On July 4th a bunch of my teammates and I participated in an inaugural tri in a small town near where I live. It was really small, only about 35 people and I was a part of a relay team. I swam, my teammate Kurt biked and my teammate Doug ran. This was my first relay and my first time swimming a half mile in open water. As you all know, I race to finish. That is the goal. I race for fun and fitness and finishing purposes. But guess what- our relay team CAME IN FIRST PLACE! It was my first ever first place win (and quite possibly could be my only) and I am still ecstatic over it! Of course without my teammates it wouldn’t have happened and it was a small race with only a handful of relay teams and I was only 1/3 of the win…but a win is a win is a win….and we won!!!
The race was by far the oddest I have ever raced in–> it was high priced for what was really a no-frills race; splits were self-timed (reallllly?), the tri/du were timed together (never heard of such a thing), it was a sprint but the swim was a full half mile (usually 400-750 meters in my experience) and all they had at the end was some small clif bars (helllo….we just burned how many calories?!?!). The thing that really got me most were the tri/du being timed together. It was a 2 mile run up against a half mile swim. I know I run two miles probably about the same as my best half mile swim but I am a slow runner. I would think for the most part, people would run WAY faster for two miles than they would swim a half-mile. But oh well, it was new and we were helping out the tri community by being there. And in the end, it really was a good time. And we won- did I mention that?!?
The race itself was actually pretty good. I can only speak for the swim personally but I didn’t hear too many complaints about the bike or the run. Some back markings and a lack in the volunteer department, but again…it was the first year. These are the things that come withbeing around a while. The swim was in a beautiful lake and the temperature was fantastic. I was all set for a great swim. Here’s the truth though- my swim sucked. Right from the word “go” I was a bit off but then about 100 meters in a girl pulled down on my leg during a stoke and I kinda went under. It really freaked me out and it took me a while to get back into a groove. Once I was swimming well I heard someone yelling “hey…hey….” I looked up and realized I missed the turnaround by at least 50 meters or so. I completely missed the buoy (which was a kayak- another thing I would change if I were the rd’s). Bummer. I was so pissed. When I looked up I was probably ahead of half the swimmers but I had distance to make up and now I was just spent. I was actually feeling a little anxious so I swamfor a while with my head up which is slow and killer on the arms. It was all around just a bad swim. By the time I reached shore I had been in the water for 21 minutes. Pathetic. I made my way over to Kurt and he biked his tail off just as Doug ran his off when he was tagged next. Luckily my swim was good enough and when combined with my teammates we took first. Holy Cow….FIRST PLACE!
Despite the fact that it wasn’t the best put together race and I had a bad swim, I am really glad I participated. And not just cause we won. But because I don’t get enough practice with open water swims and even though I am a very strong swimmer it doesn’t reflect as well in open water as it does a pool; this swim prepared me for Philly Womens Tri which is this coming Sunday and even though I had a bad swim on Sat, I feel like I can have a good swim Sunday because it’s 750 meters and I already know I can do 800 meters. At first I was really angry with myself (I am my own worst critic) but if I was going to have a bad swim, well, better last Sat than this Sun. And it was my first time doing open water for a half-mile. Like everything else…it was an experience.
In the end my teammates pretty much swept the awards. We were the first relay (I did mention that, right?) followed by a relay team made up of two of three of my other teammates. My teammate Kate took second female overall and my teammate Jim took first place age-group. All in all, a success for TT 🙂
I don’t think this is a race I would do independently, but I would think about doing as a relay again. I hope they make some changes based on constructive feedback; perhaps lower the price, provide food and seperate the tri/du. The one really positive thing that came from this is my realization that I like relays. I already have another one planned 🙂
I hope everyone has a great week. I have a five day weekend!!! Unfortunately, I have to spend tomorrow in court but I also took off Thursday cause it is my birthday 🙂 and since we don’t work Friday’s it turned itself into five day weekend! I’ll be posting from home during the week, but mostly, I really hope I can figure out my google reader issue!