Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pewaukee Lake Sprint Triathlon

PSA: You might want to go find a snack and a drink before you read's going to be long!

The alarm clock went off at Stupid O'clock this morning (3:45am) and we were on the road to the race venue by 4:30am. We arrived at the finish/parking area around 4:50am, quickly unloaded my bike and all the necessary gear and walked the 1 1/2 miles to transition.  I actually didn't mind the walk since it gave me something to do with all the nervous energy I had worked up!

It took a while to find my spot in transition, but I got everything set up pretty quickly (and discovered that my friend T's sister had the rack space next to me!) and spent a little time walking through the area, memorizing the path from the swim exit to my rack and from the bike-in back to my space.  A lot of people mark their spots with balloons of some sort, so I was able to use a bumblebee balloon and an Elmo balloon as landmarks.  That would definitely prove to be useful later on.

After going through body marking, I met up with the Iron Cheerleader and the rest of the Newbie Herd for a group picture and a pre-race huddle/pep-talk. I also bumped into Yada Yada and Texas. Yada Yada was racing this thing in honor of his 50th birthday and both he and Texas offered a little last minute advice and encouragement as well.  Before I knew it, I was saying goodbye to Mr. R&R and walking toward the swim start with some of my fellow Newbies. It was really calming to be around the same people I'd trained with all along.
L to R: T's sister, Me, A, D, and T
We filtered through the time trial gate and T1 and I entered the water together and stayed together the whole time - just like our Monday night swim practices.  The swim really blew me away. I knew I was swimming very slowly, but I didn't care. I was calm and in control the whole time.  I only took one kick to the back, the water was much clearer than normal (I found out later that the city of Pewaukee actually sent people out twice during the week to cut down the weeds), and I. Didn't. Freak. Out!  Before I knew it, my hands were touching sand and it was time to stand up!  I ran up some pretty nasty rocks, while simultaneously stripping off my wetsuit and flashing big smiles at my mom and Mr. R&R.  I also saw the Iron Cheerleader on my run to T1 screaming "Yes! Yes! Yes! %*#@-ing Yes!" at T and I.

 Official Swim Time: 12:51

I ran across the street to transition, finished stripping my wetsuit, rinsed my feet, threw on a bike jersey and shoes, and ran my bike to the mount line.

T1: 5:33 (Ouch! Must. Get. Faster.)

I settled onto my saddle and prepared to power through the 14 miles of hills.  Last weekend's course recon ride definitely worked to my advantage. I knew where all the big hills were and where the (very few) flats were, so I knew when to switch gears and when to spin faster.  I felt really good the whole time. I ate a GU around Mile 5 and again around Mile 12 and managed to polish off most of my water, so my fueling strategy was spot on.  All that climbing was worth it for the downhills. I hit 32.8mph at one point!

Official Bike Time: 50:52 (16.5mph avg.)

I didn't even bother trying to run my bike back to the rack in T2 since my legs were already toast.  I swapped my bike shoes for my running shoes, added another layer of sunscreen, clipped on my race belt and jogged toward the Run Out.

T2 Time: 2:54 (ugh)

I hit the run course with one goal in mind: Finish.  I anticipated, from last weekend, that this run was going to be nothing but steep hills and pain - and it didn't let me down.  After waving to Mr. R&R and my mom, I fell in next to a guy I'd been leap frogging with on the bike and we ended up covering the next 3 miles together.
As my new found buddy and I were climbing one of the wicked hills, we passed none other than Fireman Rob!  I didn't even know he (and a giant M&M-looking thing apparently) was going to be racing here today.
My new partner and I worked our way through the hills as the temperature began to climb.  The only way to describe the run is brutal. I walked more than I wanted to, but honestly I feel like I did the best that I could with those hills. The water stations were very welcome sights and I greedily gulped down water and squeezed ice cold sponges over my head.  Finally the finish line came into view and we both broke into a sprint down the final straight away.  I think I beat him by a nose!

Official Run Time: 31:49

Official Finishing Time: 1:44:02

I was greeted with hugs and congratulations from Mr. R&R, my mom, the Iron Cheerleader and Yada Yada.  I collected my medal, scarfed down a banana and the best damned cookie I've ever eaten. I was also a pile of raw emotion - ready to cry at the drop of a hat.  I haven't cried after a race since 2011!

The Newbie Herd met up for one final official activity: a champagne toast courtesy of the Iron Cheerleader!
We Swam. We Biked. We Ran. We are TRIATHLETES!


Megan said...

You are amazing! Congratulations on your 1st triathlon! Glad it turned out bette than expected! Now the next will be easier!

Mary said...

Anything will be easier than those hills!

April said...

YAY!!!!!!! SO proud of you for kicking this things ass!

Mary said...

Thank you!

Elizabeth said...

wow, really proud of you!! Baseball season is almost over (july 24!!!), so I promise to treat you to a yummy meal and drinks to celebrate!!! Soon!!!

Mary said...

Thank you! We'll definitely have to celebrate the end of baseball season soon!

Delyth Edwards said...

SQUEE! I am SO very proud of you for conquering your very first triathlon hun! I know you've put in so much work for it and I am even more proud of you for getting in the water and getting the job done! I have to add that you and Mr R and R make such a sweet couple :) Congratulations hun! xxxx

Mary said...

Thank you for the congratulations and for all the encouragement along the way!

Anonymous said...

Look at you swimming like a fish!!! I can honestly say you get more exercise in a day than I have...ever...combined.

Mary said...

Race days are an exception, not the rule!