Gravenhurst Sprint Triathlon COMPLETED!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I will have to add pictures later, as I'm laying in bed icing my left knee post my first and last sprint triathlon. Last, because I'm a horrible biker.. and hated it.. it doesn't help that I have a mountain bike and not a road bike; but I still hate it.. and thats ok.. I'm ok with that!
Here's the dish:
750 metre swim
20 km bike ride (hilly route)

Started off with a 5:30 alarm.. met my BFF Penni at the coffee shop so I could put my bike in the back of her truck and we'd only have to park 1 vehicle.
To the event. Parking was about 200 metres from the event; and the walk was fine; lugging all our crap was NOT FUN.. but necessary.
The temps were warming up quickly as the clouds were burned off. Penni went off to the starting line for her dualthon (5k, 20km bike, and 2.5k run)-I have to mention that Pennster and I are relatively new to biking.. new as in I just learned how to change gears last week! Training started in April with my first bike ride in about 20 years!
I digress
Off I go to the steamship (a VERY cool way to start a race!) which was delayed (and I can't figure out why) but we all managed to put on our coloured caps (mine was PINK) and jumped into the warm lake. I chose not to put on a wet suit because 1. I'm not investing in something I'll never use. 2. I'd probably never find one in my size. 3. I'd look utterly ridiculous!
Once you jumped in (about 5 foot drop) u treaded water to the starting buoys.. next thing I know they call out 20 seconds to start and i don't have my goggles on or my nose plug (EEK!).. I put them on.. and realize that if I don't pee now (yes, I know.. in the Lake.. eww) that I was screwed.. so I warmed up the lake with about 300 other people (ya'll know that at least ONE of us peed, right?).. the horn blasted and we took off. I was near the beginning, but lordy knows I didn't stay there.. I thought I was a decent swimmer (and yes, I passed a few) but these other people? ATHLETES!
I couldn't control my breathing as the waves were WAY bigger than I imagined and I managed to swallow about 3 litres of lake water (which, by the way? tasted pretty good!).. now I usually do a breath on the right, and every 4th stroke, come up to the right for a breath.... not this time.. my head was up for a LONG period of time.. I just couldn't breath! It took about 400 metres in before I felt that I wasn't going to be run over by other swimmers, and yes, they WILL run you over.. and near the end I pushed past 2 girls who were ahead of me and one really old guy from the 1st wave (I was the 3rd wave). YEAH FOR ME!
My times weren't what I expected. I wanted 18 min and secretly hoping for 15 minutes, but with the number of bodies climbing on top of me and over me and the waves.. well.. lets just say I'm glad I didn't have to be rescued!
21 minutes was my time; and I'm ok with that.
Climbed up the stairs (like pool stairs) and ran across the boardwalk.. yes, that's right people.. in my bike shorts and tri top.. I ran.. barefoot.. to the transition area, about 100 metres from the water.. maybe a bit more. Found my bike, and put on my helmet, dried my feet, socks on, shoes on, chapstick on (OOPS, it was so hot by now that the chapstick had melted on my face!) doh! So I wiped off the chunks, grabbed a stick of gum, put on my garmin and took off walking/running my bike through the chip board to the 'mount' sign.. took a minute to mount the bike as my pedal got caught in another guys bike.. (DOH!) and took off.. me beating him for about.. uhm.. ONE SECOND before he roared past me.. damn!
There are many hills in the race.. rolling is a lie.. tortuous is more like it.. the first two are immediately upon entering the bike portion.. I made it up the first and flunked on the 2nd ended up walking. Now all the people I passed on the swim are whizzing passed me.. 'ON YOUR LEFT' "ON YOUR LEFT" "ON YOUR LEFT" I wanted to scream.. "YEAH, YEAH!! I FREAKIN KNOW! JUST GO!".. but I kept my cool (cause really? I couldn't breath) and took sips of water from my camel pak/bak.. (best idea EVER for people who can't balance a bike and drink water!)
I made some decent rolling hills work for me; but never managed to pass one.. ALMOST passed this Asian lady but there was a hill coming up and there's was no point in me finally screaming, "ON YOUR FREAKIN LEFT!!!" when she'd pass me in about 3 seconds anyways.. lol.. so for a minute it seemed like I was drafting her (I totally was not!) and she glanced back, so I said.. "I'm just not fast enough to pass you, sorry!" and she took off.. the big hill at the end, I couldn't make it up either.. but neither could the majority of the people I was riding with.. so I didn't feel THAT bad. Lots of support on the course, which was nice.. not like a half marathon, but still enough. Road was open to traffic (no choice really) and so there were a few near-misses cause people were constantly passing me. I saw Penni make the turn about 5 min before I got there; so I knew I wasn't that far behind. I pushed it near the end and about 1 km before the end I saw Penni ahead so I booted it and screamed passed her, "ON YOUR LEFT OLD LADY! MOVE IT MOVE IT!".. giggling like a maniac.. if I could ride with no hands, I so totally would have.. childish, yes, I know, but I was feeling quite euphoric that the end was within reach.. I got goosebumps, I DID! With Penni hot on my tail; I soared through the bike finish, almost forgetting to dismount! DOH! Managed about 1:03 ish for the bike. My plan was 1:20 and secretly hoping for 1:10.. so I did good considering it was my worst.
Then the racking of the bike, I downed a few M and M's about 2km before the end of the bike ride to sugar up (I don't do gels or chewies, eww) and grabbed a sip of water, my baseball cap, attempted the chapstick again (what was I thinking??!!) and wiped the excess wax off my face and took off running. I couldn't figure on how I could run and change my settings on the watch, so I just hit 'lap' instead.. ran for about 200 metres and then the heat just got to me. OVER WHELMING. Shoes felt like they were sticking to the pavement.. legs, yes.. like BRICKS (so very, very true).. so I walked.. ran.. walked.. then saw Penni coming up behind me not far from her turn around and she left me to go run a great run; while I trudged up and up and up this stupid freaking road. NO SHADE. NO WIND. Over 100 degrees F; or over 40 degrees C.. THAT is hot! I drank so much water on the bike that I cramped up in my left shoulder/rib/upper diaphragm.. so I walked again. I ended up walking 99% of the route. I was only passed by 2 people.. but realized quite quickly that it looked like I could be last.. couldn't see anyone behind me. I turned around and about 2 minutes later I realized I wasn't last.. 2nd to last.. then 4 min later I realized I was 3rd from last (YIPEE!)..I ran for about 20 seconds then had to walk.. about 2 km from the end I saw the girl who was 2nd last coming up strong behind me.. well.. stronger than walking, anyways.. and I just didn't have it in me to run.. I was toast.. melting.. I took the water stops to dowse myself with water, rather than drink it.. about 200 metres from the finish I started to run again. I'm sure the other people milling around the finish line figured it was already over, but I got a few, "GO GIRL! ALMOST THERE!" cheers, which helped. I finished the run smiling with the peace sign on both hands. Penni caught my finish and I walked over to the tent to get ice applied to my neck and back. I had trouble catching my breath and now know what an asthmatic feels like.. like the hole is too small and the breath isn't getting in fast enough.. I panicked a bit; but Penni was there with me; so it didn't take but 2 minutes to be able to breath again and to realize, that no.. I was not going to pass out. A few minutes with the ice on the back/neck was a great idea.. knee gave me no issues (until walking in the parking lot!) and we were shocked to realize there was no finishers medals.. REALLY?? MULTISPORT?? NO MEDALS?? wow.. very disappointed.. the 2nd race now, that I've not received a medal and really? Thats more important to me than a gift bag full of crap.
Grabbed my ice water, headed for a burger (not bad) and Penni lined up for a massage, which we ended up waiting around for 30 minutes for a lady who had NO pain, NO injury and was just chatting with the guy; while Penni is waiting and she's got a bad leg!! We left and managed to walk our bikes and gear to the truck, she drove me to my car (while I'm crying telling her I may not be able to do a marathon after all) and of course, she knows.. and she loves me anyways.. (sigh) do I know how to pick BFF's, or what??!
Home in traffic with 40+ heat and jumped in shower, downloaded photos, posted FB on my pics/status; got my stats (will post later as well as pics) and that, is THAT. Triathlon.. OFF the bucket list.
So I sit icing my knee (I'm sure its because I've gained 10 pounds and not because of anything I did) and typing away with a hot laptop burning my thighs.
I'm not hungry.. not thirsty.. not sore (except for the knee which is hot -poker fire in the medial aspect).. I'm no longer sweaty... and I'm feeling proud of myself.. even coming in 2nd last. I'm ok with that. I didn't have any expectations.. just didn't want to quit. Didn't want to be last; but would have been ok with that too. I was hoping for 2 hours, and I got just over that.. again.. not bad. I placed fairly high in the swim for my time.. lots of people did over 20 min swims.. so I know that is a strong point for me.
I'm happy we are having leftovers and that I won't have to cook.
Sprint triathlon? CHECK!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow - Jen - That was exciting to read.
    Great Job! Don't stop now.
    You did Awesome!!
    3557 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon on finishing and checking one off your Bucket List. I thinking about doing a sprint. I'm like you bad knees when I emoticon I'm suffering for the rest of the day. I still rusty on the emoticon but I'm getting better each time. Last year was the first time I was back on a emoticon in many years. I can't wait to see the pictures.
    3557 days ago
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