Ok. So maybe all my talk about drowning was a bit...dramatic, over the top, and ridiculous. Not only did I finish, but I met my goal of finishing in 1 hour, 20 minutes! I think I can easily say that I totally kicked ass. So here's my time breakdown:
T1: 1 min 14 seconds
Bike: 39 minutes 40 seconds
T2: 44 secodns
Run: 31 minutes, 43 seconds
For a total finish time of 1 hour, 20 minutes, 8 seconds.
I'm taking those eight seconds off though, because I had a minor gaffe during the second transition. I had my CO2 cartridges (in case a tire was running low), in the back pocket of my jersey, since I don't use a saddle bag. They're kinda bulky, and bounce around in my jersey while running. I had meant to take them out after I put my sneakers on but FORGOT! So after I had left the transition area I had to turn around, go back to my area, empty my pockets, and THEN start again. But whatever. I DID IT!
We got the transition bag together the night before.
We woke up at 4:15, and this was pretty much how I felt about the whole thing.
So feeling like that it was my job to go outside and get the bikes on the car. I had never used this rack before, so I was all sorts of confused. I had to rack and unrack them like four times because I couldn't figure the damn thing out. But finally I got it done.
So we left, got some coffee, ate some breakfast, and made the hour-long trek to Lavallette. We got there, set up our transition areas, got marked up, and did a few warm-up laps in the bay.
So now, the race. Of which, of course I have no pictures of at this point. Lindsays dad was there taking pictures, and once she gets them online I'll steal them and put them on here.
But we were in the first wave of swimmers, and once the horn went off everyone started running into the bay. It was so cool, and totally a surreal moment, when I realized 'holy crap I'm actually doing this!'. The swim was a kind of out-of-body experience - I remember it, but I kind of felt like I wasn't there, if that makes any sense. I was pretty much able to keep my stroke the entire time, but I found it difficult to keep my head in the water because I was so unaccustomed to swimming with such a large mass of people.
T1: SO MUCH EASIER with a full-zip jersey! In and out with no problems. We were some of the first people there that morning, so we set up our bikes and everything right by the exit. It was pretty good.
Bike: LOVE the bike. I was only passed by some guys who were total elites - $10,000 tri bikes, aero helmets, the works. I think I kept a solid 18-20mph pace, and even passed four or five people on my own. It was so much fun. The only thing is, I wasn't challenging myself. I wasn't breathing hard, I wasn't really tired. But I couldn't figure out how to go faster. Less resistance, more pedaling? Higher resistance, less pedaling? Higher cadence? I'm not really sure. My quad starting to cramp up towards the last 3 or 4 miles, but it wasn't bad. I was able to stay in a crouch, riding on my drops, for all but a minute or so when I had to stretch out my back.
T2: Aside from the debacle described above, pretty good. Don't really remember it though.
Run: OHMYGOD so much pain. My shins felt like they were going to split open and explode. I don't know why - I never suffer from shin splints, so...Who knows. After about 1.5 miles they calmed down and I was able to find my stride. Got passed by a lot of people that I beat on the swim and bike, but thats ok. I know the run is my weakest area. Gotta work on that for the 12th. I know that I ran the last 1.5 miles in 14.5 minutes, so I was definitely running negative splits so I was happy.
I had forgotten to start my watch at the beginning of the swim, so I started it when I got into T1. My watch said 1:14 and change when I crossed the finish line, so I figured I had a time of around 1:23 or so, total. But then they said I finished in 1:20.08! I was so freaking ecstatic! I went back on the run course to meet Lindsay (who was a bit behind me), and run the last bit of the run with her. Afterwards we met up with her family and waited for the awards ceremony. They had told me when I checked in that there would be a prize for first time triathlete's, and I thought that with my time I may have gotten something in the womens category. So we waited. And hydrated. And, of course, took a picture (I'm wearing the sunglasses).
There ended up being no prize like they told me, so we packed it up and went home. And my thoughts on triathlons now? I love them and I definitely found my new sport!