TRI like a Girl!

What a slogan for two girls competing in their first Triathlon!  My best friend came to cheer Allison and I on as we prepared for Saturday’s Sprint Splash N’ Spin in Morgantown, WV. It was a great weekend and we finished five minutes faster than each of us estimated our time to be!

We started out the weekend by meeting at our hotel and then quickly took off to eat burritos at Black Bear.

I’d say the spinach, rice and bean burritos I ate with a handful of chips and salsa was a good combination for my race the next morning. I was worried it may be too heavy, but by the 9am start time, I was fine. A combination of hydrating well the day before and a race breakfast of peanut butter bread and banana, gave me enough energy for my race.

A race highlight for me was that we got to have our numbers written on our arm and leg. My age was written on the back of my leg, and my race number on my arm.

A few race blunders happened before we even had time to set our bikes into the transition stall. First, I got us lost getting to the race and we arrived only 40 minutes to our race time. We were supposed to be there an hour early, and even having been to a race meeting at the same place the night before, I was able to get us lost again. Then, I lost my goggles. They were found later, later than when I began swimming, in a t-shirt box in the registration area. Allison just had to throw her goggles at me when she jumped out of the pool right before I started.

I keep looking on the I Play Outside to see our individual event splits but they are not up as of this Monday morning yet. However, there are some great photos that  covered the race, the foggy morning starts and then the hot afternoon progression. Our start times were not seeded, but Allison and I did begin one heat after another. Perhaps it was organized by the timing in which we signed up for the triathlon?

We put on our numbers, got ready on the pool deck and Allison went in first. She was the first person in her heat to jump out and complete her 5 laps! Someone later commented to her that she was part fish! She had a great swim time and I was so proud of her.

Swimming that early, even if the water was cold, was wonderful. The sun was just coming up, I could see rays hitting to bottom. It was so much nicer than swimming at Bark Camp where I could not see a few feet in front of me while training. The race was run so smoothly, so well. The mood on the pool deck was calm and organized. A volunteer sat at the end of the pool counting your laps with you, which made racing a lot easier. When I began this race, after the pool whistle was sounded, I just began swimming. I have never raced in water and the swimming was my weakest event. But, I finished it, with only one flip turn, probably a lap of back stroke, and the rest breast stroke. I only hit my lane partner once, and thankfully she did not seem to mind later when I apologized.

The  biking was tough because I had not been able to ride the race course and I was not able to judge how far I was going before the turn around. The way out seemed to be mostly up hill. There was no one around me, no one to push me, so every time I saw a slightly up hill portion I tried to push it to that point. I am really eager to see what my 11 mile time was. I passed Allison on my way out, on her way back in. We passed again for the run. The run was my best event. I was by this time used to the jelly legs I have when jumping off a bike to go running. Even though the sun was hot by this time, I took the 5K race at my pace, following the even bike trail, which again I imagined more up hill on the way out than on the return. That part of the race went fast. On my way back to the finish after the turn around, I opened my stride, enjoyed the Morgantown art park signs, gave words of encouragement to those runners headed out, and finished strong. I felt great!

Allison, #112, finished in 112.09! I, #127, finished in 117.?? something! When we finished we waited around to congratulate others in our heat, we sat on the sunny hill and drank powerade. We moved to the shady trees to rest for a while and then all of a sudden it was 1 o’clock.

We checked how our race times compared to other heats and when we left Allison was 3rd in our age group, I was 6th! Overall she got 72nd, and I 107th. Very good. I was impressed that we estimated five minutes slower than our actual time! It is hard to believe that 10 weeks of training went by so quickly. Allison and I are talking about what the next goal should be. We have enjoyed the comrade of training together. I have a honeymoon that this training will help me with. I will think of her while climbing the alps with my husband. When I return we will determine how to keep in shape over a snowy winter!

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