Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bridgeland Tri Race Report (finally!)

Sorry, I’ve been a loser and have not posted in over a month! What can I say, except that life happens. Sometimes trying to juggle a busy job, hubby, kids, household stuff and training gets crazier than I really like. It’s times like that when I question my sanity and my ability of doing of these things well. When things get crazy, I don't always feel like blogging for whatever reason...

And now for the fun stuff – the Bridgeland Tri race report!

The hubby and I decided we’d leave the house a little before 5 am, since it takes at least 40 minutes to get to the race location. Typically, I wouldn’t leave quite so early, but since this was the hubby’s 1st tri, I decided to do whatever I could to make the morning as stress-free as possible for him. We arrived and parked with no problem and made our way over to transition. Later, I heard that traffic had gotten really backed up which may or may not have contributed to the race starting about 10 minutes late, so I was really glad we decided to arrive early.

Here we are hanging out in transition

Once we both set up our spots in transition, we chatted with a couple of people we knew and headed over to the swim start. It was way early, but we both wanted to get in the water for a short practice swim. The swim start is about a ¼ mile from transition and the swim is point to point, so you end up right at the transition area. About the time we were about to go into the water, a race official told us that there would be no practice swimming. We were bummed, especially since we saw people in the water already. I ran into tri pal, Merry, and she walked over to the side and waded in. While I was standing there trying to decide if I wanted to be a rebel with her, the race official walked away and several people started to enter the water. We said, “Screw it!”, and joined the other swimmers. Such rebels we are!

This is the lake where we swam...it looks harmless. right?

Next, it was time to stand in the porta potty line. The Hubby was in one of the earlier waves, but my wave didn’t start until 45 minutes after the 1st wave, so I thought that I better take care of business. J After that, I ran into some of my peeps – Jennifer (my weekend biking friend), Kay (my Katy FLATland friend) and a few others. Kay and I were in the same wave and before we knew it, someone was telling us to line up. We were so busy chatting it up with people, that we didn’t even realize that it was almost our turn!

The Swim. I am super pleased to say that this is the 1st time I didn’t freak out during the swim. I think it’s safe to say that I have finally overcome my open water swimming issues. FINALLY. I took off and despite being kicked and pushed and me kicking and pushing others, I just swam! Can I get a WHOOT? About 250 m into the swim, I heard someone saying, “help, help” to my right. After a moment, I realize that I know that voice! It was one of my running peeps and she was having a rough swim. I noticed a kayak to my left, so I shouted “Kayak!!!!” as loud as I could. I asked my peep if she was okay, to which she replied “NO!”. Once I saw that the kayak was almost to her, I headed off on my swim again. Again, I was calm. No freakouts! Before I knew it, I was turning to head to the shore. I couldn’t believe it – I was almost done! This was not a fast swim, but it was my most comfortable swim during a race ever. I loved it!

The bike. Next, I ran to my bike, which was conveniently close to the swim exit, but not so convenient to the run out. I thought I was hurrying, but my T1 time doesn’t reflect that at all, lol. I headed out on the bike, mounted and off I went. The bike was basically an out and back, ride past the start/finish, and then out and back the other direction. The 1st out had a bit of a wind, but not too bad. The way back was awesome – there was a bit of a tailwind and my average pace was consistently around 20 – 21 mph. For me this is great! I was playing leap frog with a couple of women most of the time, and we were passing lots of people. Of course, I got passed as well, but everyone who passed me had a pretty cool looking tri bike and looked very serious about what they were doing. After I passed the bike in/out, I did something pretty dumb – I dropped my water bottle as I was trying to put it back in the holder, doh! And, it was my favorite pink, insulated bottle from Tri-Girl, Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Finally, it was time to turn and head back to transition. It was windier at this point, but I only had about 2 more miles, so I tried to stay strong.

Back in transition. I think I did pretty well in T2, but for some reason the timing chip didn’t register. I was pretty winded heading into my run. I looked down at my Garmin and saw that I had started out at a 9:02 pace…yeah, better slow down cause I don’t run that fast! And slow down I did. I think I wasn’t exactly in the best frame of mind for running. The heat was making me grumpy. I walked through the 1st water stop, then walked again on the 2nd one. Then I walked again sometime before I hit the 3 mile marker. Seriously? I know I didn’t need those walk breaks…in retrospect I know I was just being a wuss. I think that extra half mile (since most races end with a 5k) was playing with me mentally. But finally I was rounding the corner and could see the finish, so I tried to pick up the pace a bit and sprint it in.

My finish time –
I knew I wouldn’t have the same run pace as CB&I after being out for so long, so my goal was to finish in under 1:40. I beat that, so I am pleased, but like so many of us who do this, I know there are areas that I could have done better (i.e. the run!). But, I swam the 500 1 minute faster than CB&I and I had my best bike pace ever! So yes, I am very happy about that!
And, I am super proud of the hubby. He did awesome!

Here we are after the race with our awesome bling!

Bridgeland also had an amazing post race party with plenty of food and beer. They even had troughs full of ice cold water to sit in and ease the achy muscles. And the medal? A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!

Cool medal, huh???

I highly recommend this race and any other races from OnUrLeft productions. They are well organized and 1st class all the way!

More updates on what's been happening for the past month are coming soon! (I promise!)


Tara said...

Congrats on your race!!

I just finished my first triathlon a few weeks ago. I wigged out in my swim too, I don't like not being able to see the bottom. I'm so glad that your friend made it to the kayak...scary!

Whoohooo on your super fast bike pace!

Michael said...

That is probably one of the coolest medals I have ever seen.

Awesome job! Congrats on the race!

Jill said...

WOOT for the swim!! :) I hope your friend was ok?!?

Congrats on a great race, girl!! You did well and learned a lot about yourself on the way. That is also one of the coolest medals I've ever seen!

That Pink Girl said...

Yaaaay for a strong swim with NO freak outs! It can ve scary stuff! Congrats to Hubs on first tri and congrats tom you for being a rockstar!