Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sand Hollow Aquatic Center Sprint Triathlon, I'M A TRIATHLETE

I love that some days that I am still so new to this running and racing thing that I am a total goober at times. I did my packet pickup Friday night for my sprint triathlon and it was 3 lines, the first line you got your goodie bag and tech shirt, the second line you got your bibs and the third line you got your tracking chip.

I had my 18 month old son with me at first he was really good as he was in awe of all the new people around us but after awhile he just wanted down to go run around. So I am half listening to the advice and trying to keep an eye on him. There is two distances a sprint and a beginner (half the distances of all the sprint legs) distance. I hear the lady tell the guy in front of me black bibs are for the beginner distance and the red bibs are for the sprint distance. Well the lady gives me one of each a black and red bib and I am like huh. And I am looking at the back of the black bib and it's got tape on it and has the my number twice and i am like that is the weirdest bib I have ever seen.

I tell her I am not going to switch clothes for the bike and run portions and I don't need two bibs and I am supposed to have the red bib. I am such a goober the black bib is to go on your bike and the red bib to run in. Took me a minute to get that ohhhhhhhh moment.

So then I get in the next line and I am like why are they giving out finisher medals before the race even begins. I nearly abandon the line and just go home thinking I can just grab a finisher medal after the race because my son is running all over the place and I am having to chase him down constantly. I toss my "finishers medal" in my bag and scoop up the rambunctious rapscallion and head home. I get home and go to look at my "finishers medal" and realize it's actually my timing chip. It is a little Velcro band that goes around your ankle and only half paying attention it looked like the ribbon for a medal. And I nearly left without it.

The mistakes would continue from there as I had planned to be in bed my 10pm with a 5:30 alarm already set. Well vegging on the couch and enjoying some Lego Star Wars the Complete Saga on the Wii had me missing my planned bedtime by 30 minutes. Which I didn't worry about too much because I never sleep that good before a race anyways with the butterflies and jitters doing numbers on me.

Woke up around 5:20 before my alarm went off, like I said I never sleep that good race night and everything was going good, got a quick shower, got all my stuff together, made myself a breakfast to eat at the event center (PB&J sandwich and a banana my normal pre-race breakfast of late). Loaded the bike in the car and headed over to the Aquatic center with the wife. Got all my stuff set in the transition area and went over to the picnic tables to chill pre-race and eat my breakfast. Since it is a pool triathlon they had set the heats to be in four different times and I got the last time 8:15am. So I had plenty of time to eat breakfast but that is when I realize I forgot my swim goggles (I keep them in a little black bag with all the rest of my swim stuff in the car hence it not being with my race stuff).

I make the trek back to the car, grab my goggles and head to stand in a line for the restroom. I swear this event was nothing but endless lines at time, from packet pickup, to the restrooms to waiting for your turn at a lap lane in the pool. The wife is a little grumpy and tired and I figure I would go get in line early for my swim so she didn't have to wait around as long. It didn't make that much of a difference as even though I lined up at 7:25 for my turn at a lap lane it wasn't until after 8:30 that I actually got in the pool and I was still nearly one of the last 50 or so swimmers in a race of 700.

I didn't train for the swim as much because I always knew it was my strongest discipline (plus right now the chlorine does hell on my allergies) but that didn't squash the fear of me being the weakest swimmer there. That was of course tell I watched some of the swimmers during the hour I waited for my turn, from back strokes to one kid that was in the way shallow end of the lap lanes and seemed to walk a good portion of the swim. There was tons of weak swimmers there and probably the reason it took so long to get a lane. I felt bad for the one kid because he obviously shouldn't have been in the sprint distance and someone should have just signed him up for the beginner, and I kept thinking what if he had been in the 12 foot water like I ended up being in he might have drowned, poor kid. I actually saw that I was easily in the top %5-10 as far as the swim went and even without a lot of training cranked the swim out in a fairly good time.

While waiting for my turn in the swim the Race director for the Saint George marathon who I have been talking on facebook with gave me several shout outs as she knew this was my first triathlon and was there last night at the packet pickup. This resulted in a lot of people congratulating me and knowing my name during the race and after the race. That was kind of cool, I almost felt like a celebrity and had at least three people come up to me and tell me about there weight loss and also gave advice to someone while I was there too. She also mentioned that I signed up for the marathon yesterday, gotta love shout outs.

Swim went great and headed over to the transition area. Who knew putting socks on wet feet with nowhere to sit might be one of the toughest things I did all day, it almost makes you want to be a barefoot runner but not sure if there is barefoot bikers.

In the race booklet and on the race website it said the bike was mostly flat with a few rolling hills. I cry liar liar pants on fire for that statement. The bike course was nothing but rolling hills, which is fun on the downhill but sucks every time you have to climb another hill. It was a minute or two of climbing for 30 seconds of wheeeeee like 20 times during the bike portion. On my first lap I had a volunteer that looked to motion me to turn which is what they were doing when turns came up but instead she was motioning for a car to stop so I did detour for a quarter of a block on the bike ride and had my goober moment.

Bike went pretty quick but at this point it seemed that I was almost DFL, it was two laps and you could see who was behind you on the second lap and there wasn't many people behind me (the joy of starting so late you feel DFL all day even though I was nowhere near being DFL in the overall standings). They also only had water stations on the run portion and man does a GU make you fraking thirsty ***note to self by a water bottle thingamajig for bike. I always knew the bike portion would be my weakest link but it was surprising by how much. It was a combination of me not being that great on the bike and not having the best of bikes to race with. You could see the difference people only putting in 3/4 of the effort I was were still passing me on their much better and much more suited bikes. Oh well I got my revenge and ran past them on the run with my more suited and much better legs haha.

Get to transition 2 and this went great, no darn socks to pull on wet feet. Wonderful wife who spent 4 hours probably bored out of her mind was there to hand me my water bottle and ipod for the race (did use the ipod just because I had the wife to hand it to me).

Hit my first aid station and I now have my water bottle so figure I would grab a Gatorade instead. Oh you hated Gatorade you are still my nemesis and enemy. One drink of that Gatorade and my stomach felt like a rock and I had to walk the first little bit of the run. Once my stomach decided to stop acting up I was actually able to get a good run going on (I know I was under 30 minutes for the 5k portion) and got to pass quite a few people a rarity for the day (I did pass two people on the bike portion but only two and I got passed by a lot more). It was all rocky music all the time during the run. Some people must have thought who is this lunatic running a 9mm punching the air like a nutcase (and yes I did punch the air, rocky music does that for me).

Race to the finish line and the wife who was so patient is waiting for me there. Mill around and wait for my results of course to find out they don't have my age group again and I have to update it at the scorers table for my 3rd straight STG race. Finishing time was 1:45:28, not sure on my splits and transition times (first transition time must have been horrible because of those darn socks) yet as I can't find those results online yet. I am extremely happy with the time because 1:45:xx was my stretch goal and my overall goals for the race was to finish in under 2 hours and have fun both of which I did.

I am not completely tanked, I am tired but I don't feel like I couldn't go out and get a run in. My legs felt a little stiff so I took my son on a three mile walk up to the grocery store and around the neighborhood in the stroller. I bought the wife her favorite Easter candy at the store and made her a note and will surprised her with it when she get home, she was amazing and waited for me for hours at the butt crack of dawn. I kidded with her at least for the marathon since we shuttle out you can just sleep in and meet me at the finish line. That is one great thing about a point to point race for sure.

I finally caved in and took some allergy meds around 5pm knowing it was going to knock me out and I was watching the kid but at least he is napping so I could lay down. My allergies did a number on me once more, no swimming until they are gone. Went to bed around 9:30 pm doped up on allergy meds and woke up so stuffed up I can't even blow my nose without having to use both nostrils at the same time. I can't wait for my run because that always clears me up a little, all the sweating and opening my breathing cavities.

it was a great day to become a triathlete.

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