Buying a new bike was my only preparation for this race. I wanted to rent a bike, but I couldn’t locate any rentals available in my size. Since purchasing a bike was my only option, I bought a Giant OCR3 two days before the race and only rode it once. Therefore, my lack of training left me very nervous about my performance in the Longleaf Triathlon.
Julie and I arrived at transition at 6:30 a.m. By Florida standards, it was pretty cold as the temperature was a mere 60 degrees. As steam rose from the lake, we knew it meant the lake was actually warmer than the surrounding air. Then, the race coordinators announced that the race was wet suit legal as the lake temperature was a toasty 76 degrees, but dropped 6 degrees from yesterday.
Once the International triathletes began, Julie and I waited almost an hour to enter the lake. As we waited, the cold air numbed our feet and we never felt the red ants attacking us.
Unfortunately, the cold air combined with my anxiousness created an overwhelming need to urinate. Given an unfair advantage, the male triathletes could simply piss relieve themselves in the bushes. The female triathletes, on the other hand, would have to walk about a ¼ mile back to the port-o-pots. With that, I decided to just pee in the lake.
My parents arrived just as I descended into the water. I tried my best to swim, but with the lack of visibility in the water, I had no bearings. All my laps in the pool could not have prepared me for the exhaustion that set in about a 1/8 of a mile into the swim. Like Dori from Nemo, I simply reminded myself to Just keep swimming…Just keep swimming… to make it to the end. Worried about bad athlete karma, I never found a way an opportunity to pee in the lake. My swim time was pathetic: 10:45
As I ran back to transition about ¼ mile from the lake, I passed the port-o-pots and contemplated dashing into one to pee relieve myself, but I decided against it. My transition would be bad enough without a potty break (5:57).
Without stopping to pee, I hopped on my bike and headed out for my 9 mile ride. Allan and the girls arrived in time to see me set off on my bike. I felt pretty confident on my new bike until a chick with big ol’ bundadunk passed me. How could a woman with a booty that big pass me? Despite my hostility towards her wide load, I simply could not catch up to her, which only frustrated me even more. To calm my anger, I assured myself that I would pass her during the run.
The duration of the bike ride was flat and shaded. We rode along Starkey Blvd. to Starkey Park, a beautiful wooded and scenic park, and then turned around about a mile into the park to complete our 9 mile course.
Thrilled with my new bike fitted for me, I thought dismount would be a breeze, but as to not to disappoint anyone, I fell off my bike once again at dismount. So embarrassing! Bike time: 42:12
Once back into transition, I racked my bike, grabbed my Garmin, tossed on my hat and headed on my 3 mile run. As I exited out of transition, I noticed my hat seemed unusually large for my head. Once my chip beeped, I realized I was not wearing my hat. I had mistakenly grabbed someone else’s hat. “I stole someone’s hat!” I shouted to the volunteers. That can’t be good athlete karma, either.
As I ran, I noticed people staring at the stolen borrowed hat on my head. I think they thought I was someone else when they saw the hat. I think they knew I stole it.
At this time, I would like to publicly apologize to the triathlete whose hat I stole. Thank you for letting me borrow your hat. I hope you didn’t get too sunburned and didn’t go blind from the sweat dripping into your eyes. I hope your run time was decent without your lucky hat, because my run time bit the dust.
Throughout the run, my claves cramped and I kept feeling a sharp pain in my leg. Once I stopped to stretch my calves, I realized the pain was from the gaping wound on my leg, which looked like a slash made by Wolverine. Sweat must have been dripping into the gash to make it sting.
Even though I finished strong and booked it passed big ol’ bike booty girl, it was not my best run time (29:40). Allan, the girls, my parents, Julie and her family cheered for me as I sprinted across the finish line. Can you believe I forgot to take a picture with my family?
After the race, my oldest daughter, Allana, asked me, “Mom, how come you were so far behind everyone else? Miss Julie was WAY ahead of you. It was like 15 people ran by before you came by.” Overall Time: 1:28:33
Although it was the toughest triathlon for me yet, I really enjoyed the challenge. I finished 5th in my division and placed 181 overall. AND, I survived swimming in a Florida lake with no sign of killer amoeba attacking my brain.
My coaches My husband and my dad gave me all sorts of pointers, which included practicing my dismount, working on my strokes and possibly taking swim lessons. All great tips for the next race, but I have no future plans for any more triathlons at the moment. I am toying with the idea of competing in a duathlon, but I haven’t made any true commitments to any as of yet. Although I can continue training for these races with short runs followed by a bike ride or cycling on cross-training days, I don’t want to overtrain or interfere with my marathon training schedule, which keeps adding on the miles for my daily runs.