race report | take the hill tri
Completing a triathlon has been on my life to-do for years, and on Saturday, I finally checked it off the list. My first tri = a success!
When the alarm sounded at 5a, we woke to pouring rain and a temp around 40 – definitely not the sunny forecast I’d hoped for. But, there was no way I wasn’t racing the Take the Hill Tri; that just wasn’t an option. Plus, there’s something about racing in the rain that makes you feel super strong and a bit bad ass.
Anyway, it had been awhile since I’d raced (last one: the Monster Dash half marathon in October 2011; Nick and I were Smurfs), so I played my pre-race breakfast safe with some espresso and two pieces of Rudi’s gluten-free toast + peanut butter (eggs are my go-to in the morning, but I wasn’t sure how they’d sit in my stomach).
After throwing last minute gear in our bags and loading our wheels on the bike rack, we were off to Saint Peter. The rain was relentless the entire drive, but – thankfully – it let up just before we arrived. Nick’s an old pro; he’s done the Gustavus tri four times (it’s his alma mater) plus countless others (have I mentioned he’s an Ironman?), so he knew the ropes. We dropped our bikes off at the corral and headed inside to check in.
The number 93 sharpied on my calf – my first body marking! – I was ready… to wait. As a fourth waver, I had to sit until the first three finished the pool swim. Normally, I’m crazy nervous on race morning and just want to go; this morning, however, I was surprisingly calm and enjoyed visiting with my fellow wavers (one couple drove from Nebraska!).
An hour and a stale mini apple pie larabar later – it was all I had in my bag, as my banana was in Nick’s bag in the men’s locker room… bah! – we were swimming.
I’d worried so much about the swim – what I’d wear, my hair + eyebrows, having wet clothes while biking – for nothing. Swimming in my Zoot tri shorts and lululemon daily bra was a great combo. Hideous hair and eyebrows didn’t even cross my mind. And, I barely noticed my wet shorts.
Because of the weather, race officials allowed T1 gear in the pool area, so I was able to towel off and throw on a tank, two long sleeve lululemon tops and my ink blot wunder unders before running outside to my trusty Madone. One minor hiccup here: My ear warmer was soaked. Unfortunately, I’d left it tucked between my cycling shoes next to my bike rather than in my bag with the rest of my gear.
The first half of the out-and-back bike was fast, with an average pace close to 25 mph. Turning around six miles out – bam! Holy wind! My average pace dropped to about 11 mph, and more than once, throwing my bike in the ditch and hailing a ride crossed my mind. But, then KJ’s tweet popped in my head:
Thanks for the motivation to pedal harder and keep going, KJ!
After a fairly quick T2 – and a snap at Nick to not take my pic (I was cold and cranky… sorry, baby!) – I took off on the 5K through the arboretum and around campus (thanks for the T2 cheers, everyone! I truly appreciated them, even though I may have had a scowl on my face).
It took a bit for my frozen toes to thaw, but by mile one, I was feeling pretty good. And, despite a slight twinge in my left hip and hammy that started around mile two, it was a pretty uneventful run.
By the time I neared the finish line, my T2 crabbiness had disappeared, and I was all smiles.
I’m a triathlete! And, it feels awesome.
Not bad for my first tri – plus, I won the twitter challenge with Adam by a mere 40 seconds…!
Next on the list – Life Time Tri: Minneapolis on July 14. I can’t wait!
Did you race last weekend? Any upcoming races?
(Sorry for the lack of photos… I only took a few because I was too busy trying to keep warm!)