If you follow me on FB, then you KNOW that I finished the PHLYTRI and accomplished all of my goals. Here are my stats:
Total time: 03:03:00
1096/1586 total participants
48th/101 in Age Group
Swim: 27:55 (without wetsuit)
Transition 1: 2:44
Bike: 1:28:23 (16.8 mph average)
Transition 2: 3:11 (seems so slow)
Run 58:45 (9:28 pace, Boooo)
The trip up with TriGuy was awesome... he played DJ (great music selections) and talked strategy and the next thing I knew we had arrived in Philly.
Besides getting hardly any sleep due to noisy hotel guests, I was really pumped. TriGuy had a way of distracting me and really, the butterflies only started about 10 minutes prior to my wave start... not bad!
As my wave was called to line up, the annoying chick who really had no personality asked if anyone had an extra pair of goggles. Remembering what happened at Columbia to E, I decided to bring an extra pair of throw-away in case mine broke. I raised them up, the girl whose goggles had broken hugged me, the wave cheered... and there, I got Swim MoJo! (BTW: the swim was deemed wetsuit illegal despite the day before it being wetsuit legal. Water temp: 78.6)
Within minutes we entered the water, which felt a lot warmer at first and then suddenly got cooler (probably because it got deeper). Seconds later the horn went off and we started. At first I had a huge fear and then I just focused. It was a long swim so I might as well settle in. And do you know what? I did. I never really panicked. I did flip on my back once and did back stroke but that was mainly to catch my breath at first about 1/2 way in. It felt strong. I felt confident. I ended up breathing every other stroke. I was happy!
Transition 1 was easy since I didn't have to remove a wetsuit. I hated that there were not any mats coming out of the water so my feet were covered in mud and I bet it could have been an even faster time had I not had to remove it. I saw some athletes with buckets of water and they dipped their feet in... great idea.
Hopped on the bike and settled in for a long ride. TriGuy had driven me on the course the day before so I knew what to expect. I saw the hills. Like seriously HILLS. But there was also a lot of flat areas. On the flat areas I averaged between 18 - 21 mph and on the hills about 10 - 13 mph. I was feeling good and encouraged everyone who I passed. I did not get much in return, but hey... its okay if I am that "happy" girl on the course.
(Forgot to mention that TriGuy changed his wave so he was only 10 minutes behind my start time instead of 20).
On the second big hill, right at the top, about 20.5 miles in, TriGuy caught me. I was pumped that it took him that long and actually wanted go with him when he passed me, but decided to bike my race, not his.... not that I could have kept up with him. And I followed my goal by spinning out my legs the last mile which wasn't too hard since there was a slight incline and huge downhill into transition.
Hopped off the bike and walked it in. At first I wanted to run, but remembered my goal was to walk the bike in so I could get my legs used to being on the ground. At this point I unhooked my Garmin and took off my helmet as I was walking my bike. I thought I was fast in transition, but the start of the run began farther out of T2 than I expected. I actually started my Garmin too early on the run (before I crossed the timing mat) but decided not to reset it.
I started running and felt great. I brought my palm bottle but quickly realized that I did not want anything in my hands and ditched it. I should mention that it got really cloudy which was perfect... no sun beating down on me during the run. I kept looking at my pace and it jumped between 7:30 and 9 min the entire mile. I felt good but did not want to go to fast. The course was a turn around at 1.5 miles in and another at 4.8 miles in. I saw TriGuy and he gave me a hi-five. It was a huge boost. I felt good. He looked strong. I passed a lot of people and cheered on everyone that I passed.
You can really tell that most Triathletes are not runners. I felt this was my chance. I was never passed by anyone in my age group but it is hard being passed in a Tri. In a normal race, when someone passes you, you might go with them. Once this chick totally zoomed by me and I decided to hang with her around mile 3 and then I looked at her calf, she was on the Relay Team. This was the only part of the race she did. I looked down and was cruising at 7:30. Obviously, I let her go ahead. It did bother me to have people pass me. Mostly men in the waves behind me. A few women in the other AGs that I must have passed on the bike. Around 4.5 miles in... I started to feel a twinge in my right quad. Not bad, but like it was starting to be something. TriGuy passed me and hi-fived me again (later when I asked him, he said I did not look as good as I did earlier). I was getting fatigued. I was afraid to push it because I didn't know if my quad cramped if it would force me to walk. And people were walking all over the place. At mile 5, I said to myself, "yeah, I wouldn't want to be running 13 miles right now" (So jumping ahead, I will NOT be signing up for Patriots Half IM in September). By mile 6, I was so over the run, but was so happy to be almost done. I picked it up... a lot, ran the last .2 at 7:30 pace.
I crossed the finish line and then heard my name (they did a great job calling out everyone's names), got handed a really cold towel, my medal, a bottle of water... and I was ECSTATIC. I just had completed an Olympic Tri! Yay!
TriGuy found me within minutes and got me chocolate milk/grub. He did great (PRd by 6 minutes and still had gas in his tank). I am pleased. It was a good experience. I got bitten by the bug... I am currently looking for another Oly and I am pretty sure I like that distance better than a Sprint.
Next post, I will talk about my thoughts, lessons, and future!