I did it! I've been ecstatic all day, and am quite proud to be able to
call myself a triathlete (as opposed to a person who is training for a
triathlon). The times aren't up on the website, but from my watch I did
the swim in 0:26, bike in 1:22, and run in 1:22.
The swim was
very difficult for me, and pretty scary at first. I really wanted to
just go home the first half or so. I wasn't able to catch a real pull
for more than a few yards at a time. The water was pretty murky and I
found it hard to follow feet in front of me. I was able to draft at a
few people's hip for longer. I got out of the water and looked at my
watch to see a heart rate of... I hope you're sitting... 204! I was
pretty anxious during the swim, and definitely didn't heed your advice
of "take it easy." I think my plan went out the window the second I hit
the water. I could barely stay upright as I WALKED through T1 to my
bike. I came pretty close to throwing up during this transition, but
there was a father taking a picture with his family next to the nearest
trash can, and I would've felt too guilty.
I got on the bike
feeling kinda crappy, but was quickly bolstered by a "Yeah, Tri Star!"
as someone in matching gear passed me doing what was probably 25mph
(slightly uphill). The bike was pretty easy, lots of medium length,
medium-to-steep climbs but not too bad. I think I may have gotten a
drafting penalty. During a climb up this awful hill there were probably a
hundred cyclists wheel-to-wheel as we were going maybe 8mph. I heard a
motorcycle behind me not passing for a while, and when it passed I saw
the man on the back with the notebook. Crap. I was definitely within the
draft box, but there was certainly no benefit at that speed. The
nutrition was to plan throughout (other than forgetting the pre-swim
gel), although I didn't drink as much water as I planned after finishing
my sports drink on the bike. I was able to keep my heart rate in the
mid-170s on the climbs, and it eventually dropped down to the low-160s,
although only on the flats. There was an amazing 40mph (well, 39.47, I
just checked the computer) downhill. I don't think anything feels better
than the wind rushing past at those speeds while wearing a wet,
sleeveless tri-top. T2 was fine, other than me putting my foot down on
the cleat instead of the rubber part of the shoe coming into transition.
I fell on my ass in front of everybody.
The run was very
difficult and I had serious doubts during the first mile as to whether I
could go on. Being passed by an athlete with one leg who had started at
least two waves behind me gave me the motivation to go on. I was
SHOCKED at mile 2 to look down and see 0:15:25 or so on the clock. I
hadn't ran an 8-minute clip since April (before the IT band)! At mile 3
or so I heard from behind me "you're only seventeen, it shouldn't be so
hard!" (Athlete's ages were marked on the calf.) As the forty-something
year old caught up I responded "I know, I keep getting passed by forty
year olds." He then referred to people of his own age with a less
G-rated group of words. I was fearful during my run that I would have
nothing left to sprint across the finish line. It would depress me to
not be able to summon enough energy to speed up for the finish. I don't
know how, but I was able to run down the chute pretty quickly. I heard a
"go Tri Star!" but couldn't see who it was. It felt great, and I
probably finished that first water bottle in twenty seconds flat (before
sprinting to the bathroom to pee).
Overall, I think I had a
great race. I'm going to do the MighyMan Sprint this Saturday in Montauk
to support my Mom (she's doing it also). 3 miles is going to be EASY!
Thanks for everything,