The first triathlon of the season always scares the crap out of me. Okay most triathlons scare the crap out of me, but the first of the year is even more intense.
So I was psyched to spend the first of the year with Max Performance Triathlons at the Escape the Cape Sprint tri on June 4.
I had such a great time at this race in 2015 that I had to add it to my 2016 calendar. It would prove to be my first race as an official member of the ZOOM Multisport tri team. I unfortunately didn't have any team gear, but my friend Lisa (and the team prez) let me borrow her hat so I could fit in with the crew.
Since the race is in Onset, Ma, we stay the night before at my parents' camper in Sandwich, MA. It makes the morning commute to the race much more manageable and less stressful.
We loaded my bike into my dad's truck and headed on our way.
Traffic was light (as we expected). We made great time to the race site and easily parked in one of the three possible parking lots. It was a short walk to packet pick-up, which is across the street from the transition area.
I quickly got body marked before joining the team in our team rack, which was right near the bike in entrance.
Boy I need to get myself some argyle STAT... It really does make you run faster! :)
Once my stuff was secured, it was time to head to the water to see how truly cold it was. Well friends it was freakin' freezing. I think official temperature was 55 degrees, which it felt chillier than that. I was happy to have my wetsuit on.
After listening to the pre-race instructions and safety talk, my friend Steph and I got in line with our corral to take the long walk to the other side of the water, where the swim portion actually started. The swim is point to point so you walk the length of the swim (1/3 of a mile) in the sand. Talk about a workout before the workout. :P
We got to the correct end of the beach and I spotted a group of women doing yoga on the beach. For half a second, I thought about switching places with them. ;) But then knew I would rather brave the chilly water than do yoga.
After watching the first few waves go off it was our turn. I have this weird thing where I cannot handle having my wetsuit zipped all the way up. I think it has to do with being slightly claustrophobic. But it puts my mind at ease. So it becomes common for me to have to explain to people who nicely offer to "zip me up" that I actually like it that way. Odd duck - party of me! ;)
Swim - 1/3 Mile
We would be starting the swim in the water, treading water until we got the whistle to start.
Ummm yay for a chance to acclimate to the ridiculous cold water - FTW? Sure sure let's go with that.
There were roughly 5 minutes between each wave so you can see how that time went. A lot of folks trying to lie to themselves that the water was cold and instead pretend were were swimming in <<insert warm location that wasn't the Cape>>.
The swim course was an easy one to follow - it was a straight shot to the other side of the beach.
FINALLY it was our turn to go. Off went the horn and I moved as fast as I could to get out of the cold water.
Swimming is my second-favorite part of the triathlon (after running, DUH)! I rarely like to rush the swim, but the conditions were perfect to do just that. Plus the cold water was extra incentive to give it everything I had.
Total Time: 8:51
Pace: 1:31/100 yds
Overall Place: 123/377
Max Performance was generous to put out little kiddie pools at the opening of the transition coming in from the swim so racers could quickly rinse off the sand from their feet. It was a nice add.
Cleaned off the feet before I hobbled my way through the asphalt ground. I am not good at running barefoot on asphalt. I seem to find every single rock possible. Anyone else?
But I made it to our row, which was the farthest away from the Swim In. I was then able to struggle with my wetsuit. Was this my first triathlon? Had I never worn a wetsuit before? It was how I felt and looked, but I made it through. Maybe next time I will practice during the offseason to keep the form fresh. ;)
I quickly put my helmet on, my sparkle skirt and my bike shoes before grabbing my bike and heading out.
Normally I put a shirt on over my trkit because I am self conscious, but this time I was too caught up in getting out on the course I forgot. Well that is one way to get over your fear and try something new... :)
Bike - 10 Miles
I think we all know the bike portion is my least favorite of the triathlon. Can I just get on a Spin bike and knock it out. :P I kid I kid.
We headed out on to the bike and my mantra kicked in: "Please don't get a flat tire. Please don't get a flat tire." Since buying my bike Roxie in May 2013, I have had one flat tire. <<Knock on wood>> Thankfully it occurred during a training ride and the wife was able to come save me and help me replace it. I haven't done it myself. I keep saying I will get videos so I will be ready if it happens again and I always find other things to do instead. But I swear I will do that some day. It is super important as I know I am destined to get a flat during a ride again.
Repeating the mantra keeps my mind off of the fact that I am not the best biker and that people are inevitably passing me the entire time.
Hey! It does get me some great compliments on my sparkle skirt at least. #SilverLining
Ugh looking at that picture just reminds me of the 15 lbs I've gained and can see it all over me. But I will stop that and focus on the fact that I was properly clipped in and heading up the first incline, which was right out of transition. Gee thanks race for that one. :P
The course is a winding and full of rolling hills - not a surprise since we are in New England. I am sure to others the "hills" were more like inclines, but for this girl that hides inside on her bike trainer they were a challenge. But I was up for it since I remembered them from the previous year.
All I could do was try my best.
Now I was clearing Mile 9 as the first nine miles had been uneventful bike problem-wise. YAY! :) THEN something had to happen. Right?
Well I was using my Garmin Forerunner 220, which is for running only, so I didn't wear it for the swim instead I started it on the bike. I apparently hadn't secured it to my bike as well as I had thought and it went FLYING off as I neared the transition. SHIT SHIT SHIT! I wasn't about to get off the bike and retrieve it since I was using my momentum to get up the last little incline. Thankfully I saw my friend Haley just after I dropped the watch and yelled to her to please see if she could find my purple Garmin on the ground.
Just after seeing Haley I spotted my dad and wife and yelled to them to please do the same.
Man that is not the way I thought I would be ending my bike portion of the race.
Total Time: 33:33
Pace: 17.9 MPH
Overall Place: 210/377
Well losing my watch would put a dip of a damper on the final portion of my race.
While the second transition should be faster than the first for me (no wetsuit to deal with), I struggled getting my shoes tied. Not sure if I was trying to move as fast as I brain was going and not the speed my body wanted to go at. I fumbled with the laces, but finally got them set.
Quick throw on of my shirt and hat and I was off.
Run - 3.1 Miles
YAY! It was time for my favorite part of the race - the run!
I enjoy this run course as it features an out and back portion so I can cheer folks on ahead and behind me. I love extra time to cheer folks on... even if they don't cheer back! :P
Just before you hit Mile 1 of the run you are greeted with a glorious incline. Please note I am using glorious sarcastically. In case that wasn't understood.
All I do is tell myself for that portion to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and don't walk it. Even if the run pace seems slower than walking, just keep jogging/running/bouncing up that incline. Thankfully the self talk works and you are greeted with a flat before the downhill reward. It is a nice quick loop through a small neighborhood before heading back out the out and back.
The rest of the run winds along the water and through the local Onset neighborhoods. This is where I really miss not having my phone. I hate missing out on sweet pics from races.
Just after Mile 2, I remembered a group handing out beers to the participants. I wondered if they would be back again and you know what??? THEY WERE! I don't normally drink Bud Light, but when offered mid-race I took one. It tasted as bad as I remembered, but I needed some water anyway. :P
Again a moment I wished I had my phone. Instead I ran the rest of the race with an empty Bud Light can in my hand. #Awkward
The final push for the race was up a nice incline - again why races? - before heading in to the Finish Line chute.
I was pretty psyched to get one last hgh-five from an adorable kiddo before crossing the line.
Total Time: 22:37
Pace: 7:18 min/mile
Overall Place: 84/377
FINAL TIME: 1:09:18.1
Overall Place: 142/377
Gender Place: 40/180
As soon as I crossed the Finish Line, I grabbed my water bottle full of water and headed off to see if my family had located my watch. Well they hadn't. I went off back through the final mile of the bike course to see if it was on the ground. It wasn't. None of the volunteers had spotted it. I finally texted Haley and she had it! YES!!! Well the face was all smashed up, but the watch had been returned.
Overall the race was great as all Max Performance triathlon races are. Plenty of volunteers. Great water bottle at the Finish. Gorgeous views. Fun atmosphere.
And since we were heading back to my parents' place on the Cape, I was able to use the pond as an ice bath.