Last weekend was quite an interesting one. On Saturday was a moving day for me, the whole morning I was carrying boxes and sweating like a pig. Luckily my friends made it a bit easier (this is the part where I publicly acknowledge you guys and give you a big THANKS for the support, this is to you my sis Steph, Beto, Carmita and Jenny), and we finished around 1pm. I did some unpacking of course, and specially I need to prepare and re-find my gear somewhere inside the moving boxes. Around 8pm my legs were hurting really bad because all the walking and carrying stuff around (remember I’m crazy haha), so I took some the whole pot of Advil to kill the pain (okay, not really… but the normal dose did fine), which lead me to have second thoughts about doing the my first triathlon race on Sunday.
Sunday morning (around 4:30am), woke up and did the triathlete ritual or at least my version of it. Had a toast and water, took a shower to really wake up, made some time to empty my stomach and prepared and put the gear on. Went down my apartment to the parking lot, look at the people returning from clubbing all smashed while I was putting the bike on the car rack, and went to the race place in Key Biscayne.
Since it was my first time, I was kinda lost in what/where to do in the race site. So first I had to put the stickers with your race number in the bike and helmet, then get your body mark (which is made with a new kind of super Sharpie, because the marks lasted me until Wednesday!) around your shoulders, knee and calf. Afterwards you have to get your timing ship that you put around your leg and finally go to the transition area where you will set up your bike and running gear.
Next I had to go to the race start for the sprint distance. I found some friends along the way that were doing the duathlon and wish each other good luck. At the beach, were the swim start was, I found 3 of my tri-training partners, which was pretty cool since we support each other with tips for the race, especially from the ones that it was not their first.
The hordes of tri-athletes unite in the swim start, and the waves started with the pros/elite athletes (which they had a awesome SHARK swim cap, I want one!), followed by different age groups classified by different colored swim caps. My age group started around 7:20am, and I knew that I had to place myself on the sides in order to avoid the stampede of swimmers hitting me or going over the top of me. I felt strong on the swim, but is kind of hard to be swimming and to avoid getting misguided while swimming. After all is not the pool that you have straight guides in the bottom of it in order to guide you, is open water with sea weed as your guides!!! To avoid this I received a good tip from my teammate Francisca and is to do 5 to 6 strokes and put your head up to see where are you going. It work like wonders, and kept me on track.
From the end of the swim to the transition point, I had to jog part of the beach and part of the park, while I was trying to moderate my breath from being on the water to getting back on my feet. On T1 (transition #1), I simply put my helmet on, took the bike, exit the transition area and mount. The shoes I had them on snap on the bike already, so I started pedaling and started to put each foot on each shoe and then had a go. While in the bike I started to hydrate with some Gatorade I had on the bike, the tip here is to hydrate at the start and near the end of the bike ride.
I think that probably the bike part was my worst of the 3 sports, since I couldn’t hold the constant pedaling for long intervals, plus we had a nice tall bridge to handle twice, so that didn’t help either. I admit that I haven’t had time much time training in the bike, so maybe that’s a point that I have to fix. I felt that a lot of bikes were passing me, and that sensation kinda sucked :( .
Finishing the bike ride and approaching T2 (transition #2), I had to unlock the tri shoes, which was kinda bad since it was kind off difficult to jog with the tri-shoes. Another fixed to do next race is to take out my feet off the shoes before the dismount. In the transition area , I left my bike, took off my helmet, put my running shoes, and my belt with race number on and I was off transition area. They had water along the course which helped a lot. Around 5min in the run I had my gel shot, which helped me a LOT with the energy to continue the run. The only thing that I felt kind off awkward, was that I didn’t see any mile post in the run course, since I usually use them to conserve and use my energy wisely. Especially since around the last mile I start to go faster and in the last yards I just go all out, so at the end of the run I was… “wait, that was it?”. So yeah, I had still some energy to spare at the end, so oh well…
My official times were as following:
Total Time: 01:16.25.50
Swim Time: 7:9
T1 Time: 3:35
Bike Time: 34:53
T2 Time: 1:26
Run Time: 29:23
So 1:16 for my first tri. My objective was to do it in less than 1:30 so I guess I’m fine. My overall place in my group was 19 out of 24 and overall place was 258 out of 509.
Regarding time or placing, the great thing about this is that I can finally I can say that I’m a triathlete!!!