My FIRST triathlon!

July 14, 2012 Amesbury, MA Sprint Dam Triathlon:  1/2 mile swim, 12.3 mile bike, 3.2 mile run. Great experience and I’m so happy to have trained well, pushed hard and had wonderful people supporting me! Here are some pictures from the day along with my final results!

Here I am at 6:30am, setting up my gear in the swim/bike/run transition area (and I still don’t know how I’m able to get all that hair under a swim cap!)


Here I am with a couple of my regular work colleague training partners, and these women rock it!  Our swim wave was soon to begin and groups of swimmers went out every 3 minutes.

This is the lake where the swim was to take place. Notice the orange buoys in the top corners – this shows the ½ mile swim course: swam out to the right one, then turn left to the other one and then back to shore = 1/2 mile swim.
Here is the beginning of my swim wave (and there I am at the top out in front, as I got into the competitive spirit of the moment). Well apparently this was a classic “newbie” mistake, not only to start out too fast but to start out in the middle of the pack. I got out there about 100 yards or so and found I needed to catch my breath by doing a bit of doggie paddle while thinking to myself, “what did you do? You didn’t do this in practice swims!” But soon enough I was able to catch my breath and got into a regular crawl and did fine the rest of the way. Feedback I received after the event: hang off to the side of your swim wave, not the middle, and keep a consistent pace.

Swim is done, now there I go – running out of the transition area with the bike to begin the 12.3 mile bike course. Everything was wet from the swim but that helped  to keep me cool and keep the transition time less.
Here I am completing the 5K run portion at the end (after completing the 12.3 mile bike course) and this was at the last hill, just a short corner until the finish line!

At the race completion – I got my DAM triathlon water bottle!

And here I am with my bike – what a great investment this has been; rides like a charm! This picture was after the event was completed – my hair had gone from big to wet to now this partial big, LOL. So fun!

And a final pose – with my numbers (written in permanent ink at the beginning) – bib number 105 and age 46!

Final time of 1:27:50 – I am happy with that! In my age division (45-49) I got 10th place (out of 27 in that division). The weather that day was very warm yet we were blessed with an overcast sky to help keep the extreme heat away. My swim wave started at 8:20am and went on from there to the bike then run. Here is a breakdown of my total time:

1/2 mile swim – 14:56
T1 – 2:10
13.2 mile bike – 42:28 (with several hills!) works out to be a 17.38 MPH average even with the hills!
T2 – 1:49
3.2 mile run – 26:29 (my legs were rubber after getting off the bike but my average pace was 8:28/mile)

A great overall first time experience, for sure!!!! I can now proudly say, I AM A TRIATHLETE!!!

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First 5K Race!

MY FIRST EVER 5K (3.2 miles) on April 7, 2012 in Durham, New Hampshire! It was fun on this bright and crisp morning and I was pleased with what I did. My time was 25:22 and my average pace per mile was 8:09. I was actually surprised when I got to the first mile mark and the times were called out; the guy shouted, “8” (minutes) and I was surprised! In training I have been running at more of a slower pace so I knew now I was running faster than usual. By mile two, they called out “16:04” and I knew I was keeping to a similar pace despite a couple hills between. That was exciting! There were several hills added to the challenge of the course and overall, I felt that push and I kept going. Throughout it all my knees felt fine and I feel so proud I did it!

The cross training since February that I’ve been doing has been a true benefit (indoor cycling twice per week and recently outdoor cycling, the swimming at least once per week and the gradual increase in LSD running (long, slow, distance). I also joined a track group at the college at the beginning of February, doing speed work drills each Wednesday (such as 4 x 800 meter sets or various ladder drill workouts). What a great group experience this has been! It’s great to have others to run with and challenge yourself, otherwise I don’t know if I’d do such drills on my own!  We did most of our sessions on the indoor track and recently have taken them outdoors with the better weather.  So with this 5K race accomplishment I’m excited to keep moving forward!

I have taken the next step for my goal of completing at least 1 sprint triathlon this year by officially signing up: Saturday July 14, 2012 at the DAM Tri in Amesbury, Massachusetts: 1/2 mile Swim, 12.3 mile bike, 3.2 mile Run.  So I will keep training, keep eating well (still going strong being a vegetarian for 6 months now!) and keep moving forward.

My goal: TRIATHLON

So it’s 2012 – I’ve decided for my goal this year it’s going to be to train for and complete at least 1 triathlon. I’ve done the biking before, I’ve done at least some jogging, I know how to swim . . . so why not?  Well, I must say this triathlon idea kind of came out of left field for me. Yes, I’ve been pretty active (doing Insanity and other home based interval conditioning programs), completed the Couch to 5K training program last spring (highly recommended!) and completed 2 Warrior Dash races. But I’ve never done everything together in one event!

Well I’m one to give myself a challenge to reach – and I love the physical ones. A couple years ago I decided to buy a road bike and get into that. I found a great group of folks locally (Gus Bike Shop) and weekly women’s group rides in the summer – I completed a 50 mile ride event and the next summer completed a 100 mile ride. So now the challenge – conditioning with swimming, group swimming, transitioning from one to the other in the same event and proper sport nutrition – vegetarian style. Since deciding to do this goal I’ve made some great connections – found a local triathlon club, met some like minded folks, signed up for some Master Swim classes, found some great vegetarian sports nutrition connections and more. I love learning all these new things!

While I’m still in my 40’s I know I’m not getting any younger!  The more the years are blessed on me the more grateful I am for what I’ve had and what I still could do if I just choose to do so. I lost my Dad less than a year ago.  It’s all got me thinking how important it is to embrace life and all the gifts in it; to do your best with what you have now, and to keep a positive outlook. THIS is one of the biggest reasons I’ve decided to take on this triathlon challenge, and I do this in honor of my Dad!  So here goes the learning, the challenge, the courage and the fun. This is going to be awesome.