5:00am – Alarm goes off and I literally spring out of bed; I had a hard time sleeping the night before… afraid I wouldn’t hear the two alarms I set. So thankful I packed my bag the night before and just had to slip into my swimsuit and sweats. Terrence totally rocked this morning, taking the dogs out, loading up my bike, bike pump, putting my sticker on helmut, getting the signs. I’m not sure I could have done this without him… he’s such a great support!
5:40am – On the road to Pleasanton. I’m driving — I need the distraction, as even the music on the radio isn’t helping calm my nerves
6:20am – Arrive at Shadow Cliffs. It’s still dark and a chilly, but there’s electricity in the air with over 75 participants already there. Find my mom, who was there waiting for me (my biggest fan – and someone you always want in your corner!)
6:45am – Transition station set up. Ended up being in the row behind my spin student Carol from Harbor Bay Club and was elated to know someone there!!! I also got great advice from Sarah Squiers (who placed 3rd in her division!) and was happy to imitate her set-up, ’cause I had NO CLUE what to do! Also, happy to see friends Jan and Kevin Leverton there, who made the trip to support me (thanks you two!). I also saw another spin student Paula, who was there to compete, too! And, Leilani and Darlene from the Berkeley Y TRI team :0)
7:15am – lots of time to wait around and think… not good, as my nerves start to get the best of me. At this point, I’m stopping to pet every dog that comes near me (what else is new), as dogs have a great calming effect on me!
7:45am – Get ready for the swim!!! Made my way down to the beach where Carol and I thought it would be a good idea to test the water before our individual waves started (my wave was scheduled to start at 8:15am), which would have been great, but…
7:50am – 1st wave of participants goes out and a woman has a heart attack. The race is delayed by an hour. (at the end of the event, an announcement was made that the woman survived – YAY!)
8:15am – everyone’s waiting, so I decide to get some puppy love and pet a wonderful old rottie named Lucy. I try to participate in the conversations, but my mind is spinning. It helped to get a nice massage from my mom :-D.
9:15am – I am lined up with 126 women in my age group waiting to enter the water and the waterworks start. Not good when you’re wearing goggles. It’s weird, I can’t explain the emotion that came over me, but it’s almost the same one I get when I see people finishing an event or like when I watch the IronMan on TV
9:15am – I’m in and swimming – YES! Trying to remember the tip I received from a few triathletes to stay to the outside and to the back of the pack. The start was a bit challenging at first – needed to find my groove, but once I did, I felt great! Then, either my adrenalin or my ego (probably a bit of both) took over and I started jockeying for a good position in the inside toward the front of the pack. I actually started passing people while getting kicked and hit, but I was having so much fun. I thought of the Tri-wizard challenge during my swim – when Harry had to do his swim challenge, ’cause all I could see was green seaweed-y looking stuff and pale bodies all around me (yes, I’m that nerdy!). I also had the presence of mind to be mindful… I was able to smile (yes, even when swimming) and to thank one of the lifeguards as I swam past.
9:23am – I’m out of the water and running on the sand to the transition area. I swam faster than my mom and Terrence expected (so they told me when they said I surprised them coming out of the water as I caught up to some of the participants from the wave before me). This transition is tricky for me… have you ever tried to put on clothes when you’re sopping wet? Not fun, definitely not easy. But, I managed and I’ve already figured out what to do to shorten my transition time for my next TRI.
9:26am – I head out on my hybrid mountain bike (which I consider one of the best purchases I’ve ever made) and have an awesome time on the ride. Some nice inclines with even sweeter downhills. I’m about having fun when I exercise, no matter what! So, as I’m riding, I’m cheering on folks already riding in the other direction and giving words of encouragement to the riders I passed. But, I totally came to the realization that if I want to do better on the next ride, I NEED A ROAD BIKE!!!! I average 18.3 miles per hour for 11 miles and loved every second of it… spin classes sure do help prep for the hills :0)
10:01am – back to the transition area, which was easier this time, just a change of shoes, taking OFF my bike helmet (so glad I remembered!!!) and putting in my ear buds as I hit play on the iPod.
10:03am – Hit the road running with Ready to Run by the Dixie Chicks! Before I even get to the 2nd song Keeps Gettin’ Better by Christina Aguilera, there is a monster hill in front of me. I make it up but then get a stitch in my right side (that stuck with me the rest of the run). This has never happened even in all the training and bricks and I can only attribute it to the four freakin’ hills, drinking too much water during the bike, not enough during the run, the heat, and, oh, the heat! I finished my run listening to This Way by Dilated Peoples, Push It To The Limit by Corbin Bleu, Fighter by Christina Aguilera, Single Ladies by Beyonce, Damaged by Danity Kane, Push It To The Limit by Corbin Bleu (yes, again!), Gotta Get Through This by Daniel Bedingfield, and Survivor by Destiny’s Child.
10:39am – As I make my way to the finish line, I see my sign, hear people cheering for me, and the waterworks start again — it never fails — and I feel GREAT!!! When I finally get that medal on my neck (which I’m wearing as I type this) after 1 hour 25 minutes and 16 seconds, I know I can relax. I end up feeling a bit light-headed after (again the heat gets to me – you’d think I’d be used to it growing up in Antioch, but I’m acclimated to Alameda weather now!) but with some Gu, orange slices, and a clif bar, I start to feel a heck of a lot better. Good enough to get another massage from my mom and to cheer other runners in on their way to the finish line!
11:00am’ish’ – At first I was elated by my total time; I beat the arbitrary time I set for myself of 1:30; so I was happy, but then I started analyzing and picking over all the individual times and the negative intrapersonal communication kicked in full gear: “I gotta transition faster”, “I need a road bike”, “My run time was horrible – what happened to those 8:30 miles I was running during my last brick”, and the list goes on. But, after putting it in perspective, I’m gonna say it, wait for it… I’m proud of myself!
Even though I did better than I expected but not as good as I hoped, I’ll reveal my real stats… … no not 36-24-36, which would be awesome, but the stats on my first try at a real TRI.
SWIM (open water/reservoir) = 400 yards
BIKE (paved road) = 11 miles
RUN (packed dirt trail w/four steep hills) = 3 miles
Bib#73 Brewer, Cat Alameda, CA Female Age: 38
Age (Class) Rank: F35-39 Class Rank: 48 out of 126
Overall rank (includes women & men): 259 Gender rank: 256 out of 700
Total time: 01:25:16
Swim Rank: 185 out of 700 Swim time: 00:08:27 Swim pace: 00:02:06 per 100 yards
Swim to Bike transition: 00:03:26
Bike Rank: 247 out of 700 Bike time: 00:36:03 Bike pace: 18.30 per mile
Bike to Run transition: 00:01:13
Run Rank: 372 out of 700 Run time: 00:36:07 Run pace: 00:12:02
So there, that’s my first try at a TRI and I can’t wait for my 2nd attempt — I’m already hooked!!!
There were so many women there; women of all shapes, sizes, ages, races, sexual orientations… all there to challenge themselves, push themselves, and cheer on all the other women!
I’ll definitely do the See Jane Run TRI again and I’ll try my best to beat my time! But I know I’m already setting new goals… an Olympic distance TRI next season… a 1/2 IronMan… as soon as I get that road bike!