"You mean I have to swim from THAT shore to THIS shore??"
We got up early to head over to Pleasant Prairie. I was a bit nervous by this point because I wasn't just running, or going to the pool, but I was now about to swim, bike, and run consecutively and had to ensure I was on point with setting up my transition area + remembering all my essential items for each discipline.
It was overwhelming. I really didn't know what to expect.
Once transition was closed we began the LONG walk to the other side of the lake for the swim start. I was getting more and more nervous at this point. I really had no idea what to expect for the swim. And the thought of getting kicked, caught up in the crowd, running out of breath IN THE MIDDLE OF A FREAKING LAKE was super intimidating.
ALL THE BIKES.
I tried to remain as calm as possible because worrying and thinking of "what ifs" is just a big waste of energy and takes up valuable mental space. I thought about why I was participating in this race and how I wanted this day to go.
When I got peroneal tendinosis/itis for the 2nd time and decided to give PT a try, I promised myself that I would remain active and try to keep my fitness up as high as possible while rehabbing the cankle. I started cycling a ton, and eventually added in swimming. Soon after I got the brilliant idea to put all this cross training to good use and scratch "complete a triathlon"off of my list. Since I was usually training for a fall marathon, I never felt it was a good idea to compete in a triathlon for risk of possible injury.
So funny that once I was injured, I decided to give Triathlons a try.
My only goal for this race was to have fun.
I have to swim to the other side of this lake?!?!
I chatted with Kim and Bobbi pre race and got a little silly waiting around for my wave to start.
Having a blast with Kim and Bobbi pre race.
I lined up for the swim on the far right (slower traffic on the right...)but near the front. The horn sounded and a myriad of purple caps ran into the water. I felt ok at first but within a quarter mile I was starting to feel like I was suffocating so I started my hybrid doggie paddle/breast stroke to calm myself. It was in the middle of the lake I had a "come to Jesus meeting." I was starting to panic. I was in the middle of a F*cking lake, couldnt touch bottom, and was fatigued. I wanted out. NOW. But I used my special jedi mind tricks to calm myself, HTFU and carry on.
By the half way point or a little later, I regained composure and was able to get into a nice rhythm of 10 strokes, 5-10 breaths while doggie paddling. I started passing purple caps, and some folks from the wave in front of me, and the wave that started 10 minutes ahead of me! CRAZY.
I had just accomplished something that 8 weeks ago scared the shit out of me.
1/2 mile Swim: 18:57
Transition 1 went as well as I expected. I took my cycling gloves and tried to brush the sand off of my feet with them before putting on my shoes/socks. I stuffed my snacks into my pockets. Put my helmet and sunglasses on, and put some body glide on my legs/tailbone and bike seat (just in case my leg would chafe again). I grabbed my bike and ran to the transition exit.
At mile 4 I ate my chia squeeze pouch. Around mile 8 I ate a fruit bar. I drank half of my bottle of Osmo. I was pushing hard because I had very low expectations for the run due to the cankle and wanted to give a good effort and wreck my legs.
Before the race I had anticipated I would hold a 15-16 mph pace for the 12 mile ride.*
12 Mile Bike: 42:22, 17mph*
*Later on I was shocked to see I averaged 17mph. I thought 16mph would have been a stretch on my knobby tire hybrid. Kim and I were speaking later on about this and her Garmin read 11 miles. My cyclometer which was spot on at mile 5 had registered 10.95 miles. So averaging 15.5 for 11 miles sounds a lot more plausible than 17mph. I know in years past people have questioned the distance of the bike course in this race. Clearly it was short of the advertised 12+ miles. But I don't care all that much...
T2: 55 seconds
Photos by Bobbi
The course went around the lake and had a small out and back portion on gravel. I took water at the aid station and also on the way back. It's probably the first time in a while I've actually taken water during a 5k. But I was SOOOOO thirsty and hot. The first mile was 7:45! I forget what the subsequent miles were but I was constantly reminding myself to keep it easy and not over do it.
I LOVE this photo that Steven took (Kim's Husband).
I kicked it in to the finish and saw Bobbi, Steven and Kim spectating, and felt like I was gonna hurl, luckily I didn't. I received a medal, turned down chocolate milk, took a water and headed back to where they were spectating.
5k run: 25:08
Kim and I post race, She KILLED it on the bike portion of her relay!!
I think my fueling overall was ok. I ate a fruit bar brand: "that's it" and a chia squeeze 45 minutes pre swim. I ate another "That's it" bar and another chia squeeze pouch on the bike. I also drank half my Osmo during the bike portion. I realize now I should have drank a lot more, because I felt pretty depleted and dry like a toast for the run. I also should have taken some salt tabs because I got a raging headache a few hours later that took entirely too long to go away after taking 2 aleve. I should have known better than to not take salt if I was working out in the heat. I will remember for next time...
What I found really interesting about this race was that it was full of all body types, all fitness levels, all ages- everyone going for the same goal. People you wouldn't expect to be fast (solely based on appearance) were kicking major ass and flying by more "fit" looking people. It was incredible and humbling. Everyone was so encouraging to each other- I lost track of how many high 5's I gave out on the 5k during the out and back portions.
I really feel like I couldn't have picked a better first triathlon to participate in.