Today I competed in the the Blue Lake All Women’s Sprint Triathlon. It was a chilly morning and I had concerns about the swim portion. The line to get into the park was SO long and by the time we got parked, I only had 20 minutes to get marked, set up my stuff, rack my bike, and go to the bathroom. Needless to say I was stressed out. The forty five minutes I had planned on having to do these tasks was eaten up by our waiting in a super long line to get parked.
The water at Blue Lake was actually warmer than the surrounding air. Swimming in the open lake with so many women was nerve wracking. I got kicked a few times and seemed to attract a certain woman who continued to run into me time and time again. Although my swim took 24 minutes for the half mile, it seemed like it took hours. At one point, I didn’t feel like I was making any progress. But eventually I made it.
Transitioning from the swim to bike is much harder than it looks. I decided to put shorts on for the bike and run portion. Pulling lyra over wet legs is comedy. Not to mention the sheer amount of mud I had on the bottom of my feet. My first transition took me over five minutes!! The time goes by so quickly. Your legs feel like jelly, you are struggling to get your breathe, and concentrate on the tasks at hand.
The bike portion went great! At first my legs felt a little gooey but after a few miles, I got into my groove and was making great time. My legs felt very strong which is mostly due to the spin class I have been taking. I was actually able to pass another cyclist going uphill!
The transition from bike to run was supposed to be the easy one since I don’t need to change shoes. But I had issues trying to rack my bike. The other competitors bikes were so bunched up there was no room for mine anywhere! Frantically I pushed the bikes aside and attempted to get mine racked. My hybrid bike frame doesn’t really rack so easily. Perhaps I need to practice a bit. I don’t know. Eventually I got my bike racked.
I lost my water bottle during the bike portion so I had to take a minute to drink some water before heading out for the run portion.
Andy kept popping up on various parts of the course. Usually when I least expected him. But its always nice to see a familiar face.
At this point my legs were fatigued but I could feel a vast improvement on my form and speed over my performance at the Duathlon. For those of you who’ve never experienced a duathlon or triathlon, the first couple of miles after transitioning into a new activity, your legs feel weak and weird. You have doubts on your ability and then after the first mile you start to feel the familiar rhythm and start enjoying the experience.
I felt really strong during the run and enjoyed the experience much more than the last 5k at my last duathlon. It’s amazing how much 4 months of training will help!
I really tried to finish up strong but I was a bit fatigued at that point.
The camaraderie between the participants was wonderful. Everyone was cheering each other on. There were a lot of smiles and jokes. While there was a sprint triathlon being held, there was also a duathlon and a kids event which meant that this event had a ton of children. I wasn’t so keen on the children throwing toys on the course or people milling around areas that I needed to access. But it was a great experience. And I’m so lucky to have Andy’s support on this event.