Chick in Chaos: The Finale!

On Saturday, I felt ready for the race and confident about my performance at the Chaotic CoteeMan.  I learned from the Babes and Bums Triathlon the importance of not dilly-dallying during transition and I would try my best not to fall off the bike at dismount.


The swimmers entered the pool in 15 second intervals in order of our assigned bib numbers, which were determined by our predicted time given on our race registration form.  We swam 6 laps (150 meters) through the lanes of the pool by swimming up a length, down a length and under the lane markers like mice scurrying through a maze.  Although other athletes in the pool slowed me down, my swim time was my best yet: 3:14.


After the swim, I headed back to transition.  I prepared for my arrival by laying out all my gear ahead of time.  I quickly slipped on my shorts, threw on my shoes, strappped on my helmet and my Garmin, and hopped on my bike.  My transition time improved but was still a bit long: 3:41.


For the bike leg, we rode through Downtown New Port Richey.  Having grown up in New Port Richey, I do not remember those hills.  Thankful for the faster bike for this race, the hills were not a welcomed site.  Also, an unclearly marked course confused me and many other athletes.  Even though, there were volunteers standing on corners and police officers directing traffic, the course was still confusing.  Plus, the course was supposed to be 11 miles, but (according to my trusty Garmin) it was actually closer to 13 miles,.


An Ironman and a Silver Streak passed me on their second lap with encouraging cheers to keep up my pace.  Fortunately, only one 63 year old man passed me.


After my first lap, I needed to stop for a water break since there were no water stations on the bike route.  I pulled over and tried to stop the bike.  As I stretched my right leg to reach the ground, the tips of my toes couldn’t quite make it.  I fell to the ground with the bike landing on top of me, but I managed to use my knee and my shoulder as a brake. 


A mechanic at an automotive garage across the street was the only person who witnessed my clumsy collapse.  “Are you all right?” he called out to me.  “Yeah, I’m all right!  I’m just an idiot that needs some water”, I hollered back at him. 


I sprayed some water at my right knee and shoulder to cleanse the road rash and wash away some of the blood.  After my pathetic first aid attempt, I hopped back on my bike for lap 2, and I completed the course in under an hour: 59:52.


Since I had already fallen once, I felt confident that I would not fall again at dismount.  With a successful dismount, I returned to transition to rack my bike and cleanse my knee and shoulder again.  I traded my helmet for my hat and headed out for the final leg, the 5 K run.  Once more, my transition time seemed a bit long: 1:22.


As I attempted to run, my legs felt like overstretched rubber bands and the wonky feeling in my legs made it difficult for me to determine my pace.  I was certain that I was moving in slow motion, however, when I checked my pace on my Garmin, it recorded 8 minute miles.


I passed the same 63 year old man as well as quite a few people, including my friend’s Michele D’s husband, Jim.  And even though I stopped at each water station during the run, I still finished with my best time yet: 27:32.  


As a surprise, my parents came out to cheer for me as I crossed the finish line.  They were so proud!


Overall performance: 1:35:39.


I am really pleased with my progress since the Babes and Bums triathlon.  I came in 4th place for my division (females 35-39; Of course, they were only 5 in my division!) and 41st overall (out of 56).  At least, I wasn’t last!


My friend, Julie, did great!  She came in second place in her division (female 25-29): 1:41:21.


Triathlons are truly an athlete’s sport and not for the faint at heart.  Although the endurance needed to complete the sport is overwhelming, I find triathlons exhilarating! Still on my tri high, I am now toying with the idea of competing in the Long Leaf Triathlon on October 19.



  1. Michele says:

    LOL…Jim said thanks for the shout out. 😉

    He’ll be doing the Longleaf tri as well, hopefully we’ll see ya there.

    Great job, that’s awesome!

  2. Leslie says:

    Boy, you have come a long way in such a short time! Less than 2 years ago you started out on the track,never running before. You should be proud.

  3. Diane says:

    Hey Denise! You go girl!

    I really admire you for what you are doing, setting a goal and going for it. You are even motivating me!

    Be proud!

  4. Kent - Team Bear Naked, Miami says:


    I recall talking with you at the results board following the triathlon. Your great attitude is contagious!!! Many athletes were very frustrated with the course volunteers and off-duty police. Sadly, their performance was poor. I was in the lead pack of six cyclists and at mile 3, one of the volunteers sent us off-course adding 5.9 miles to our over-all bike distance. I still finished 2nd Place in my age-group, however; based on my average bike pace, had I only completed the “actual” bike route without the additional miles, I would have finished first over-all. A little disappointing, but when I meet athletes like you it reminds me why we truly are in this… The post-race high, the excitement of looking forward to the next race, the unexplainable comradery within the triathlon community, attaining crazy goals, and the fact that we are some of the fittest people on the planet.

    Transition is the 4th discipline in triathlon. A lot of time can be saved if you focus on it, and races can be won in transition.

    Regarding your bike: try to keep the rubber side down, it seems to function most efficiently that way. Someone told me that many years ago and it has stuck with me. 🙂

    Have a wonderful season! I hope our paths cross again.

    Kent Rodahaver
    Team Bear Naked, Miami

  5. Kelly K says:

    I am so proud of you And I would be more than a little jealous of how awesome you look and how fit you are if I didn’t know all the hard work you’ve been doing these past two years.

  6. dwyatt64 says:

    Go Denise!
    Hip hip hooray for us moms everywhere that go that extra “distance”. You are a motivator! Glad to see that you had a good race. And yes, Kent (above) was right about the transition being the 4th discipline. That is something my hubby has worked long and hard on. It does come with trial and error (read=more triathlons!) so don’t give up..go for that Longleaf Tri!
    Awesome job…..

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