Sunday, May 31, 2009

A first timers recollections of a Triathlon!

Today before the sun got up, I was up and ready for my first Triathlon race. Not having had a very good nights sleep due to pre race nerves, I got up at 4am, fuelled up with a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea before setting off for the drive down to Reston, Virginia.

The heavens had opened as soon as we got on the road and we drove through a thunderstorm wondering if the race would still go ahead due to the weather. We arrived at the race site very early at 5.30am and got our timing chips and numbers written onto our arms, then went and set up our bikes and gear in the transition area.

The race was still going ahead as planned as the weather was due to clear before the start of the race. After setting up our bikes and running shoes to alllow for a speedy change after the swim and bike it was time to chill out.

The start of the race was at 7am with the elite racers heading off first! These racers certainly knew how to move through water and were off on thier bikes within 5 minutes of the start. My start time was 7.57am, so at my alloted time I set off on my 400m swim. I'm not the best of swimmers and with the added nerves I found the first 2 laps tough just trying to get my breathing right. By the 6th lap I got into the swing of things and was just looking for the end.

Out of the pool and a quick run into the transition area to get on my shoes, helmet and grab my bike ready for the next part. The bike course was three 4 mile loops around the surrounding area which included a couple of big hills! The first loop I got my legs in gear and sussed out the course, the 2nd loop was better although the big hill seemed bigger, and by the 3rd loop I think the adrenalin kicked in and I was thinking about the run already.

Now running after biking 12 miles was tough, it took a while for my legs to start to move as I wanted them and the running course was also 'rolling' and saved the biggest up hill for the last 1/2 mile. I managed to summon the last strand of energy to speed up for the last part and through the finish line, and the cheering supporters really helped! I finished in under 2 hours which was my goal, even though the winner finished in 55mins 4 secs, (before I even got in the pool!)

Its amazing that after passing that finish line how all the aches & tiredness just disappear and you're left feeling lifted and so full of pride....'I've just finished a sprint triathlon!!'

We got our gear together and headed over for a much needed Starbucks before heading home. Feeling good so far although I suspect by about 5pm tonight I'll be fast asleep, and wondering what challenge I'll do next......skydiving is on my bucket list so you never know!

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