This past weekend, I competed in my first Olympic triathlon! Well, technically, it ended up being a duathlon– it was announced just past 6am the morning of the race that the swim portion was cancelled due to the choppy waves. Winds up to 23mph were in the forecast that morning, but no rain, so the bike and run were still on.
Pre-Race: Kristin, Rachel, and I walked to the transition from Moody Gardens Hotel (we conveniently stayed at the host hotel) to set-up. We would have checked-in our bikes the prior day, but early check-in had been cancelled due to 20-25mph winds with up to 35mph gusts! It was unusually cool in the low 70s and fairly windy, so I put on my arm-sleeves for the bike leg.
The bike went as I expected– thanks to last week’s long ride, I had an idea of what type of headwind we were facing. I started off a little slow as there were a lot of turns and the road was a bit bumpy in the beginning. First mile out was 15.9mph. Then, mostly straight roads so I averaged 19.4mph until the turnaround, where I promptly dropped to my second to lowest gear. My average for the second half of the ride was 12.2mph! Yeah, ouch. The tailwind in the first half was awesome. It was easy and enjoyable…and I knew that it meant the ride back would be tough. I could tell just by looking at the other cyclists that were heading the opposite direction that they were working HARD.
I passed a bunch of people on the way out but A LOT of them passed me on the way back. What’s up with that?? In the last 5-6 miles, I did feel a small boost and managed to speed up a little. My coworker, Geralyn, I had taken turns passing each other (she had platform pedals on her road bike– in fact, I lent them to her!) but I managed to finish less than a minute before her. My official time tells me that I averaged 15.3mph.
Where is my damn Garmin strap?? Eff it, I’m just going to hold my Garmin. I also shed my arm warmers that I had wiped my nose on a few times by then (gross!) and gloves.
My running is nowhere in close to winning awards, but it’s respectable and clearly my strength, compared to swimming and biking. As indicated in my T2 comments, I ran the 10k with my Garmin in hand. At one point, I manager to somehow throw it on the ground by accident. It turned off and I lost a little time stopping to pick it up and turning it back on.
It had started to get a little warm while on the bike, but with the wind, it wasn’t bad at all. The run, however, was a different story. It warmed up on the run and I was thirsty. I had only consumed half of my bottle on the bike although I had planned on trying to finish it. Dehydration caught up with me and I drank all the water in my hand-held plus I grabbed 3-4 cups of water during the run. Some of that may have gone into pouring water on myself to cool down. The run wasn’t bad but my Garmin was set on multi-sport and it took me awhile to figure out I could change the view and see my pace (yes, this meant I only saw time splits per mile on the bike and not my actual speed). I was also a bit confused when I started if I had pressed the right buttons– I’m thinking maybe I didn’t because my Garmin time wasn’t remotely close to my official time!
I got passed up a few times by fast people who were clearly on their second lap during my first lap. By the time I got to my second lap, however, I was with the rest of the slower people and I didn’t get passed up anymore. I gradually passed people up and felt somewhat redeemed for my bike ride. I ate a Mocha gel (not Gu, what’s that other brand?) 15 minutes into the run but was a little worried about how my stomach would handle it. I felt slightly pukey towards the very end of the run but nothing came up.
Total Time: 2:39:15
Overall, I felt good about the race. The headwind was tough and I definitely have a lot to work on the bike! In other news, Kristin got 1st place in her age group (F20-24)!! What a bad-ass. =)