*RECAP* I Finished My First Olympic Triathlon At Boston Tri!

Biking + Swimming + Running = Triathlon

There you go! There is the entire recap. 

Aaannddd you're welcome!

Oh okay let's share a tad bit more detail.

The Boston Triathlon was my first triathlon ever back in August 2013. It was a scary and exhilarating experience. 

Triathlon distances go Sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman and Ironman. 

In 2013 as I just shared I completed my first Sprint triathlon. In September 2014, I tackled my first half ironman. 

Yup, I was that person that just skipped ahead. I mean why stop at Olympic when you want to scare the shit out of yourself.

Well I guess if I really wanted to scare myself I would've gone Sprint to Ironman, but I wasn't taking my crazy pills that day. I know many people that go that route and I applaud them.

When I heard the Boston Triathlon would be adding an Olympic distance, I had to sign up! Time to finally attack that middle tri distance I missed. :)

The race would be taking place on Sunday, July 31. Thankfully the race was in South Boston so we had an easy commute and even had the ability to rack my bike the day before.

After a hot 15 mile run (since I did have that ultra to train for), we headed over to the beach to pick up my bib and rack my bike.

Since I had such issues remembering which row I was in during Cohasset triathlon, I opted to rack my bike right at the end. I hoped that having my usual towel/bright yellow sneakers would help me out there. :P

With a mandatory pre-race meeting at 6:45am, we headed out the door just before 6. My cheering squad - the wife and my dad - needed some pre-race coffee. I actually enjoyed a coffee as well, which goes against my normal pre-race ritual... but why not try something new on race day! ;) 

We arrived with plenty of time after lucking in to a sweet parking spot in the main parking lot. I headed straight to transition to set my stuff up.

Alright self plenty of bright things to alert me to the right row! 

Once I set my gear up, I recognized Beth who I have seen at a ton of different races before catching up with some of the other ZOOM members.

Thanks Lisa for getting me into triathlons and welcoming me to this great team. Yes I still get anxious/shy about meeting members of the team, but I am trying to get better/more comfortable about it. You would think I would be good at this, but sometimes I revert back to my self-conscious/no one will like me mindset.

After double checking my gear and making a final stop at the port-o-potty, I headed to meet my cheer squad to walk down to the water for the meeting.

My wave wouldn't be starting until around 7:35am so I had plenty of time to hang on the beach before then. It was cool to watch the PROs head out first and fly through the water. As we were standing there the first folks came out of the water. The first guy came out of the water, took a few steps and dropped to the ground. Next thing you knew he was being carted off. Not sure what happened, but looked like maybe a leg injury? It was odd and scary all at once. 

Before I knew it it was our turn: purple caps to the arch. There were plenty of ladies heading down to the beach. This would be a good time. I was scared, but I would finish.

As we all stood by the water chatting, we wondered when the horn would sound. Well apparently they had to blow it a few times before we actually heard it. I was told this by the wife after the race. Haha.

So finally we were off.

Swim - 1.5k (0.932 miles)

Hello glorious ocean. The water was a wwwaayyy better temperature than the previous two triathlons. ;) 

With the longer swim distance, I felt like people spread out better than during a sprint. I wasn't nearly kicked as much as other races. :P 

Now there was a girl that was right at the same pace as I was for a little while and we kept bumping hands/arms. Soon enough she fell back to come around on my right-hand side. No worries it freed me up to gain some room on all sides. 

It was nice to have the silence of the water. Just focusing on my breathing and counting down the buoys. There were 9 in total that we would be passing... on our right-hand side of course. 

I love that in the water I have no idea how I am doing. I don't see any timers. I can't hear a watch beeping. I block out all of the people around me. It is just me and the water. It is the only time in the race that I feel that. And I relish it.

Once we were past the first six buoys, we were turned back towards the beach and heading back to shore. 

I stayed focus on my breathing - especially since I had a cold leading up the race. So yeah breathing was a little important. 

I tried not to think about what was coming next or I would've felt the nerves rise over me. Instead I soaked up the time in the water. I love being in the water. It is one of the only places I feel free and weightless. 

But as I was in the moment, I realized we had just one more buoy to pass. The next phase would be starting no matter what. :P

Once out of the water, we would start - what felt like an eternity - a run across the beach back up to Transition.

As I ran from the beach to the Transition area, my friend Darcie (who was waiting to start the Sprint) was there with her friends kids. They all cheered: "Go Dani!" Oh it made my morning and gave me a boost of energy as I trudged through the sand to Transition.

Total Time: 30:25
Pace: 1:56/100 yds
Overall Place: 166/476
Division: 10/32

Transition 1

Yay! I found my row pretty easily. Thanks brightly colored everything that I owned. ;) I tried to get out of wetsuit without falling over which was a success.

I actually passed on putting my shirt on at that time instead waiting just before the run. 

In hindsight after looking at race pictures, I regret that decision. Definitely should've covered the rolls up on that one! Oh well you live and learn.

I was really just focused on putting my bike helmet on the right way after the fiasco at Cohasset tri. :P 

After a quick snack and some water, it was off to the bike.

Time: 1:49

Bike - 35k (21.748 miles)

And on the bike. Now to not get a flat tire. Yes that is all I think about during the entire bike portion. 

The bike loop offered some tight turns, but for the Olympic we had to complete 4 laps of the bike loop. 

Once I got on to the bike, I waved to the wife and my dad and headed out for loop 1. 

Just as I merged on to the loop, I was quickly passed by one of the PROs. Man those guys were freakin' cooking. Whereas I was just trying not to fall. Haha.

I think we all know the bike is NOT my favorite part of the race. So I tried to focus on cheering on other people that passed me and trying to itch my nose without falling. Let me tell you that is harder for me than one would think.

As I was biking along the water, I could see folks already out on the run. Boy they were flying and offering a nice distraction.

I also passed the time by thanking every volunteer and cop along the course... and yes I thanked each person on each loop. 

The turns were a little tight and one of the elites shared a tip with me as I took one of the tight turns to help me stay more stable on the turn. Keep my inside leg up and lean into it. Ohh hey! A little change that really helped me out that morning.

As the loops passed, the rain started to come down a little bit harder. It was better than being 95 and sunny... in my opinion. 

I felt like I was keeping a decent clip. I am not the speediest biker, but I was leap frogging with a girl most of the third and fourth loops so that helped past the time. :)

I was ahead of her during the fourth loop until she took off past me on the left. Dammit! 

I tried to catch up to her, but I couldn't. My legs were starting to feel the effects of the previous day's long run. Or so I told myself.

It also could've been a side effect of not fueling at all while on the bike. As mentioned earlier I am not that great at taking my hands off my handlebars, which doesn't lend itself to eating while on the bike. I was able to do it during the half ironman, but I am way out of practice. So I don't recommend folks following my lead on that one.

Total Time: 1:10:29
Pace: 18.5 MPH
Overall Place: 329/476
Division: 19/32

Transition 2

Alright time to get to my favorite part of the race. Okay quick hit of water, wolf down some luna bar, throw on my shirt and shoes and off I went.

My socks were soaked at this point between wet feet and the rain. It felt like I was picking up puddles with each footstep as I ran out of transition.

Time: 2:10

Run - 10k (6.2 miles)

YAY! Here we go. I can do this. It was just a 3.1 mile loop that I would run twice. I've been practicing loops for the ultra I had that part down. 

Luckily this course was nice and flat. Not much thought had to be put into this. It was just follow the people in front of me and put one step in front of the other.

I made sure to grab my handheld, which had another luna bar inside it. I was working on keeping my fueling pattern up that I had started with Coach Greg. 

Since this was a loop, I had plenty of ZOOM people and friends to cheer for and chat with along the way. 

I love out and backs and being able to high five friends and anyone that would offer me a high-five! :) 

I wish I could offer you splits, but I had a user error on my watch. :P My Garmin 735 has a triathlon feature, where you hit one button to go between Swim, Transition, etc. Well when I started the run I thought I hit the button hard enough, but apparently I hadn't.

It wasn't until our first turnaround that I looked down to see I was still in transition 2. Ahhh oops! Haha. Officially hit the button and now I could start the run. ;)

I tried to ask someone around me how far they think we had gone, but he was on loop 2 so he was zero help. Ha.

Well time to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

When my watch buzzed for its Mile 1 I was still showing a sub-8 min/mile pace. Wow! I was shocked. I felt sloggish, but apparently my body was moving faster than I thought it was.

I saw the family as I came around to start the second loop and they said they would meet me at the Finish!

Wow! I couldn't believe I was less than 3 miles from finishing this race. The rain had slowed as we hit the run so luckily we took the brunt of it on the bike and I was okay with that.

As I said the run was flat and along the bike route, so I was able to cheer on some of the folks finishing up the bike.

The run route was a tad busier during loop 2 as more folks from the Sprint joined us. The run course was made up of running on the street and on a field. It was nice to have the field to lessen a bit of the pounding on the legs. 

In addition to seeing friends and teammates out on the course, I also got to see Team Hoyt. Man it is such an honor - as I say every race - to be able to share pavement with this dynamic and inspiring duo.

Knowing that Brian, the dentist, would be pulling and pushing Rick around, helped me to stop complaining and whining about being tired. I wasn't pulling and pushing anyone else - just me. 

So I had to do some internal math, but I figured I only had about a mile to go.

Time to give it whatever I had left. I saw tons of folks on the sidelines showing off their medals and I was ready to claim mine.

We took a turn around the transition area before taking a hairpin turn towards the Finish. I could hear someone yell Go Dani, but I didn't really know who it was until I received a Facebook message after from a blog reader! Thanks for cheering. :)

I had this guy in my sights and I gave it everything I had to finish ahead of him. :P

Total Time: 49:44
Pace: 8:01 min/mile
Overall Place: 157/476
Division: 10/32

FINAL TIME: 2:34:35

Overall Place: 212/476
Gender Place: 46/162
Division: 13/32

BIG THANKS to my cheer squad! They endured the rain and wind just to be there for me. 

Once I chugged some Gatorade, we headed over to the beer garden. Now the first time I did this race they only had Michelob Ultra. I went over hoping they would offer more... and you know what? THEY DID! :) 

I was able to grab a nice Goose Island IPA!


As I was enjoying my brew and recapping the race with the cheer squad under a tent, I heard someone calling my name. It was the ZOOM crew inviting me to get into a photo.

Then my selfie skills were called into play. Oh if I must! :) 

I can't do much, but I can selfie with the best of them. :) 

Unfortunately my dad got called into work so we had to leave before the awards ceremony. ZOOM won the team competition! I was happy to contribute to the point total with my Olympic finish.

I need to photoshop myself into this pic!

Overall, the race was a blast. There were energetic volunteers. Plenty of police officers. Bike assistance if needed. GOOD beer post-race. Lots of smiles and laughs on the course. Oh and it was nice and flat. GREAT medal. 

I would definitely go back and do this race again!

Have you participated in the Boston Triathlon before? What were your thoughts?