Tuesday, April 8, 2014

my first (team) triathlon

So I've been training for a triathlon I'm doing with my sister June 1, but in the meantime I convinced Mary and Jeannette to get crazy with me and do a team triathlon!  Well that was just this past Sunday, and we had a complete blast.  I did the swim, Jeannette did the bike, and Mary did the run.  So here we are, pre-race after we get our number and inked head to toe:

Jeannette got her bike racked and stuff prepped.  It was a 'pick-your-own-spot' organization, so she found a good spot.  It was important that I knew where she was racked because I had to give our chip timer to her after I swam.

This is a picture of the transition area prior to the race.  As Andy pointed out - a TON of bikes and lots of money!

So the swim is first, which means I go first.  There were over 400 athletes there to swim, so there was a long line and so we made our way around the pool until it was time to start.  Although this might have made some people nervous, I liked being able to watch people go first so I could get an idea of how it went.  It took me 30 minutes from when the first person went into the pool until I got to go.  I was near the back because I'm not a super fast swimmer.  Although I realized that people of all swim abilities went at all sorts of spots in the line, so it really didn't matter.  But I was comfortable where I was, and I chatted up some of the people around me...everyone was super nice.

Andy was taking pictures from the spectator area on the other side of the glass wall, but he did a great job.  Can you find me?  (hint: if you find the red arrow, you found me.  ha!)

See, I don't look nervous at all:

If you look at people's ankles, you can see that we look like we are all on house arrest in the photo above.  Those are the chip timers that you wear to track your time.  So we'll pass this off to our teammates since we were part of a relay.

Below is me as I'm "next" go in the pool.  We started in five second increments, so there are a few seconds where you are at the front of the line before you start.  Yes, I wear uni-goggles more than real goggles, and yes they are tinted, so yes I look like an alien!

So here I am in my first length. 

There were 12 lengths total, and 12 lanes to do it in.  So you swim down one length, then go under the rope and swim back in the next lane.  A big zig-zag if you will.  But what's nice about that is each lane is basically "one direction", and then there is room to pass.  I got passed in like the second length by the guy behind me, and he didn't choose a good time to do it.  Sort of ran into me and made me stop and wait for him to pass me.  Annoying!  So you can see me below where the arrow is, and the guy who is closer to Andy with the camera is the one who passed me.

My 'turn' is not underwater turn.  I would just touch the wall, then push off at an angle under the rope to go to the next lane over. How about there was one guy who forgot to change lanes and ran into me head on.  It wasn't painful, but dude, zig-zag!

Here I am in action...it's almost like I look like I know what I'm doing:

So in the picture above, see the guy right ahead of me?  That is the guy that passed me like 8 lengths ago.  Although he passed me early, he never got far ahead of me.  And his legs were all over the place in the pool so I kept hitting him with my hands.  So what does a competitive girl like me do?  Do everything I can to pass him back :)

So here we are in the very last length.  You'll see me at the arrow.  Look to the right, and you'll see an arm sticking out of the water...that is Mr. Passer. Not so far ahead of me now, are you??

So at the exit I caught up to a random guy climbing out the ladder right now.  Some people stop and rest during the swim so I really have no idea  when he started.  Behind him still away from the wall is Mr. Passer.  But see how I am holding onto the ladder railing?  I was getting out of the pool ahead of Mr. Passer and my hand on the ladder was my signal that it was happening.

I know, I know.  But when you only swim for about 7.5 minutes of a whole triathlon, you need to entertain yourself and compete in some way!  I only swam 300 meters so it went fast, although I am proud that it is my fastest time ever!  After I got out of the pool, I had to run about 100 yards (on cement and road, soaking wet, when it was about 45 degrees out) to reach Jeannette in the transition area to give her my ankle-chip-timer since there is only one for our team.

So since I was done, and Jeannette was going to biking for over 30 minutes, I went a took a shower!  Nice.  I got a quick shot with Mary before I went to the locker rooms:

Then we were there when Jeannette came riding in (from the 10 mile ride) to the transition area to meet Mary for the run:

So Mary jogged into transition with Jeannette:

Exchanging the chip timer:

And Mary took off!  So we got some fun shots of Jeannette after she was done:

She is a biking rock star.  (She is also the rock star who sold me her bike that now I use to train).  Here is a picture of the transition area during the race, which you can see is a lot more empty because a lot of people are riding their bikes:

 Here is Mary at the home stretch of the run (3.14 miles):

So Jeannette and I joined her just for a little bit so our team could do something all at the same time :)

This was the finish line that Mary ran to (but I didn't get a picture of her finishing...I was too busy being out of breath from jogging with her for a little and hurrying over to see her).  She did an awesome job on the run, especially since the end goes up a hill! So here is a picture of the finish chute I took earlier (the mats on the ground are how the chip timers are read):

 And here is our awesome team all finished with our fancy medals:

Even better, we won door prizes which consisted of two fancy water bottles and a $15 gift card to iTunes.  Score!  It was a super awesome day, and tons of thanks to my rock star teammates who jumped in this crazy event with me!

And a special loving thanks to my husband, Andy.  He supports me in everything I do, and when I thank him for his support he always says "why wouldn't I support you?"  Honey, there is a leap from "I support you" to "Of course I will get up at 4:45am in order to get to your race on time, then take pictures and sherpa all your clothes and bags around, then go shopping for three hours in Nashville because we happened to be there, then eat leftovers for dinner because you are too tired to cook, then tuck you into bed early that night while telling you how awesome you are."  That is why you are the best husband in the world for me and I wouldn't trade you for anything.  Thank you for all you do for me....I'd be lost without you.


Running Meg said...

I saw the ad for this tri, at least I think I did if it's in the Michigan area. Looks like you had a blast!

Sharon Andy Holderman said...

It was in Murfreesboro, TN, so not Michigan. Which was probably good since I already thought it was chilly! :)

Matt Austin said...

Surprised you didn't use a snorkel in the swim?

Sharon Andy Holderman said...

That would be sweet! Wonder if those are allowed? I would look even more suave ;)