11 May 2008

Wildflower 2008: On the Race

Well...I finished!

Back in January, a few friends and I were talking about Wildflower. One was trying to convince the other to do the Mountain Bike Triathlon course. I said, I would do it! It sounded like fun...I had only experienced Wildflower as a worker, and that was 10 years ago, so it would be great to see what it was like on the athlete side. And...why not do a triathlon?

I actually never thought I would say that. Much in the same way I said I would never do a half marathon (or more), I am sure at some point I emphatically said I would never do a triathlon, no matter the distance. This is why I try not to use the word never anymore; it always comes back to bite you!

My attitude towards training was as it has been in the past: not that interested. I swam a few times, ran once or twice, and rode the spin bike a lot. That was probably the most I did. But, I went in feeling good and just wanting to have fun.

My biggest mistake was probably not renting a wetsuit, but instead borrowing my friend's surf suit. I figured, 1/4 mile, what did it matter what type of suit I wore? This decision came back to bite me. I had never put on a wetsuit, much less swam in one, so I had no idea how different a surf suit is than a tri suit. Trust me: big difference.

I lined up along with all the other old ladies in my group. I jumped in the water to get a feel for it, and thought, hey, not bad. Soon, it was countdown time. 5...4...3...2...1...go! I jumped in to start my swim, and almost immediately, felt a tear in my right shoulder. The wetsuit was bearing down on something, and not allowing me to get any range of motion. So I started to doggie paddle, and tried not to drown. Apparently, with tri wetsuits, they thin out the joints so you can actually get a full stroke in. Lesson learned!

It took me longer than I thought it would to get out of the water, and unfortunately, I had to use my legs a lot more than I had wanted to, so I was starting to get tired by the time I got to my bike. I changed, got on the bike, and headed on out.

The bike course was a lot hillier than we thought it would be. I also learned that I have no confidence on my bike. I was scared to go downhill, scared to build up the momentum I needed to get up the next hill. I also have no idea what gears to use. Another good lesson learned.

The bike took me a bit longer than I thought it would, but soon I was finished and ready to run. Thank god! I was hoping the Cal Poly kids at the turnaround would have a beer for me, but no such luck. I finished strong and crossed the finish line. Whoo-hoo.

I had a great time with the tri, and although I didn't go fast, I did finish. I can't wait for the next one!

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