I'll tell you about the triathlon in this post, the wedding in another post, other stuff in other posts... bite-sized pieces.
The water was considerably colder than expected. Usually the water at White Lake, NC is near the wetsuit threshold of 78 degrees, which means there's a reasonably good chance you'll need a wetsuit, but just as likely that you won't. We've had a cold spring this year. The water was just below 67 degrees. REALLY cold. I have a wetsuit, but it has no arms and no head covering, which was really not sufficient for 67 degree water. Oh, and I forgot my goggles, so even if the water had been warm enough to put my head under to swim, I still couldn't because of the goggle business. So I did the whole swim with my head out. If you've ever swam in cold water, you know that your heart rate spikes to keep you warm, which makes you hyperventilate a bit. For some people, this also induces feelings of panic and anxiety. Luckily, I don't panic from hyperventilation (actually, I don't panic from much of anything except SNG breaking a tooth on a piece of pizza), but the rapid breathing does make it remarkaby difficult to swim at all, much less swim quickly.
My swimming time was 28 minutes, which is a full 10 minutes slower than I had anticipated.
I will never swim in 67 degree water again without some head and arm coverings.
After the swim, things got to be more fun. It was a gorgeous day. The bike was 14 flat miles. At first I didn't have much feeling in my legs, or my arms, or my torso... I was still kind of numb. A few miles in I got feeling back and just buckled down and went as fast as I could for 40 minutes. Each rider in front of me became a target to pick off one-by-one.
OK, lady on a mountain bike with leopard-print bike shorts: you're MINE! (vroom)
Watch out, Mr. Baggy-Shorts and tennis shoes: I'm gonna Pass You like a MACK TRUCK! (vroom)
Yeah, you think you're so fast, on your tricycle with streamers on the handlebars, all knees-akimbo. I'll pass you and show you that 31-year-olds are ALWAYS faster than 6-year olds! (vroom)
OK, if I hadn't done well on the bike, my dad would have probably been very ashamed. In my group I was 1st out of 41! Yay! That's better than I had hoped for.
I spent the whole ride down in the aero-bars (which I borrowed from Katrin, THANK YOU!!!) and forgot to tilt my seat to adapt for the different position. I must have pinched a nerve because both feet fell completely asleep during the ride. So on the run, the first 1/2 mile, I was lumbering along trying to shake out the tingles in my feet. It must have looked pretty funny. No real rush on the run-- just took it easy and made it through. My goal was to finish the 5K in under 30 minutes, and I did. Just barely. Good enough for me!!
So it went well enough for my first tri, and I learned a few things...
- keep extra equipment in the gym bag: goggles, shoes, gloves, anything else I might forget
- Do Not Swim in cold water without a neoprene cap
- learn to swim faster (hee!)
- tilt bike seat when riding with aero-bars
- in spite of what everyone says, you really don't need any more calories to get through a short triathlon than you'd need for a long training ride. I should have had less dinner the night before and less breakfast the day of. It rode around in my belly like a rock.
There are some pictures on the web-- go here . SNG (a.k.a. Groupie/Team Mechanic) also took some pictures but I haven't downloaded them from the camera yet.