Saturday, June 2, 2012

My first Triathlon!

Well folks, I'm no longer a triathlon virgin.

I'm as ready as I'll ever be!
My day started at 4am. Yeah... I was pretty tired, and fairly sure I had forgotten to pack key things when I left the house to go pick up Jesse. Half way to Issaquah, (after picking him up) he realized the he had forgotten to pack some key things; his tools! Whoops! I wasn't too worried though.. He had tuned my bike since I returned from Hawaii, so I knew Fi was fine.


When Jess and I arrived at the race, it was busy and chaotic, but I found the packet pick-up, got my markings, and went to find my transition area. I was the second person the set up in my little section. The guy that got there before me was a middle-aged guy who I could tell had been doing the tri thing for a good long time. He was really nice, and actually offered a lot of helpful tips; including putting a plastic grocery bag over your hands and feet while putting your wetsuit on. (Way easier that way!)

Cold, wet, and gravely.
After I set out my stuff (it was a sloppy mess I would come to find out), I got suited up and headed to the beach for the "briefing." Soon, I realized I had made a critical error; I had forgotten to use the facilities before I committed my whole body to the wetsuit. Ugh. Oh well. I couldn't hear a damn thing at the briefing, so I just worked on putting on my swim cap (or caps rather; I wore my thicker one under my purple race cap - to stay warmer.)

And I'm off!
After a bit, I asked Jess if he saw any other women in purple caps. He looks around and says, "Oh my gosh! They're in the water!" I looked and sure enough, they were just about to start my wave! I took off sprinting down the beach, and made it to the line with 30 seconds to spare! The water was not as cold as I suspected, but it was f'ing disgusting. Luckily, there were no lake weeds that I could feel until close to the end (and I pretended they were another swimmer), but the water was so murky and brown and filthy! I couldn't see a dang thing! I was second to reach the first buoy, but that's when it happened...I panicked. I couldn't see anything through my goggles underwater or above, I had gulped down a bunch of water somehow, which had me almost retching. The wetsuit was also making me feel restricted and tight in my chest, and I felt like I couldn't take a full breath. I started to think I couldn't do it...that I was going to drown, but then I snapped out of it and realized I was just scared, and that I am an excellent swimmer.

I was SO happy to get out of that lake.
When I was coming out of the water, I was fighting tears. I hadn't performed well in the water. That really disappointed me...I had hated every second of that swim; every last flippin' second. My biggest thought throughout that whole swim; "how in the hell can I expect to do THIS for 1.2 miles?" When I saw Jesse, he was all smiles. He was so encouraging. He told me I was doing awesome. I needed to hear those words, but I was secretly thinking that he had to know how badly I had just failed. He was a Godsend truly though, in more ways than one. When I got back to the transition coral, I couldn't find my transition area! lol Luckily Jesse knew where to direct me!

All smiles on the bike, of course!
My transition was pretty slow, but that was due to my shitty novice transition set-up. lol I remember looking up at Jesse and mouthing to him, "I don't want to do this." He said, "You're doing great babe." He is so great.

I got on my bike, and everything was almost immediately better. The ride was just plain bitchin'. I loved every moment of it. It was interesting.. I tore past a ton of men on the bike today. Of course I was passed by some too, but less than usual. There were a lot of strong women, and a lot of weaker men. Oh!..and there was one guy with panniers! WTF do you need to take with you on a 15 mile ride?? You barely need water on a ride that short!

My second transition was much better, but I still could have done better. The run, although I was a bit tired, was not at all unpleasant. I didn't run it fast, by any stretch of the imagination, but I ran it and I finished with a smile on my face. :)

Proud finisher.

Incidentally, my timing chip was faulty. It did not record when I started the race. Bummer, eh? I may have some rough estimates coming though.

When I got home, I ate an apple and peanut butter, and took a 7 hour nap.

Off to enjoy my victory banana.


  1. Babe... You did an incredible job for your first tri! I am so proud of you!

    1. I could not have done it without you being there supporting me. You are the best, Jesse B. xo

  2. Firstly, and most importantly well done you for doing an awesome job. Triathlons are hard races so feel proud for having finished one. It's a shame you can't do more of these to iron out the problems you encountered. As with any race organization is key especially with tri. You could be the best athlete in the world but if your transition area is poor then it'll hinder your performance. Practice, practice and practice.

    They say practice makes perfect but I always say 'perfect practice makes perfect'.
    Well done again. You're now a triathlete :)

    1. Thanks Jez! You are right about practicing transitions. I should have done it more. I did QC's but not with the set up like I'd be using. Lesson learned.

  3. Good job Alyssa. I did the race as well (First wave), but somehow we missed each other. Lots of people running around in lycra and neoprene!

    1. I was wondering if you were there, and I looked for you, but I couldn't hear her calling out the waves (hence almost missing my own! lol) Well done to you too!

  4. Thanks. You know I would have loved to say "Go get some!" to you at the start. I thought at the time Compartment Syndrome had kept you from the starting line. That was a helluva fast swim-bike combo you did. You learned a ton in this one, just as you planned.

  5. Congrats! I just can't imagine completing three races in one day! Yowza!

  6. Nice job! Triathlons would be fun - if it wasn't for the swimming and running...

    1. You know what? I completely agree! lol I actually love swimming, but that open water swimming is NOT for me. If I had been able to do that swim in a pool, I would have done way better.

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