My age is on my calf, sand in my cycling shoes…the day after my first tri

3 Oct

Yesterday was the Mission Bay Triathlon in San Diego, CA and it was my first triathlon.  It was over a year in the making, a lot of time and energy went into preparing for this day and it was finally here!  At 4 AM my alarm went off and I rolled out of bed.  We stayed with friends who live about an hour north of downtown San Diego.  By 4:30 we were in the car and on our way to the race.  On the way there, I drank some coffee and ate my fail-proof pre-race (or ride) meal of PB toast and banana.

As we got closer to the freeway exit, I wished the drive was a little longer…the nerves we getting the best of me.  Marc and I chatted about how prepared I was and it helped a little.  We got there and parked.  I racked pinky (my bike) the night before, so I didn’t have to worry about carting it around.  I was there right when the transition area opened (with all the other newbies) right at 5:30.  I laid out my gear and tried to watch the others setting up around me, making sure that I wasn’t making any newbie faux pas.  I would hate to be that girl with bad transition etiquette.

So it was 5:45 and my waved started at 7:30.  I had almost 2 hours to kill!  UGH!  I walked around for a bit and then decided to go back to the car and try and relax. Yeah, easier said than done!  At 6:45 the first wave went, so we went to the water to watch them go.  I was wave 9, so after I watched the first group swim, I went back to the car and put on my wetsuit.  At this point I really missed Molly.  She was going to do the race with me, but her sister had a baby a few day prior and she wanted to be with her and her family.  I felt rather alone and desperately wanted someone to joke with and distract me.

A very nervous Tough Chik!

Here is a photo taken right before my wave lined up.  I was very nervous and that smile is saying “what the hell am I about to get myself into…”  I also decided at that point that I could never be a surgeon.  If I get this nervous before an “activity” that I “elected” to do with NO, I mean ZERO consequences, then I should never be responsible from someone’s life.  Like fixing their heart or brain surgery responsible.  I can still babysit and stuff.

We had an in water start, which was great for me.  I was able to position myself in the back, but in the middle.  My plan was to stay on the edge, but that was everyone else’s plan as well.  I had a large group on either side, near the buoys which left a huge whole in the middle.  This was great because I would have to swim through a huge mass of women in order to get off course.  As long as I stayed away from the other swimmers, I would be going the right way.

Hi! I waved for what felt like 15 minutes before I caught Marc’s eye

The swim – I am in there somewhere!

I swam just like I had practiced with Trainer Ali.  I was very calm and methodically swam for what seemed like forever.  Being a new swimmer, 500m is on the high end of the distance I had swam without a break.  I think the fact that I knew I wasn’t going to have a great swim time was very comforting, I just wanted to get through it without wasting myself. As I ran out of the water and up the boat ramp, I saw my husband with the biggest, proudest smile.  I was pretty amazing.

Not the best look, but that smile is saying “YEA! I am out of the water”

SWIM TIME: 12:34

T1 went very smoothly.  I expected to be surrounded by people transitioning and elbows flying as we were taking off our wetsuits, but that was not the case.  I guess my slow swim meant that the transition area was left to myself.

T1 TIME: 2:59

And now the bike, the security blanket of the tri for me.  We had a pretty long run from transition until we could mount on the bike.  I also lucked out here because there was only one or two other folks getting on the bike at this time.  Marc was waiting for me at the bike out, but I was already gone (speedy me :)!  He witnessed quiet a few tumbles and some pretty interesting scenarios to put it nicely.  I would look down at my trip computer and was pretty consistently going about 20mph.  I didn’t want to waste my legs on the bike and have nothing left for the run, so I kept myself in check.  I wanted to go harder (because I had it in me) but I knew that it wasn’t a great idea.  The bike course was pretty flat and we had a few sharp 90 degree turns.  I was a little surprised how dangerously some of these guys were riding, trying to cut around me on sharp turns.  They have no idea how wide I am going to take that corner!  Passing on all sides, no warnings, I guess welcome to racing!  My bike time was slower that I predicted but I think that was due to the time running with my bike in stupid cycling shoes!  My bike time was in the top 10 of the women in my age group, so I guess it was pretty darn good.

BIKE TIME: 33:13

T2 again went very smoothly and was again very much alone in the transition area.  Marc caught a photo of me in T2, you can see I am all alone!

T2, can you hear the crickets? The girl in the front is super happy!

T2 TIME: 1:46

Off to the run, I tried to get the stop watch on my watch to time me, but I was so all over the place I kept hitting the wrong buttons.  Somehow I got to a menu where you can enter telephone numbers (WTF – who puts telephone numbers in their watch) and gave up.  I will be honest, the first mile SUCKED!  All I could hear was my gasping breathe and a slight wheeze on the inhale.  I was exhausted and I felt like everyone was passing me right and left.  I was thinking “WHO’S IDEA WAS THIS ANYWAY???”  You see, running ain’t my thang!  I wish it was, but me and running have not gelled yet. (I am still working on it) I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and hoping to God it would end soon and then I would think…this is ONLY a sprint!  I never got in a real good groove on the run and know that there is plenty of room to improve on the run!

trying to work my stupid watch, I NEED A GARMIN SANTA!

Why do I have a double chin in every stinking photo from this tri?  UGH, not cute!

RUN TIME: 29:00

FINAL TIME: 1:19:33

I had two goals on this tri, one was I wanted to finish under 1:30, and two was I wanted to finish top 50%. So, when they posted the results (because I was clueless as to my finish time), I was very happy to discover that I came in at 1:19:33 way under 1:30!  Then today when they posted the splits, I found out that I came in 29th out of 94!  Way above 50%!  I am very happy and proud!

No medal, but I got a pin. It will be in my will, anyone got dibs?

Thank you so much for all the wonderful and supportive tweets and facebook messages, you guys are great!  I am a luck Tough Chik!


6 Responses to “My age is on my calf, sand in my cycling shoes…the day after my first tri”

  1. MilesMusclesMom (jen) October 4, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    Congrats!!! Be proud-you did amazing. And you looked super in every shot. Double chin my butt!! I think I might need to check out the TC tri shorts too-looks smashing with the top. Don’t ya just love that top?? LoL

    Oh and all you had to do was call–I would have been on the first flight out to Cali to do your first tri with you!! I’d love to race in SD 🙂

    when are you TRIing again????

  2. Haley @ Climb Run Lift Mom October 4, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    Congratulations on your first Tri Shannon!!! You totally rocked it 🙂 Great race report, cannot wait to read more of them from you. Do you have your next tri planned yet?

  3. molly October 4, 2011 at 11:57 am #


    I am so proud of you! You did an amazing job- very impressive time and place. You are my Tough Chik hero. Love you so much!

  4. Tonia October 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Congrats on your first tri! You did awesome. Saw on FB that you registered for another! So awesome. Once this marathon training is over I am starting up half ironman training. Kind of freaking out about that!

    The tri kit looks great! So need to get mine!

  5. Trainer Ali October 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    Shannon, great photos! Great Outfit, Great Time! You did it……I knew you would do great! I will miss our workouts. Let’s plan some ocean swims.


  1. Just keep tri-ing « Tough Chik - October 6, 2011

    […] as soon as I posted my Mission Bay Tri recap my faithful Tough Chik’s posted “when are you doing your next tri?”  I felt like […]

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