Today was the annual Hockomock YMCA triathlon - a sprint course in Wrentham, MA. It was the first official race on my calendar this year to help get me into the racing mode. Like "they" (pros, triathlon gurus, etc) say - every race will teach you something. Yes, you may learn it the hard way but you will never make that mistake again.While entering the transition to set up my race gear, I heard someone yelling my name. And not my married name, but my former last name. I thought, "Who the heck do I know here?" And then I turned to see Julie, one of my college swimming teammates in transition gearing up for her first ever triathlon. Small world. I thought back to my first triathlon and told her, "as soon as you finish this race you will be hooked."
Me, Andrea, and Julie - IC swimming reunion!
The swim was a nice .25 mile jaunt around the lake. The swim is the leg I look forward to the most mainly because I know I can do it. I wish it was last so I could catch up and pass all those cyclists and runners who ALWAYS pass me. But alas, that will never change. This swim was relaxing. The only part of the swim that was a little irritating was the girl drafting off of me. Every once in a while I could feel her hit my toes. I would give a little Peck Power kick and she would be gone for a while.
I learned my first lesson of the day in T1: have your bike shoes open and ready to slide your feet into. My shoes have a buckle on them similar to ski boots. You have to push a little lever to release it. I did not have my shoes unbuckled and my lever stuck. I thought I was going to be riding my clip pedals in sneakers. Luckily I finally released it without damaging my shoe. I took a little more time in transition then I would have liked but oh well.
The bike was... the bike. I like this leg of the race least. I usually have nothing good to say about it besides the fact that I finished. The roads were a little wet from the rain earlier that morning. My legs were also pretty tired from my 2.5 hour ride yesterday (with my brand new training partner, Jodi. That's Jodi below, she is one of my co-workers and will be my physical therapist when I hurt myself. I blame her and Indian Hill for my tired legs).
I was rolling into T2, super excited to be off the bike when I forgot one of the most basic things I need to do in order to dismount - CLIP OUT! Rookie. My left foot came out, but my bike started tipping to the right. Everything was in slow motion, and I had visions of snapping my ankle or face planting onto the dismount line. Thankfully, I got my right foot unstuck just before I lost all control. And what do you do when you almost make an ass out of yourself in front of a crowd? Give a little wave and smile to all the onlookers. (I told you the bike dismount is comical to watch.)
The run was actually quite pleasant. My main goal was to keep my heart rate down and practice the pace I want to run during the Ironman. Hopefully I feel this good during the Ironman, but I highly doubt it. There were a few uphills but the course was mostly flat and downhill. I felt like I was flying to the finish line. Love it!
I learned my lessons for the day. Shoes ready, check. Clip out, check.
After the race I was talking to Julie and she said, "I am totally hooked on these things now," with a huge smile on her face. Now I have a new training partner to add to my list :o)