I would not call it fun but it was not too bad. I do not train to race and therefore I am just not sharp enough to race right now and that makes for a slightly pathetic results and miserable experience.
Swim: 600m. That was pretty uneventful. Everyone was wearing wetsuits and so did I because I knew I need all help I could get. Although it not help me that much because I did it in around 9:30 and (spoil alert!!!) an eventual female winner gave me around 90sec here.
T1: Running like a headless chicken looking for my bike. I mean, I knew where it was but apparently I have not used it for so long that I forgot what it looks like so I overlooked it eventhough I ran right to it, did not see it, ran to another rack, ran back... I eventually found it, put socks on, put my bike shoes on and run to mount line. There are no transitions time so I cannot show you just how pathetic it was.
Bike: 27km. I did not wipe up doing flying mount but it was not perfect. But the ride was great!!! It is surprising considering my lack of bike training. I do not want to brag but I went by people as if they were standing still. But I worked hard, really hard. Except for the part when I caught up to a tractor right in a bend on a road and had to break and wait until we were at on a straight road again so I could see and pass. Of course I passed it as if it was standing still:) I drank exactly 5 sips on a bike. 2 around km 15 and 3 around km 23. Not that I was not thirsty, it was almost 100F, I just cannot drink and breath hard at the same time. I took a sip, than held the bottle until I caught my breath again, took another sip. Drinking is stupid, makes me go slower. And of course I did not even bother opening up a gel I was carrying with me. I caught (spoiler alert!!!) an eventual female winner with around 1k to go, blasted by her but then I had to came to almost a stop at an intersection because two people decided to cross the street exactly as I was coming (both me and the person directing traffic who clearly told them to stop and let me pass yelled at them) so she caught me and we dismounted together. I did it in around 43min.
T2: We dismounted and she was away as if I was standing still this time. She dropped me as a bad habit as we were running to our racks. I know that part of it is that I was running in my biking shoes and she was barefoot but another part is that I just have not trained bike-to-run transition. And then, I repeated my headless chicken run looking for my rack. I was wearing contacts so I saw where I was going, so all this is because I am such an idiot. And then my timing chip that we were carrying on wrists and had to place close to a machine to get our splits did not give a peep, so I stopped, ran back, one of the organizers told me to forget it so I stopped again, turned and finally got out of transition. By the time I got out of there, I did not even see that other girl.
Run: 7k. I have only one word to describe this: misery. I started running and felt like going backwards. It felt like jogging, which I was indeed doing. For the first 5min I was thinking how much this sucks and there is no way I am doing Hannover Triathlon in two weeks because it is a 10k run. But I decided to try to shut the brain off because I would become only more and more negative and just plugged along. I was wearing a watch (to be able to check how much longer I need to continue with this torture) and I told myself that it will take me around 30min. I looked at my watch and thought, shit I still have 29min 50sec to run. Then I looked again and thought shit shit, I still have 29min 40sec to run. Then I looked again, shit shit shit still 29min 30min to run. And it went like this for the next 30min. Legs did not feel great, although they woke up a little bit after around 20min. I did not run fast but it still did not feel comfortable. I did the run right around 30min (29:55, or 30:05, somewhere around there and so did (spoil alert!!!!) an eventual winner), so truly pathetic.
At the end, phew, I hardly made the race under 1:30. 1:29.30 something. The splits mentioned above do not add up close to1:30 because transitions were very long. Not only my headless chicken runs caused me a lot of precious seconds, it took me over 2min to run from swim end to transition and then add a few minutes for T/bike/T/run transitions and it adds nicely.
So I did not win (but does not matter, awards were the same for all three top women:).
I was second and the first female gave me around 40sec, basically all of those 40sec happened between a bike dismount and my run start. Maybe it should bother me but it does not. I know I need to practice transitions and get triathlon shoes to wear on pedals and stop wearing socks. It is all a work in progress.
She gave me 90sec in a 600m swim but that does not bother me neither! Work in progress.
And a run. Ok, this one bothers me, but just slightly. I know I could have run faster but I just could not push it harder. I have not trained to be pushed out of my comfort zone and I do not know how to do it just like that, out of nowhere like some people can do it (who I admire a lot). I need to train myself to do it. I also think that 7k is too long and I am not ready for it. I do not think that I train for 7k or 10k. It feels to me that I train for max 5k. I am not saying here that my training is bad, what I mean is that I cannot train for anything longer than a 5k because of my ITB. I cannot do longer intervals and higher mileage that I think I need if I want to feel comfortable over anything longer than a 5k. I do not think that this is only psychological and it has anything to do with my being a former middle distance runner. I honestly think that the problem is the lack of adequate training. Could I run faster had I not killed me on a bike? Probably, but not by much.
Ok, maybe it should bother me that my swim is pathetic and I am a major wimp on a run, but it does not. Because neither this race, not the next one, or not even the one afterwards are my focus. I have a long-term goals and I am concentrating on those. I need to improve my swim, therefore I put my biking on hold. And since I have not been able to do a consistent running training in the last 3 years I am concentrating on building my running fitness but being very conservative this time. I am ok with the fact that it will take time before I get to a running level that can be called “decent”. Everything is work in progress.
It seems that a pasta manuf company and beer manuf company (duh, we are in Germany) were the main sponsors because I won a lot of pasta and pasta sauce (and I mean a lot) and beer (I gave that to my friend).
I have learnt a few lessons today, there is a couple things that I need to change (need to practice transitions, buy tri shoes, go sock-less, drop a few pounds and of course continue training training training but that goes without saying). So all is good.
The only problem is that now I am really not sure whether I should do Hannover tri on Sept 2. I can deal with a 1500m swim, survive a 40k bike but I am super scared for a 10k run. It will be a long painful deathmarch. But maybe I forget all about today in a few days and will sign up.
Other random facts:
Around 550 participants. 150 women, 400 men.
I was the only one not decent enough to wear a swimsuit and not tri suit. And it was a two piece suit.
Was carrying a gel in my cleveage (if you can call it like that) on a bike.
The announcer announced me as a woman in swimsuit with a right leg all taped up (because he could not see my number so could not look up my name).
I have not seen a single bike that was not a tri bike or a road bike. Not many mountain or cruiser bikes as I saw in the US. These Germans are for real.
I ate one banana and a whole chocolate (although only a small 100g one) for breakfast.
I missed awards ceremony so they gave me my pasta and beer afterwards.
I was wearing a brand new running shoes (because 7k is so short that nothing bad can happen even when you try something new in a race). Nike somethingGlide something. They are racers and I like them.
I do not understand how I could have been so stupid and signed up for a half-ironman for next year.
Today is IM Mt Tremblant that I have been signed up for.