The forecast predicted rain for the entire day on Saturday. Usually I freak out about racing in the rain and it never ends up happening, so this time I wasn’t at all anxious about it. I think I truly believed that it wasn’t going to rain.
My friend Pam and I headed to the race early. I wanted to get there around 5:00 am so that I wouldn’t have trouble finding close parking. Last year it was a little tough finding parking and I didn’t want that tourble again this year. It turned out there was no problem finding close parking because no one was there yet. It started to drizzle when we arrived just before 5. The radar did not look good. We headed to transition to set up and find our friends. The rain just kept falling and falling with bouts of heavier rain happening.
I set up my transition area in plastic bags. I had one bag for the bike and one for the run. I also put my helmet and bike seat in a plastic bag. I’m so glad I packed those plastic grocery bags at the last minute. I also grabbed a large black garbage bag, which I wore until the moment before I walked in the water to start the swim. The race time was delayed 15 minutes so we had the pleasure of standing around in the rain for that much longer.
I was thrilled to be with such a large group of my friends (there were 7 of us, not all are pictured) because it made standing around in the rain bearable and at times actually fun. We had to wait about and hour after transition closed for our wave to start the swim.
When I got in the water I was relaxed, but still somehow seemed to get out of breath quickly. I couldn’t get a good freestyle going so I succumbed to the breaststroke for the entire half mile. It was a little embarrassing swimming this way, but I got it done. I ran as fast as I could to my transition area. It took me forever to unpack everything from the plastic bags. I grabbed my huma gel and bike shoes. I carried the shoes with me to the bike out area and put them on there. I did not want to slip on the wet pavement. It took me over 6 minutes before I started the bike. FOREVER.
The bike was 2 loops. It went pretty well. The rain had stopped sometime during the swim so I was glad that I wasn’t riding in the rain. My bike worked very well even though it had been water logged pre race. I found that I was able to pass a lot of people without being passed too much myself. When I finished and dismounted the bike I immediately took my bike shoes off and ran with my bike to get ready for the run.
Again I had to unpack everything from a plastic bag. It took me too long to get dry socks on over my wet feet. I quickly opened another huma gel, grabbed my water bottle and headed to the run out. At this point I could never catch my breath. My body was not tired, but my breathing was labored. It’s so weird feeling like I was running so much slower than I actually was. I just kept telling myself it’s only 3 miles. I chatted with another runner and the time flew by. Right before the finishers shoot I saw my family and stopped to get some hugs. And dare I say that this is when the sun started shining. I was wet and muddy, but thrilled to have finished my second triathlon.
I loved this race. It felt very accessible to a newbie like me. Not only because the distance was doable, but everyone I dealt with from race officials to participants were very supportive and non judgmental. The race shirts are awesome (I’ve worn mine from last year out.) and the expo and post race swag were super cool. I went home with lip balm, tomatoes, essential oils and a plant. Top that!
I am SO not qualified to swim and my bike is too nice for someone who knows nothing about biking, but I challenged myself and got it done. Despite the terrible weather I finished 6 minutes faster than last year. I went home, ate and then crashed. I took a nice afternoon nap to recover. Getting up at 4am was the hardest part. Not sure when I’ll tri again, but this definitely won’t be my last.