousand times. I am on my way. THANK YOU, KIND MAN FROM ROLL!!!!!

A tad shaken, I now realize that the first big hill is only around the corner. I pedal - hard - as long and as fast as I can on the way to the hill. I fly on the downhill and nearly coast up the top of the big scary hill. I spin my way up the last bit and I make it. I yelled WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO as loudly as I could. I knew there would be no more problems on the bike course. And there weren't. i made it up every hill with no problem. I said "on the left!" and passed several people - two of them going UP the next big hill. hell yes. I even got in a sprint for the finish from a fellow biker. Little did I know I would be seeing him again soon...... With the delays and all, bike time was 54:18. I spent 10-15 minutes trying to get my bike fixed, so I am pretty unhappy with this time.

RUN: Run transition was fast. I drop the bike, dump the helmet, put on my ultracool headsweats running hat (thank you, Lauren!!!), wave to Mom and the hubby, put on my fuel belt and head out. Now comes the hard part. The damn 5K run. The course was "easy". very flat, no curves, no confusion. It was just hot. Oh so HOTT. No shade for 90% of the course. Just running on the road, heat coming up from the pavement. I don't know what else to say except DAMN it was hot. I drank water, I had a GU, I drank more water. Then all of a sudden this guy and I start playing leap frog. Him in front of me, he walks, me in front of him, I walk, back and forth back and forth. He tells me he's the guy who gets into the bike sprint with me and apologizes for passing on the right. he tells me he needs to walk. i tell him i am going to keep going but i will see him in 30 seconds as I know he will catch back up. On schedule, he does. I keep going, he walks a bit then catches back up. We're about a tenth a mile from the finish and I tell him to stay with me. Just stay with me, we'll take it slow and get the hero's welcome and come in with a massive sprint. We stay side by side. As we round the corner and see the finish, we both say "Okay, let's do this!!!" And we both SPRINT and go as fastfastfast as we can go. And I think I finished about 2 seconds in front of him :-)

The sprint finish with my running buddy!

They were already taking down the T-area, etc, but I was finally done. Mom and Mike were there and beaming. I got a medal. It was pretty cool. I really enjoyed it. like, REALLY enjoyed it. I could totally do this again. This summer? maybe not. But watch out folks - I will be ready for next year's tri season!!!! And I do NOT plan to be an Athena :-) Editorial note: Not that I don't LOVE who I am, it's just my goal to lose those last pesky 6 pounds and get to under 150. We'll see. And I will always love my fellow Athenas!!!!

My first real sprint triathlon!!!!!

Final time was 1:44. My goal was to beat 1:45. My dream time was 1:30. Next year? 1:30 or less.


Julie (ROJ) said...

i really enjoyed your report. I'm glad you kept going even with all the little hiccups. And your husband is totally a sweetie for what he said

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

Congrats! Love all the nice pictures that you posted. You hung in there and kicked those hills butts! Great to read that you loved the tri. I've never done a swim like that for a tri...sounds kind of crazy but seems like it worked out fine.

Tiffany said...

Nice job! You are a total inspiration.

Lelali Di said...

That's awesome! I just clicked next blog and yours came up. Congrats on finishing and meeting your goal! I am a vegetarian athelete as well, it's nice to find another. I don't think I personally know any vegetarian athletes. Keep it up!

M said...

Lelali- welcome to my blog and thanks for posting. check out No Meat Athlete - a great blog for veggie athletes of all kinds: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on your first sprint. It was definetly an interesting race. To get into the pool took forever, the bike was un eventful, and the run was blistering hot.

I ride for Team Roll's Charity Team, the name of the guy that fixed your bike is Kalib, to give you a name to the face.

HFP has alot of womens tri this season, you should think of signing up for another one this season. (you know you want to)

M said...

Thanks for his name!!! When you see him next, please tell him the freaked out newbie whose chain he fixed is forever grateful :-) I was nearly in tears thinking I may have to DNF until he showed up!

As for another race, I think I may cap off the season with the last GirlsTriToo Series - that's what I started with, so maybe that's a good one to end with this year as well.