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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,932

    (long) REPORT: Surviving my first triathlon (and smiling through it!!)

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    Thanks to all the good advice I received from you, wonderful TE chicks, and some from my sweet boyfriend, too, who's a master at that art (but didn't give too much advice, he's very delicate with that), I not only survived but thoroughly enjoyed my first triathlon yesterday, University of British Columbia's sprint-distance triathlon (they also have a short and an olympic and a duathlon). The great thing for me is that the swim is in a pool, 16 X 50 m laps. I just started swimming in November, from nearly zero, so I was not going to swim in the ocean!!

    The boyfriend had been agonizing over doing it or not for the past month I think. He was first registered in the olympic but didn't feel in such good shape so he switched to the sprint but his foot still hurt and he just didn't feel like it. He hesitated until 12pm the day of the event (my heat was at 12:50, his at 2:50) when I came back home (the site is just accross the road from where we live!!) and asked for his race belt. "Ok then I'm not racing!" I think he still had loads of fun just being a spectator, chasing me around the course for pictures (http://www.angelfire.com/folk/grog/ubc_triathlon/ for the results, with French captions....). So he was a great support and I also had a couple of friends in my heat and another great friend with a cowbell along the course. That was really nice.

    Weather was beautiful, shiny sun in blue sky, but coldish (8 C). Still, it was so much better than I feared (for those who have read my thread on snow and rain!!).

    The swim went surprisingly well, I did better than I usually do in training, in part due to the great drafting effect that I didn't even know of. I was a bit concerned with my heart rate when I stepped out of the pool (177 ) but I just had to get used to it because it was even higher on the bike (I couldn't believe it). I was afraid that I would have no more energy left for the run but turns out I sort of relaxed after I ran out of T2 and my heart rate went back down to the high 170s. It seems like, with adrenalin, I can hold a much higher heart rate for a longer time without the usual side-effects (panting-like breathing and other forms of painful physical response!). I couldn't believe, when I stopped my watch, that I had an average HR of 180 for a period of more than 90 minutes!!! (and it never really went down the whole time)

    Anyway, the cycling part was pretty uneventful, on a very windy course where I train all the time, passing a few people and being passed by a few others (the fastest swimmers from the heat after mine I think). And the run was just great, although it usually is not my strongest discipline. I spent too much time transitionning - I sort of hoped I could dry myself out a bit because I was so wet and it was so cold out there, but I realized that it would just take too long to get serious results so whatever... - and did a few newbie mistakes (I climbed on my bike at the wrong line... which was one meter away from the right line, and unstrapped my helmet when I entered the transition area after the cycling, whereas I should have kept it attached until my bike was parked).

    ... but I had loads of fun! Actually I was not thinking about much the whole way (except my heart rate!!), just enjoying the sun and the wind and cheering for other people along the way. I ran 200 of the last 400 m with my sweet papparazzi, who then had to take a shortcut to get to the finish before I did. That was pretty cute.

    So not only I survived, but I smiled through it, and much to my delight I discovered last night when I came back home that I had finished 53rd out of 144 women, and 14th in my age group of 30 women. I was hoping to come in mid pack, this is even better than I hoped for!

    So there will be another one or two this Summer. I'm not interested in doing Olympic distance for now, but I am getting curious about open water swimming. I intend to get my own race belt though so we can both race at the same time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Chi-town
    Posts
    3,265

    Wa-hooooo!

    YAY Grog!!!

    Thanks so much for the race report, and for the pictures. I still almost understand French. You race sounds great, and your BF like a sweetheart.

    About the race belt--you don't really need one. You can pin your race number onto your clothes just as easily with safety pins...or, the race belts are less than $10, so yeah! get your own! I felt like a real triathlete when I got myself a race belt at an expo last summer.

    You're hooked, aren'cha?! Of course you are! So glad you had a great time.

    L.
    Run like a dachshund! Ride like a superhero! Swim like a three-legged cat!
    TE Bianchi Girls Rock

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,932
    Quote Originally Posted by Lise
    About the race belt--you don't really need one. You can pin your race number onto your clothes just as easily with safety pins...or, the race belts are less than $10, so yeah! get your own! I felt like a real triathlete when I got myself a race belt at an expo last summer.
    I initially pinned the number to my shirt but then I added the cycling vest (my club wanted pics of us all dressed up). I wasn't sure if I would keep the vest after the cycling part (I did after all) so I wanted to avoid having to re-pin the number to my other shirt. This would have taken me a while!!

    And... the race belt is a special one. It was used by my boyfriend's dad in (winning) triathlons for many years, and then by him. I felt privileged wearing it! (Plus: it closed the debate on whether he was going to do it or not....!)

    But I will get my own, because...

    You're hooked, aren'cha?! Of course you are! So glad you had a great time.
    I am.

    Thanks for your kind words!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Chi-town
    Posts
    3,265
    Quote Originally Posted by Grog
    And... the race belt is a special one. It was used by my boyfriend's dad in (winning) triathlons for many years, and then by him. I felt privileged wearing it! (Plus: it closed the debate on whether he was going to do it or not....!)
    How cool! I'm sure you went faster by wearing it! L.
    Run like a dachshund! Ride like a superhero! Swim like a three-legged cat!
    TE Bianchi Girls Rock

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, CA
    Posts
    1,262

    Way to go Grog!!!!!!

    Excellent job! I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed it; now I won't be so scared to do my first one

    What a great day for you AND congratulations on meeting your placing goal!!!

    Tracy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, CA
    Posts
    1,262

    ... just looked at the pics!

    What a beautiful course! WOW! You look so good out there! My face turns really red when I am working hard and I'm afraid the medics will keep trying to take me away!!!

    again, great job!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Atwater/Merced, CA (Central Valley)
    Posts
    888
    Grog!! You looked awesome throughout all those pics. Good job on doing better than expected too! You sound like you had a blast.

    The high heart rate doesn't surprise me. Last October when I did the 24-mile bike leg of a team relay triathlon, my hr went way up too, partly from the adrenaline of the event, mostly from the extra effort I was putting out. I think my average was somewhere around 180, as well. My absolute max is somewhere around 195, and then my body says NO!

    lol...you made me laugh with the race belt thing. Yep, you can probably consider yourself hooked when you start buying your own gear.

    I'll be waiting to hear more about your tri adventures...
    ~BikeMomma
    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2,716
    WOW! Looks like you had a great time! Way to go! And, the events are fun, but training for the event, is just as much fun (if not more), if you ask me.

    Your transition was weird. What was up the yellow bags, and changing tents? We don't get those here in Dallas, Texas! Was it so you could dry out? Very interesting indeed.

    Yea, I always wear a race belt, so I don't have to pin the number to my top... since I swim/ride/run in the same top. The story about the race belt was really cool too.

    Well, way to go, thanks for sharing!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,324
    Nice pictures - I'm glad I read French.

    You look great and like it was truly a blast!

    V.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,932
    Quote Originally Posted by KSH
    Your transition was weird. What was up the yellow bags, and changing tents? We don't get those here in Dallas, Texas! Was it so you could dry out? Very interesting indeed.
    The setup was a bit weird from a classic triathlon point of view. The swim was in the UBC olympic pool, we had to get out of it at one end (shallow), walk to the other end where the exit is (the green mat for walking is visible on the swim pic), while we walked some volunteer walkie-talkied our race number to the staff on the outside so they prepared our wetbag, we then went outside and were handed our wetbag. The wetbag is necessary because we had to run about 300m to get to the transition area, so at the very least you needed shoes. The temperature in March is also variable so a towel to dry yourself out minimally and maybe put on some clothes. The change tents are there for those who want to take off their swimsuit I guess but I didn't see anyone really use them. I can imagine that two or three years ago when it snowed in the morning people did use them!!

    Now that I know better, I would not have stopped there. I would just have pulled on my sneakers and ran to the transition area and decided what to put on on the way. But that's what firsts are for...

    Thanks all for your great words! I'll keep you posted...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    5,316

    Grog!

    Way to go girl!!!

    Good to see your triathlon went well. You looked wonderful in the pics.

    I look forward to reading more about your tri adventures..

    c

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    380
    How very cool. Your story inspires me. I love the photos.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,387

    Talking

    Great!!! I didn't know they had _changing tents_! That really simplified things, huh? I was thinking about you Saturday. I enjoyed all the pics, and the French captions. I translated one as Leaving the Fish Merchant! But then I figured that must really be "walking away from the pool," or something...(Hey, it's been since the 70's since I've spoken French!) Glad everything went well, and you did _so well_!!! and now we have another addict!

    Nanci
    ***********
    "...I'm like the cycling version of the guy in Flowers for Algernon." Mike Magnuson

 

 

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