Friday, September 4, 2009

My first tri...

So, the time has come and gone and I can now say that I have completed a sprint triathlon. It was an awesome experience and I look forward to learning more and doing more triathlons in the future. It was fantastic. I completed the triathlon in Leduc and was one of 174 people to finish. I finished 117th overall. I was 122nd in the swim, 134th in the bike and 86th in the run. So, running was definitely my strongest area, and surprisingly biking was my worst!!

My favourite part of the day was body marking. They draw your number on your arm and leg so you are numbered in the water. I have seen all the ironman athletes all marked up and getting drawn on gave me a glimpse into what it might be like to be an ironman. Not now, but someday...

Anyhow, so I was wearing my outfit for the day: a tank top, a sports bra and tri shorts. I swam in this outfit, biked in this outfit and ran in this outfit. It was weird but it felt right. I was in the first heat of swimmers (the slowest swimmers). I was the fastest in my lane and actually got to pass people. It's funny because if you want to pass someone, you touch their toes, so they know they are going to be passed. I swam my thirty laps and was grateful to the lap counters because I lost track early on. As I was swimming, I was amazed that I was actually doing this. I remember thinking that it was unbelievable that I was actually part of a triathlon and swimming against the clock. I got out of the water and crossed the timing mat in 18:51.

Next up, I headed into transition where my bike and shoes and stuff were waiting for me. I took off my swim cap and goggles and proceeded to dry my feet, put on my socks, shoes, and a cycling jersey (it was cold and I'm a bit of a wimp), oh and my bike helmet. Then, I unracked my bike and headed for the mount line where I was allowed to get onto my bike. The bike was two loops of an out and back route. My bike is a mountain bike, and I made the decision two days before the race that I should probably change out the tires to at least bald tires so it would be a little easier. It was a good experience because I had to actually change both tires on my bike so I can now say that I am capable of changing a tire on my bike (front and rear). Only problem I ran into on the bike was I could hear my front brake rubbing a little, so obviously giving me a bit more resistance than I really needed. The way out out was soooooo strong of a head wind. That made it tough and I am convinced I need to learn more about the gears on my bike because I really had no clue what gear I should be riding in. Coming back was great with a tail wind and all. But then you had to repeat the whole thing. I drank my gatorade as I went. On the way back into transition when the bike was over, I was able to stop and get a hug from Sebastian and that was so fantastic!! He was such a sweetheart saying I was doing so good. Then in transition, I changed my helmet and sunglasses for a cap and almost forgot to take off the cycling jersey (actually went back to do that). Then, I was across the next timing mat and the run was on. I finished the biking portion (including both transitions), in 54:51. I'm sure I have work to do on the transitions but I know for sure I need to improve my biking!!

The run felt really heavy at the beginning. My arms were so heavy as were my quads. However, after a bit, that feeling passed and I got into my groove. I didn't have a Garmin with me, or any watch for that matter, so I really had no clue how I was doing. I just ran. I got passed by a couple people, but I also got to do a bit of passing, so that was nice!! The run was also an out and back that had to be repeated twice. I got to see my boys again and Sebastian wanted so desperately to run with me and was not too impressed with Jeremy for not letting him!! I got another hug and high five from my little guy on both loops, and then it was into the finish. I sprinted just a bit toward the end and finishing felt wonderful. I was so amazed at myself that I had actually just completed a triathlon. I have been meaning to "tri" one for several years, and only just now could I say I finally did. The shock for me came when I learned my running time for the 5km was 29:25. I was absolutely blown away that I finished under thirty minutes after swimming and biking beforehand. Only one other time have I ever finished a 5km race in under 30 minutes. So, that sure did make me happy!!

My overall time was 1:43:06. In my age category, I finished 44th out of 66 (although, in my age category, someone ahead of me was disqualified for ipod use so really that would be 43rd I guess!!). And, overall, I was 117th, but with two DQs ahead of me, it was more like 115th!!

So, it was a fun race and I'm so glad I've tried a triathlon. As soon as I finished, my mind was already racing trying to figure out what's next. Where would I do my first triathlon in open water? When would I do my first Olympic distance? Was my husband going to "try a tri" next year? Should I put my name in for Escape from Alcatraz since it's chosen by lottery? Would I have enough training to do a half ironman next year? When will I do an ironman? Should I get a road bike sometime? Should I do the death race or Calgary Ironman 70.3 next August long weekend? Should I do the Canmore triathlon in July? Do I need a swim coach? What about a bike coach? Should I take my personal training certificate? Can I coach kids of steel sometime? My mind was racing, and still is really...

It was fun. I look forward to doing another one, and after chatting with Jessica and Scott, maybe even doing an event where a few of us are competing... I love it!!

But next up, it's back to running as there's a 10km or two coming up and of course the half in October... I can hardly wait for these races!! Of course I won't have to swim and bike before them, but I still have to be trained and ready...


  1. Wow Sharon that is some incredible achievement - I can't say that I want to Tri ever but your report ALMOST made me want to... I say almost ok?

    Congratulations and good luck in your upcoming 10ks!

  2. Great descriptions! And I love the pictures!