I always like to do these race recaps so that I can look back later and see how each one went. It's fun! Today's will explain the full story of what happened! haha!
The distance of this race was Olympic (1.5K swim (~0.9 mile), 45K bike (~27miles), 10K run(6.2miles)! I never made it to my favorite...the run.
The race started the day before in my opinion. I won't lie. I didn't really train for this...at all. I actually thought it was a sprint tri until like Wednesday and then realized I've be biking 27 miles, not 15. Ha! And swimming almost the distance for a half ironman. I was a little afraid to say the least but I thought I'd at least give it a whirl.
My bike didn't fit, but Tanner had ordered a new stem. My bike is a knock off, but I was determined to make it work. The day before, I got everything together. If you have done a tri, you know this is a lot. Below, I have listed what I used for each part:
Cap and Goggles
Water Bottle to wash off feet
Socks and Running Shoes (I don't have biking shoes)
Flip Belt (filled with gus/gels/quest bar)
Biking Glasses (to block bugs and sun)
Arm Band + earphones
Bike (duh lol)
Running shoes (remember I already had those on)
My race was point to point which made it more difficult. I went to the meeting the Friday before at 6pm to get all of the details. Point to point means that the race doesn't loop back to the same spot, so you have to make sure that you have everything that you need at each spot. I was going to drop my bike off that night, but decided to do it the morning of. I was glad I did that. It gave me things to do that morning which keeps my mind off the nerves.
We left the house at 6am, took my bike to the end of the swim. There was a marked off area with your number that you could leave your bike and also a trash bag (this bag was for your towel and other belongings that would be taken to the end of the race so you could pick it up and not have to worry with it during the transition).
You can see the lake in the background. We had to run up this hill after getting out of the water to where our bikes were, and exit there onto the bike course.
Once we got set up there, we headed to the race end. This is where we got our chip that we tied around our ankle. This would track you along the way. This was also where you dropped off your stuff that you would need for the bike to run transition. I had nothing to drop off here though. We headed out to the start of the swim at that point. This was at the dock at Moss Lake. It was so awesome for me to be in my hometown. There were athletes from ALL OVER. Apparently this is a really big race (known for it's hard bike course-WHOMP! haha). We were marked with our numbers, and then could warm up in the water. Personally, I get too cold so I didn't warm up.
We had waves, and I was in the third wave, indicated by my green cap that they gave us in our packages. My wave started at 8:10, and we swam out to a certain point to the start (because the water was so shallow otherwise) and they blew a horn when we could go. I let everyone swim ahead of me because I knew I would be the slowest swimmer, and didn't want to get kicked. It was my first EVER underwater swim, the first time I had ever swam not in a regular pool, and the first time I had went further than 750meters at one time (in like 8 years). However, I ended up passing people. It still baffles me, and don't know how I did that because I really am a slow swimmer. I kept smelling/tasting exhaust. I realized I was swimming too close to the boats that were meant to be there to guide us to stay on track. I heard someone yell "Katie, you are going so crooked" so obviously someone knew me in the boat but I still have no idea who it was! HAHA!
I started doing this thing where I would swim and then look up every minute. It was annoying but I could NOT stay straight to save my life and this helped me. One time in the water, I started panicking and breathing really fast then realized I was not even tired but more like hyperventilating in fear of having so far to go. I relaxed and finished with ease. Once I relaxed, I just loved it. It was so soothing, but so cool knowing I was in a race. I didn't think about what was ahead and just did each stroke. I wasn't tired at all getting out of the water so maybe I could have pushed more?
I then headed over to my bike. I really did not care about time, so I took my time drying off, putting on my socks and shoes and getting my nutrition in. Then, I headed out.
When I got on the bike, I face timed my mom! HAHA!! I know, I'm ridiculous but it wasn't a race to me. I just wanted to have fun. We only chatted for like a minute but I wanted her to know I was done with the swim, moving into the bike. That's when the awfulness began. Y'all...this. course. It was literally 99% uphill, and I mean STEEP. The only parts that weren't uphill were the downhills on the other side, but at the bottom of the downhills was the next steep climb. I moved a snail's pace. It was pitiful. I didn't really care, but it was hardly enjoyable to be honest. Haha! The scenery is beautiful but I'm just not an experienced enough biker and my quads were on fire because of all the climbs. I kept asking the volunteers what mile we were on, but they never had a clue. HaHa! I knew when I hit 14 (half way) because it was a water station. So, there was this really really steep hill and I moved up it like probably at approximately 1mph and when I finallyyyyyy got to the top, I felt my handlebars go the complete opposite direction than in front of me. This is why I didn't get hurt. I was going so slow because of the hill right before.
I had no idea what was happening, but I got off my bike and tried to tighten my wheel. It was my stem that had come loose though. The guy behind me didn't have an alan wrench which was all I needed, and told me I couldn't continue through this steep hills with my bike. I started crying. #hormones #imsuchagirl
Tanner finally caught up to me after 35 minutes of waiting on the side of the road, and he had a wrench. It didn't really matter at that point because even though my bike was fixed, the guy that was with me told me that it would have to be unofficial if I decided to continue on my own.
I had to take my timing chip back to the start, and get my bag that I had left at the swim finish. It was super anti climatic, and I cried a lot. I'm not even really sure why because it's not like I trained some super crazy amount. I just felt really defeated. I cry on long runs, so I get really emotional about this as I'm really passionate about training. But it's quite comical. Haha! But, then on the other hand, I get over it really quick because I was fine like an hour later. If it had been a marathon or a half ironman, I would still be grieving.
I learned so so much about tris, and how much I loved it. The reason that I did this race was for the experience, and that's exactly what I had. I was using this as a precursor also to see if I liked it. As much as I didn't love the bike, I know that this is known for a really challenging bike course, and not all races will be this way. I'm fired up and was already researching more tris in my area when I got home. I also know that I need a new bike. I went cheap (really cheap) but I know if I'm going to be serious then I need to invest in a bike and clips. For now, I'm going to just keep training for my marathon in July, and my half ironman in October!
Race recaps are always really long, but I hope you enjoyed it!
With love and tris,