Monday, March 5, 2012

Desert International Triathlon... Holy Cow...

It was DARK when we arrived at 5:30AM to set up my transition area...
I had to lighten this up a bit so you could see, but it was BEAUTIFUL
as I set up my "race home."
Let's just dive right in, shall we!?  Yesterday was my first International distance triathlon... so, let's look at that for a second.  I've done 4 sprint triathlons:
Usually 500 meter swim, 9.3 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. 
THIS race was:  
1,200 meter swim, 24 mile bike, 6.2 mile run.

Racing is half physical training and half mental training... and I thought I had these both covered.  I have had 24 hours to think about this race and, in hindsight, there is a HUGE difference between a sprint and an international distance triathlon.    

I knew there was something different about this race when people started showing up to set up their transition area.  Most people were a part of a team... team gear...high quality bikes and equipment... and I realized this was not the "entry level" triathlon that I was used to where it was common for people to race with mountain bikes or even beach cruisers... this was a whole new level... and these racers were serious.  And, I will admit... I started thinking, "What in the HECK am I doing here!" 

Before the race... setting up the course markers...
what a beautiful location for a race!
I spoke to Jeff and my Y friends and trainers who reminded me that I was not only ready for this level, I WAS a part of this racing level.  DAMN those negative voices that keep telling me, "I'm not ready... I'm still overweight... and I don't belong in a sport, much less THIS level of sport."
After going to the restroom no less than 4 times to help relieve my "stress," I went back to the transition area to gather my wetsuit and swim gear and do a final check of my set up.  I have to say, that even in this moment of emotional crisis, there were two ladies there, who were obviously teammates, who asked if they could "zip up my wetsuit" because they noticed I was alone in the transition area.  That is the great thing about this sport... we all rack up with our immediate competitors, but we all support each other, give advice, and try to help one another as we get ready to race... that is AWESOME!   
The start of the race... the pro group just starting the swim... they are the
"water disturbance" in front of the "start" ballons...

I walked over to the start and ran into a few of our YMCA team members... all in the zone and getting ready to race.  Then I ran into teammate Matt's wife, who stopped in her tracks, and must have seen the look on my face, and started into a quick prayer with me... and then I was READY TO GO!  I did a quick warm up in the water and lined up to go. 
So, here we go with the photos, that will tell the rest of the story...
That's me in the middle starting the swim... at the front of my pack!
I had a panic attack and thought my swim was slow, but I
actually finished 1 minute faster than I thought, and 2nd in my
category... I just love that there are 3 fit guys behind me
(in the blue caps) that started 4 minutes before me... and I'm in front of them...
I LOVE THIS!  I mark my transition area with BRIGHT ORANGE fabric
over my bike... and from here you can see my bike... and that is me, purple on top,
wetsuit on bottom, running, just about to hit my transition...
Transition from swim to bike... dripping wet... feeling great...
Good sign that there are so many bikes on the rack... that means
that I got there before anyone else!

LOOK... I'M RACING on my bike, downhill
leading to the finish where there were multiple
crashes... HERE... I... COME!!!

I had a "hydration malfuntion" in this race... not
enough water... 3 hours of racing... 90 degree temps...
I was seeing stars and couldn't see the trail in
the 1st 1/2 mile of the 6 mile run.  Here I was at mile 3 and
So... I had to walk 3 of the 6 miles of the run, but I only finished 10 minutes slower than expected... and I missed the podium in just under 10 minutes.  LESSON LEARNED... DRINK YOUR WATER!    

FINAL RESULTS... I took 2nd place in the swim, 3rd place in the bike, and after all that walking on the run, I STILL finished 5th place in my category!  Who knew that a little thing like water could kill your race...?  I will be training and ready for my next tri in June... AND I CAN'T WAIT! 

1 comment:

Tracey's Father said...

Tracey, your Mom and I are very proud of you for entering and finishing this race. We had a lot of fun cheering you on. The best part was hollering at you during your transitions (and the swim in the hotel pool after it was all over).