Let's have a little refresher. Pre-Saturday I had been outside to ride my bike exactly once, two loops around Central Park with no clips. I had not practice with clips, had not practiced drinking water on the bike, had not practiced eating on the bike and had only done one brick workout.
To say I was extremely nervous going into it would probably be an understatement but I was treating it as training. A learning experience to feel comfortable with the bike, transitions and the atmosphere. We arrived a little before 6am after the train gods were pretty good to us. It was very chilly and I was wearing several layers of clothes. They were not exactly organized and not much was set up when we arrived which add a little bit to my nerves. When we were finally able to get our race numbers and my race number was 26. It almost did not even register at first until I had it in front of me and at that point I felt a little more calm thinking about Packy there with me.
We started late after a brief talk from the USA Triathlon person and the race organizer. My anxiety was pretty high at this point but I was excited, it was a very small group doing our distance, maybe 30 or 35. When he let us go the entire group took off RUNNING, I mean so fast they were all almost out of eye sight very quickly. I tried to stay pace with Jamie for the first several miles and managed to hold on until the first water stop but at that point I realized if I was going make it 7 miles I needed to slow down. I spent the next several miles beating myself up about how slow I was and how my training was terrible and I should be doing better. I looked at my watch at this point and realized that I was still under a 10 minute mile which is VERY good for me, I think I was just too focused on everyone else and not just me. I did have my friend Carl come watch for a lap and also Miss Rose came so those were definitely positive moments when I felt I was doing horribly.
Coming in for the bike transition I was feeling happy to stop running. My right foot actually did a great job in my new shoes so that was a definite positive but my left foot was not feeling great. I got on my bike and managed to clip in and get going, of course the first challenge was Nelly Hill right out of the gate. I felt the first few laps went pretty well although I need to get faster I felt strong and more comfortable with each lap. Then, I needed to get a drink of water, oh dear the horror. I managed to get my water bottle out of the cage, then realized I hadn't moved the spout to open. Boy was that fun trying to open that, the bike was definitely wobbling at this point but I managed to get the water bottle open and get some water. Then comes the fun part, putting it back in the cage. I swear I almost threw the darn thing on the ground!! I finally managed to get in and move on. At this point I saw Anna on almost every single bike lap!
Eating is another story entirely!! I did have chews with me and the one package was actually open already so those were fairly easy to get into my mouth out of the package. The problem came when the second package was not pre-opened so I had to use my teeth but couldn't get a big enough opening. It was VERY difficult to get them out and I know I did not eat enough so that is something extremely important to work on.
8 laps later I was DYING. Ok maybe not dying but certain parts of me were in definite pain :-P It was my longest ride to date, when I spin in my apartment I can kind of sit up on the seat and give myself a break but out on the road that is not really an option. This transition was a little crazy in that I was kind of out of it and totally almost ran out of the transition area still wearing my helmet!
That last 4 mile run was AWFUL, horrible, terrible, oh dear. I thought that first run was tough but this run was probably the toughest 4 miles I have ever done in my life. I struggled, my foot was killing me, I was miserable but I never stopped. At one point I started a very controlled run/walk to make sure I wasn't going to hurt my foot more. Anna came and jogged the last bit with me which helped a lot. They were already taking down the ropes around the bikes and Jamie was guarding our stuff while Mike and Anna and a few volunteers cheered me on and gave me a medal.
I did not puke
I did not fall off my bike
I did not die
I did not give up
Opportunities for Improvement
Better eating and drinking
running conditioning is VERY needed
Practice more Bricks
Be nicer to myself, stop beating myself up, focus on the race at hand, commit more to training if I want to be better.
Running: 70 miles
Biking: 16 hours/ 40 miles
Swimming: 11,000 meters
Strength Training: 19 sessions