My first triathlon of the 2011 season was this last Saturday down in St. George, UT (about 4 1/2 hrs from where I live).
I booked a hotel for the night before and me, my mom and my dad drove down on Friday and came back Saturday after the race.
I was quite nervous for this race because I am still healing a little bit from shin splints. The Monday before the race it still hurt to run, so I was VERY concerned. I talked with my personal trainer and he told me just to take some ibueprofen before the race and I should be good.
We got down to St. George and were able to go and pick up my packet. I was concerned though because normally they have a map of the route in the packet (at least in all my other races they did), but in this one they didn't. I didn't know where the hell I was going! Holy crap! Everybody was just saying that there will be plenty of people around, just follow the crowd. Ummm...yeah, that's not how I work. Before every race that I do that I've never done before, I always like to drive the routes so I know where I'm going. Needless to say I was SUPER nervous.
We went to dinner and carbed up and went home for a good nights sleep. I slept better than I thought I would. Normally I don't sleep well the night before a race.
Got up the next morning and had a bagel and yogurt and headed over to put my bike in the transition area. The start of this race was REALLY weird. We were supposed to swim in "heats". I was schedule to start swimming in the 7:50 a.m. heat and the first heat started at 7:00 a.m.
Normally, with every other triathlon I've done, we've done a serpentine swim where you snake through the lanes to reach the 350/400 yds/meter swim. This triathlon, they had like 14 lanes set up in the pool, 2 people in each lane and they had volunteers at the head of each lane counting your laps for you. You stayed in the same lane the whole time. As soon as a lane came free, the volunteer raised their hand and you ran to that lane and jumped in and started your swimming.
As always when the swim comes first, I felt like I started out too fast and started to get a little tired about 1/2 way through the swim. I finished my swim (16 laps) in about 10 minutes though.
Then it was off to the bike. This was the part I was most nervous about 'cause I didn't really know where I was going (thank you to the lady who was standing in front of me in the swim who told me where to go). The bike wasn't too bad. We had to do two 5 mile loops. The first 2 1/2 miles, I felt like it was never going to end because I didn't know where I was going. After the first 2 1/2 miles out, the bike went by really fast. I felt like I did pretty good on the bike. I felt like I was going pretty fast.
The one picture that is not of me, he is a U.S. Army Veteran and he lost his right leg in combat and still competed in this triathlon.
The last leg of the race was the run. We had to do two 1.5 mile loops. I was dreading this part of the race because I didn't know how well my shins would deal with the running, but my shins were AWESOME! They didn't hurt one bit while I was running. I felt like I was running pretty slow, but I would have rather run slow than push it and injure myself and make the shin splints come back, you know? The first part of the run seemed to take FOREVER as well because I didn't know how far I had to run until I got to the turn around point. Once I made it to the turn around point, the run seemed to go by pretty quick.
I headed to the finish line and had NO idea what my final time was. I wanted to hang around and get my final time, but I was kind of tired. I wanted to shower and we were able to get a late check out at the hotel, but we needed to get back so I could shower and we could get on the road to go home.
Late Saturday night I was able to get my final time and it was 1:23:41.8!!! Hallelujah!!! Right out of the shoot I got my best time EVER!!! I beat my best time by 1:15!!! I can't wait for the rest of my races this year and hopefully I'll improve with each one.
P.S. I have to give a shout out to my personal trainer B.J., because without him being such an awesome personal trainer, I probably wouldn't have been able to beat my best time on this race. :)