The swim was not pretty. I lined up with the 15:00+ swimmers. The comraderie of the ladies-only triathlon was pretty cool. We lined up for our time trial start, and before I was even close to starting, the first lady came out of the swim. All the participants waiting to start were clapping for everyone getting out--that was neat. I spotted Hubby and kids across the way waved and was off. I started off great, taking it slow. Then something happened... I don't know what it was, but I ran out of breath fast. After that I gave up all hope of swimming underwater, and I was in survival mode from there. I kept my head above water most of the time, and spent a lot of time on my back. It was like I forgot everything I learned. I probably would have been done sooner if I would have sucked it up and continued swimming underwater.
After the swim, we had to climb up a bunch of concrete stairs to the transition. Apparently I did really well in T1--I was third in my age group in transition. That's when you take your swim stuff off and get ready for the bike. I felt really good on the bike after the horrible swim. I went out pretty fast and passed a decent number of people. I think only 1 or 2 people passed me, but I know I passed at least one again. After riding the course on Thursday I was pretty familiar with the roads and it seemed to go by faster this second time. My overall pace was 15.5 mph, which isn't great, but it's pretty good for me. I went out hoping to go faster than a leisurely bike ride but not kill myself where I wouldn't be able to run. I'd say I succeeded there.
Transition 2 was a little crazier. There were more cyclists around me trying to get into T2 so it was a little congested. I am not skilled at the bike dismount either so that was not graceful. I got in, racked my bike and switched my helmet for my hat, grabbed my race number and took off... then I remembered I forgot to take my GPS watch off the bike. Luckily I didn't get very far. I grabbed that and headed off to the run. Hubby and kids were right around the corner cheering. I can still hear the familiar "Go, Mommy Go!" I love that sound--they make me smile whenever I hear it.
The run felt pretty good. My legs weren't as jelly-legged as I thought they would be. I noticed that one of my shoes was not tied very tight (I have the lock laces, so I just pulled them on without tightening them). I almost stopped but decided it wasn't bad enough. The first half/three-quarters of a mile were tough but after that it was smooth sailing. I actually ended up going fairly fast, I think my pace was 10:02, which is on the faster end for me. There were three water stops on the run, which is a lot for a 5k, but it was so hot that it was well appreciated. The final water stop was right around 2.5 miles and was manned by high school students. I was sort of half-joking, but I asked the kid to just throw the water at me and he did. He grabbed two cups and threw the ice cold water at me. It felt really good since it was probably 90 degrees at that point. As I rounded the corner I could see the finish line. My kids and Hubby were there again, cheering me on. It was awesome. I hear the announcer announce my name, which was pretty cool. I finished!
Overall it was a great experience. If I were to do another one, I have to improve on the swim A LOT. It was almost miserable. Just like I thought though, as soon as I was out of the water, I was good. Maybe I should have started with a Duathlon. Anyway, my first triathlon is in the books and done. I had fun (after the swim was over). I accomplished my two goals--1. Finish without drowning, and 2. Don't be last. I did pretty well. My overall time was 1:31:06 and I finished 26/34 in my age group. Not too bad, considering the size of the age group.
Here is a picture of me after the finish.. and I'm smiling!