Nervous. Worried. Excited. Psyched. Ready. Underprepared. Lucky. Optimistic.
Those are the emotions I feel before many of my races, but triathlons in particular. No matter how many times I do it, I freak myself out the night before that I won't survive it.
At the time of registration, I had no idea I was signing up for one of the most popular triathlons around. I guess I missed this note on the website:
This event yields one of the largest race fields in the region and historically is one of the fastest sprint races to sell out in the country.
The Cohasset triathlon would mark my ninth triathlon since taking up the sport in 2013.
Recently I have been pretty lazy with my preparation for races when it comes to making sure I have all the gear I need ahead of time, but triathlons are different. I always lay everything out based on the different part of the race. (Read my triathlon prep tips here)
That morning the wife and I got into our car, while my dad and my bike packed into his truck. :P When we got our new car we didn't realize we needed a new bike rack. Yeah we need to get on purchasing one of those ASAP. For now, we have my dad's truck.
Since my dad was on call for work, we took two separate cars and made the trek to Cohasset. The race was about 1.5 miles away from the parking lot. So my dad and wife took my big bag on the school bus provided, while I rode my bike to the race site. Thank goodness I didn't get lost. :P
I also realized I didn't take my wallet out of my bag so I had to wait to pick up my packet until the school bus arrived. Luckily we got there early and lines weren't too long.
The race offered tattoo numbers which I love since I don't see them often, but they were not staying in place. So I ended up going with the Sharpie marking after the tattoos came right off.
I set my bike up and headed back out to meet up with the family... and find safety pins for my bib. I like to adhere the number to my shirt before the race since I don't really like the race belts all that much.
What was I most looking forward to? Testing out my new Garmin 735 watch. It actually has a "triathlon" setting. :) :)
Isn't it pretty?
I squeezed into my wetsuit to test out the water and pray it was at least a tad warmer than the water at been at the tri a couple of week earlier.
Yeah it was about a degree cooler... so YAY! :P
As I came out of the water, I caught up with some blog readers as well as my ZOOM teammates.
I was in the seventh wave so I had some time to kill before we started so it was nice to catch up with these folks.
Finally it was time for the purple swim caps to get into the corral.
Swim - 1/4 Mile
While the water was chilly, it definitely pushed me to swim faster. :P I never know how to seed myself for the swim. I get nervous and put myself farther back than I should. I should realize at some point that I am a stronger swimmer than I think I am. But for now I will continue to get used to being kicked in the face and climbing over others... which really is part of the fun. Right?
Looking at the route I definitely thought it seemed like longer than 1/4 of a mile, but I was assured it was correct. ;) But all I could focus on was spotting and moving forward. I hadn't been swimming as much as I liked, but I know I feel comfortable in the water.
Plus I wasn't going to win the race so all I wanted to do was get out of the water and have a smile on my face. While I waited to get in the water I had seen quite a few people call it quits in the water. I didn't want that to be me.
The swim actually wasn't that bad. Okay it was cold and my face didn't warm up until I was almost out of the water, BUT it was a clear course and folks really spread out - or so it seemed.
Since I don't look at my watch at all, I never know how I am doing. Ha. I could've been in the water for six minutes or 60.
I took the final left turn and headed towards the land. I kept swimming until my fingers touched the ground then I stood up and started running. I am always glad there isn't video of me leaving the water. I am sure I look like a space cadet trying to undo my wetsuit and attempting to "run" out of the water.
The wife actually snapped a couple of pics of me running from the water to transition.
Total Time: 8:00
Pace: 1:49/100 yds
Overall Place: 152/780
Well mistake #1 would be going to the wrong lane. I couldn't remember what my number was so I went to a lane well past the one where my stuff actually was. Oh good work self - that is the way to start this off. Haha.
Again thank GOODNESS I wasn't trying to win the event. ;)
Once I located the right lane, I almost fell over trying to get my wetsuit off. After finding my balance, I was able to grab a quite bite of my luna bar, throw on my sparkle skirt, put on my bike helmet and head out.
I put everything on so quickly that I didn't realize that my bike helmet was on backwards. I do NOT recommend anyone do this. Apparently - I was told after the race - you can be DQed over this. So learn from my mistakes people. Luckily I was not DQed,
Bike - 12 Miles
We all know the bike is my weakest portion of the race. I spend the entire time praying I don't get a flat tire and wishing I had spent more time practicing how to fix a flat tire if I get one. So there is that cycle in my head for the entire ride.
Luckily for this race, I knew more people on the course so I was able to distract myself by cheering on other folks. In between my inner freakouts. I mean those can't go away completely. Right?
There were some inclines in the ride, but the views were gorgeous. I really wish you could bring your phone with you during triathlons because I miss out on so many sweet pics.
For now I give you a pic of Roxie from post race since I don't have any in race photos of me biking.
As I was coming in to transition, the girl behind me told me how my helmet was on backwards. Oh joy! I spent the last 12 miles with a backwards helmet. I felt like a moron.
Total Time: 42:38
Pace: 17.2 MPH
Overall Place: 424/780
**And this is the portion of the race where anyone I passed on the swim has no passed me. :P
Don't worry everyone! I didn't learn from the first transition and I once again overshot my lane. Yay me! It was a little more annoying to have to turn myself AND my bike around with how my legs were feeling. But I pushed through, found my spot and quickly changed into my sneakers so I could get out to my happy place.
I took a little extra time trying to get my hat around my wet hair since i don't normally wear hats, but visors. Hello trying something new on race day. ;)
But what race would be fun without little hiccups along the way. I took a quick hit of my luna bar and water and headed out on the road.
Run - 3.2 Miles (actual 3.3 Miles)
Here we go! This is my jam. I was ready to get out there and run... in some heat! In order to take my mind off the heat and inclines, I focused on picking off the people that had passed me on the bike... if possible. Even if it wasn't going to happen, it gave me something to focus on.
I tried chatting with folks around me. They might not have wanted to, but I chatted with them anyway! ;)
It was nice to run with my Tedy's Team teammate Jackie for a little as she was in town visiting from London.
I was also asking folks if they had done the race before as I had heard prior to the race that the run was longer than a 5k. Not that I am upset when there is extra run mileage, but I needed to mentally prepare.
Mile 1: 7:39
Mile 2: 7:37
Mile 3: 7:54
As we came up to the 3.1 mark, I could hear the Finish in the distance, but we were not there yet. According to my watch it was actually 3.3 miles. Normally I don't split hairs, but for this one I made sure to add all of the watch mileage in to my total for the day. :P
Not the most flattering photo of me, but it's the only one the wife was able to grab. Plus I was giving it everything I had to get to that Finish Line and rock my Finish leap. :)
Total Time: 25:09
Pace: 7:52 min/mile (based on 3.2)
Overall Place: 141/780
** Oh hellz yeah! First in my division in the run?!?!?! No freakin' way!
FINAL TIME: 1:20:25.4
Overall Place: 261/780
Gender Place: 261/304
As soon as I crossed the Finish Line I thought I was going to puke. After grabbing my water, a volunteer asked if I had meant to have my bike helmet on backwards. When I immediately spit out "of course not," she shared the bit of DQ information and I made sure to take note.
One of the best part of racing in New England, is seeing Team Hoyt at races. The dad may have retired, but the family's dentist has taken over at the helm. Being on the same course as this inspiring duo is an honor.
Unfortunately we weren't able to stay long because my dad had to get back home for work. But I said congrats to all my friends. We all opted to walk back to the car because the buses would be delayed since the race was still going on.
Overall, I really enjoyed the race and liked the fact they gave a Finisher's Pint glass, but you know I love a medal more. :/
I do highly recommend this race for all levels! I will be back... I don't want to miss third in my division by 19 seconds again! :P Yes third place in my division was 1:20:07 and I was 1:20:25. Oh well no time for shoulda, coulda, wouldas!
Have you completed the Cohasset Triathlon?