Moss Park Sprint Triathlon Recap

Today’s race was an amazing experience. I finished my first sprint triathlon, and more importantly conquered my fear.

 

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My alarm went off way before sunrise, around 5:00 am. I quickly got dressed, grabbed my bike, and bag of gear, and made some toast to eat on my way out.

 

I wasn’t too hungry, but peanut butter toast with blackberry jelly seemed easy on my unsettled stomach. 

 

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I arrived at the triathlon about 40 minutes before it started, leaving just enough time to get marked up and set up my transition area.

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The volunteers wrote my age, 23, on one leg, and “T” for Triathlon on the other. There were multiple events going on and it’s an easy way to identify who is doing which.

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After a quick bathroom pit stop, I ran to the water and waited for my wave to start. 

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The sun started to rise while we were waiting…

 

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Five minutes after 7:00am, and the second wave started! As the gun went off, I panicked for about 10 seconds. I didn’t want to swim! Realizing that it was now or never, I slowly walked out into the water.

 

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The water was a perfect temperature. Had it been slightly warmer or colder, I probably would have been uncomfortable. As I began to get deeper in the water, I realized just how dark and murky it was. I took my first stroke and realized that I couldn’t see more than a couple of inches in front of my face. I was pretty freaked.

 

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The swim course consisted of a triangular formation of two bouys, and the beach. The first buoy was to my right, so I decided to stay to the back right of the pack.

 

I felt like everyone was swimming so much faster than me. I panicked a few times because I couldn’t see anything in the water. Each time I started to freak out, I closed my eyes and pulled through the water. I tried to keep my mind off the unknown, and focus on getting to the next buoy.

 

I ended up switching to backstroke a few times so that I could catch my breath, which I think saved me a ton of energy. When I would try to swim freestyle, I had to keep my face out of the water much of the time.

I swam hard all the way until my feet hit bottom. I was so happy to be on land!

 

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My swim technique could use a great deal of improvement, but I managed to make it out alive! I thought the swim would take approximately 20-21 minutes to complete based on previous swims, but it only took 16 minutes!

 

I ran onto the sand, and could here my friends screaming for me. I couldn’t see them, but I knew they were there!

 

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There was about a quarter mile run to transition 1. I ripped my swim cap and goggles off as I jogged to the transition area.

 

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I fumbled around a little bit with throwing a shirt on, snapped on my helmet, put on my socks and shoes, and took my bike off the rack. I was really nervous for some reason, and my body was shaking.

 

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I managed to pull it together and head out to the bike course.

 

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The bike course was 12.4 miles, and I completed it in 41:04 or about a 17 mph average pace.

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I underestimated how hard it would be to start pedaling my bike after swimming. I had not practiced it, but after a few minutes it wasn’t too bad.

 

I tried to keep a high cadence for most of the ride, thinking that it would save some energy for the run. I focused on passing one person at a time, and not on the entire distance. It actually worked out pretty well, and I was off the bike before I knew it.

 

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Transitioning from bike to run was pretty seamless. I re-racked my bike, took of my helmet, slipped off my bike shoes, and quickly tied my running shoes.

 

I splashed some water on my face, because somehow it was covered in sand. It felt GOOD!

 

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My legs felt pretty heavy, but my goal was to maintain a 10 min/mile pace. That’s the pace that I have been used to running the past couple of months, and I felt like that would be a reasonable goal.

 

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After the first 4-5 minutes, I was about to pick it up to around 9:42 min/mile pace and maintain that for the remainder of the 2.75 mile run.

 

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I approached the finish line with chills. It felt SO good to race again. I didn’t realize how happy it makes me!

 

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I felt so accomplished as I crossed that finish line! Not only did I tackle a new race (triathlon), but I faced my fears of open water swimming.

 

My official times:

Swim: 16:04   (750 metera)

Run to T1: 2:38

T1: 2:19

Bike: 41:04 (12.4 miles)

T2: 1:05

Run: 26:55 (2.75 miles)

 

Total Time: 1:30:11

 

 

I consider my first triathlon a success! 🙂 Perhaps another tri will be in my future?

 

 

BIG thanks to all my friends (Mark, Kelly, Katy and Adam) for coming to cheer for me! It was so nice to have a fan club/photography team 😉

 

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❤ MegaNerd

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Crazy Tri Nightmare

I awoke in a panic. For some reason, I thought today was the morning of the tri! A few seconds later, I realized that it was in reality on Thursday, not Saturday.

 

I had a crazy nightmare about the upcoming sprint triathlon. I will try to explain.

 

I woke up and rushed to the triathlon site. I was late for packet pick-up, and the race was about to start. I realized I didn’t have my bike, my running shoes, or anything. Just my swimsuit.

 

I rushed to the site of the open water swim, which was for some reason the UCF Fountain that I wouldn’t dare go in. Everyone was waaaaaay far ahead of me, and I jumped in trying to catch up. I felt like I was swimming in some combination of dirt and glue. Also, swimming way slowly and being chased by a cross between an alligator and a ninja.

I frantically called Mark to bring me HIS bike, because I couldn’t find mine. When he brought it to me, the seat was up way to high and I couldn’t reach the pedals. (This couldn’t happen because we are practically the same height, and I’ve ridden his bike before.)

 

 

Once I got pedaling, people were whizzing by me. Apparently it was some sort of circular track because I was getting lapped.

I hopped off the bike, which I could have sworn I was pedaling backwards, and tried to start running.

It was then that I realized I was without a top. Maybe it’s my crazy fear (in real life) of not wearing a supportive enough sports bra. I couldn’t dream of running without one!! YIKES!

Several hours later, 16 to be exact, I approached the finish line of my first sprint tri. What is this, an ironman!?!

(Picture of Caitlin, finishing her Olympic Tri)

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It was there that I found my friends Mark and Kelly sitting at a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and patiently waiting to snap a picture of me crossing the finish line. I had taken SO long, that they set up a tent.

(Old picture of me and Jason roasting marshmallows, used for dramatic effect…)

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I then woke up. Sweet relief. It was all a dream!

Ummm… Let’s hope that Saturday’s tri goes a bit smoother than that.

 

I decided to make an extra delicious breakfast to get my mind off the irrational fears of this weekend. I went with nutri-grain waffles, maple syrup, and frozen (thawed) blueberries.

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Along with an iced coffee + milk.

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Nom. Nom.

 

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I think part of the appeal of the triathlon to me is that it scares the heck out of me. It’s kind of fun to try something new that you used to not believe you could do.

 

What have you done that scares you? Were you glad you faced your fear?

 

❤ MegaNerd

Sunday Morning Brick

I took advantage of a morning without work to get in a good workout. Countdown to the sprint triathlon in 6 days!

 

I decided to get in a good brick workout before the triathlon, even though I probably should have done more than one before the actual race.

 

My favorite bike buddy, Mark, met me for the first half of my workout.

 

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I can’t remember the last time that we rode together, but I forgot how much I missed it!

 

We rode the airport loop, 14.0 miles, in about 56 minutes. We could have gone much faster had we not been riding side-by-side chatting the entire time. Next weekend, I have to ride 12.4 miles, followed by a 2.6 mile run.

 

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As soon as we finished our ride, I ran upstairs, changed my shoes, and ran out the door. I completed a 2.0 mile run at a 9:42 min/mile pace. I was pretty exhausted from the heat once I came back in, and collapsed on the floor. Stretching was necessary.

 

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I also wanted to do a trial run with my race day outfit. I bought a pair of Pearl Izumi Tri shorts a couple of months ago, and decided there was no better time than now to tri try them out!

 

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The shorts were a success! They were padded enough for a shorter ride, yet not too bulky to make it feel like I was running in a diaper. YUCK!

 

Once I had cooled off a bit and showered, I made myself a delicious, refreshing fruit smoothie.

 

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I’m pretty confident between today’s brick, and yesterday’s open water swim that I will be able to complete my sprint triathlon. I need to make sure that I pace myself and not try to push it too hard in the beginning. I’m getting excited!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Entering the Food Chain: My First Open Water Swim

I’m alive! I made it through my first open water swim!

 

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Aren’t one piece bathing suits so flattering!? Just kidding.

 

I met Kelly bright and early this morning at Lucky’s Lake in Orlando.

 

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With my first sprint triathlon rapidly approaching, I knew I had to get this open water swim in today. It was now, or never. I felt like it was important to take the surprise element out of the open water swim. I didn’t want to get to the race and panic!

 

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I was a bit nervous about the open water swim. The lake is 500m across, making it a total of 1km swim. Sure, I’ve done that in the pool several times, but open water seemed like a whole different ball game.

 

I mean, there could be alligators?!

 

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Those are fake… but the fact that there could be alligators in this lake is very real. Florida lakes have their inherent dangers, and by stepping into the water, you are entering the food chain.

 

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YIKES!

 

I took a deep breath, and dove right in. It was so scary for the first few strokes! Actually, I started freaking out about a quarter of the way out, and had to flip on my back to catch my breath a couple of times. It really wasn’t a big deal, I just turned and did that backstroke for a bit until I felt like I could try again. After the turn-around, I took a few big breaths, and told myself I only had a little bit more to go. It was definitely easier mentally the second half.

 

The open water was so much different than the pool. I had a bit of trouble keeping in a straight line, and had to keep bobbing my head out of the water to ensure that I was going in the right direction. There also is no way to stop on the sides, stand up and rearrange your goggles or whatever mid-swim. Your only option is to float on your back or dog paddle. However, I think that the open water swim went by much faster, and was really fun!

 

Kelly stayed with me for all but the very last seconds of the swim. I was grateful to have a buddy within sight to ensure that I wasn’t going to drown without anyone knowing! 😉

 

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We completed the 1km swim in 28 minutes. I was really proud of that time! Next Saturday’s triathlon is only a 750m swim, so I should be good to complete that distance with no problem. Right? 😀

 

One of the cool things about the Lucky’s Lake swim, is that upon completing the swim, you get to sign the wall!

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There are so many names on the wall, that there is only space left on the ceiling!

 

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I found a little place to sign my name. By the way, it’s really hard to write upside down!!

 

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Here’s the proof. I was here.

 

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I also got an “I Survived” bumper sticker.

 

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Pretty cool, huh?!

 

I had a CLIF bar to hold me over while I ran a couple errands with Kelly.

 

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Once I got home, I realized that I had nothing yummy in my apartment, and hit up Chipotle for a salad.

 

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Plus, lime chips and guacamole. I couldn’t eat very many chips, but they make a good snack for later.

 

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I felt very accomplished for completing my first open water swim. I was nervous, but I did it!

 

I love facing my fears. It makes me feel alive!

 

Have you done an open water swim? Do you think swimming in a pool is easier or more difficult? Which do you find more fun?

 

❤ MegaNerd