Friday, June 27, 2014

Oh My Goddard, Recap

Sorry for the delay with this recap. I have had my family here for a visit which has been  a lot of fun! I hate to see them go.  For Gracie's 6th birthday, my mom and I took here to American Girl Doll for the very first time. We all had so much fun and she got a very special doll named Isabelle.

On to the Oh My Goddard Recap! It is official. I am a triathlete!  Oh wait, should that be the title of this post?

Ok, so most of you know that I was a nervous wreck the night before the race. I packed up my stuff, checked the list 100 times and then messaged my friend Chris what I had packed and asked her if I missed anything.  Once I felt comfortable with my packing, I sat down and my hands started to shake.  Oh, and did I mention that Gracie had a fever?

I went to bed later than I wanted to but before I did that, I asked for some last minute advice on my FB page.  Most of you responded to just have fun!  Dashing Dad said, "Don't drown, don't crash and don't trip." Those were all true fears of mine and I can tell you up front that none of that happened.

However, the message that really got me. The one that made me cry was from my friend Joe who will soon be a 2x ironman.  He wrote, "You have trained, planned, practiced transition, learned how to swim. Tomorrow, you put it all together in the art of triathlon. You are an elite athlete. Not everyone has the guts, strength, endurance, mental toughness to take on our sport. I'm excited for you. You will have highs and lows during your race. Just remember, you already did the hard work, tomorrow is the celebration of all your efforts! Now go out there and get yours!!!! Good luck! "
And left this video.

Joe was my neighbor growing up. We only found each other recently through FB and I am so happy we did.

Once I got to bed I could not sleep. I tossed and turned and I know I did get a little sleep, but Gracie woke up crying.  Luckily, Mr. RWM was home and took care of her, but I was already up and had trouble sleeping again.

My alarm went off at 4:15 and I got right out of bed.  I was downstairs having breakfast in ten minutes and about 4:30 I got a message from Elaine asking if I was up. I headed to her house just before five and we drove to the race together.

Parking was easy and was right next to a restroom.  We hit that first. Our nerves were in high gear.

We grabbed our bikes and bags and walked to transition.  We just followed the crowd and the first thing that happened was we got our numbers written on us.  We walked a few feet ahead and ran into Bethany.  I was so happy to see that we were on the same bike rack! It's silly, but I never put my bike on a rack before and I never thought to ask or watch a video.  It was nice to have a friend show me. Easy peasy.

We headed to the racks and Elaine was just across the way from us.  We set up our transition spots and chatted a bit.  Elaine wanted to walk the course and see all the in's and out's. It was a really good idea.

We got back to our bikes and I put my wet suit on and grabbed a banana and some water. Then we headed to the beach and the first wave was already in the water.
Before the start

The people doing the olympic distance went out first and then the sprint, all at five minutes apart.  This made us wave 12, the very last wave.

By the time we lined up, Elaine and I were pretty nervous.  We hugged and wished each other a good race. She is an excellent swimmer and lined up in front. I stayed in the middle of the pack.

When the horn blew, in the water we went. My wave did not seem too big but when we got to the first buoy, it was crowded. Once I was around that, it spaced out a bit more.  I was not swimming my best but I was moving forward. At one point, I turned my head to breath and I swallowed a huge gulp of salt water. Yuck!  I had my eye on the big orange buoy and was just wishing I was there.  I felt such relief when I finally made it.  I swam till the ground was too close to keep swimming and then I stood up.  Walking out of the water, I unzipped my wetsuit and brought it down half way. When I hit the beach, I ran.  What was crazy was everyone around me was walking.  I passed everyone I encountered on the beach.

Once I got to my bike, I got my wetsuit off, socks and shoes on.  I am sure there are triathlon Gods rolling over in their graves, but I took out my contacts and put on my prescription sunglasses.  I just hate, hate my contacts. They bother me and I just don't see as well in them and I wanted to be comfortable.  You can stop rolling your eyes now.  Helmet on, quick drink and I ran out of transition and hopped on my bike.

I started peddling like a bat out of hell. I was going fast and was out of breath. I felt like I was still in the water, my breathing was off.  My stomach was burning too.  Salt water?  The first 2-3 miles, I just didn't feel good.  I started to talk, out loud, to myself and my bike.  I needed to calm myself down.  I survived the swim, my biggest challenge. I needed to slow down, get myself together and just ride.  Once I did that, I started to feel better and everything just turned around.  I felt great on the bike and despite the first couple miles, had a really great ride.  I was around the same four girls for the second half of the ride.  We passed each other back and forth.  I know for sure I finished ahead of at least one of them.

Back in transition, I changed to my sneakers and sucked down a GU at the same time.  Had one last drink and headed out for my run.

This was a trail run and it was 3.2 miles.  My first thoughts when I started running was how happy I was to have both feet on the ground. My comfort zone.  However, trails are not my favorite. The really great thing about this though was the shade.  I stayed pretty cool on the run and held a pretty steady pace.  I was happy.  I was wondering how Elaine was making out and Bethany, who was doing the Olympic distance.  I didn't see either of them on the course. I did see two of the girls that I was with on the bike ride. I passed both of them in the first few minutes.  Yes, that makes me happy.

Because Gracie had a fever and was up for most of the night, I knew my family wasn't going to be at the finish line. This made me sad but I wanted to finish strong and make them proud.

The finish line was a beautiful site!  I ran into the chute smiling and so very happy! I heard my name and saw half of Elaine's family and they got a couple pictures.
Not a great picture. This is after the finish. I am turing off my Bia.

It was so great to see Elaine at the finish line.  I was so proud of both of us!  We headed over to where they had food and drinks. It was a nice spread and I was happy to eat.  We chatted about our race and I was very curious what our official times were.
Big smiles all around!

Back to our bike to pack up and we saw Bethany and her family.  She was so happy for Elaine and I for finishing our first tri's. She said she had a great race and we told her about ours.  And we walked to our cars.  I couldn't believe it was over.
The happy finishers!
The bling.

If you remember, six months ago, I didn't really know how to swim.  I have come a long way and still have more to go. My next tri is July 27. It's another sprint but in the ocean.  That should be interesting.

Ok, so for the official results.  I never said this, but I had a goal of 1:45.

My swim was 14:21. I figured it would be 15 minutes or more.

T1 3:15

My bike was 48:30. I was hoping for 45:00.

T2 2:52.  I feel like that should of been less time. Not sure where I lost it there.

My run, 37:21 with negative splints.  Thought I could do it in 35:00 but it was a trail run and the sand definitely slowed me down.

Total time, 1:46:18.  Pretty close to my goal and I feel good about it!

Elaine finished in 1:22:44 which was good enough for 6th in her age group! Woohoo, she kicked butt!

Things I need to work on, obviously, my swim. I do see improvement every time I hit the water though and feel confident that I will get better and even a little faster.

I am sure I can figure out how to be a little faster in transition also, especially T2. Maybe those quick tie laces?   I also need to look at the bike like my runs.  Don't go out too fast.  Find the pace you like and then kick it up in then end.

Once again, TriMom put on a fantastic race. For me, this was the perfect first tri.  The next two are also put on by TriMom and I am sure they will not disappoint.

It wasn't easy but it sure was fun!  Four weeks till the next one and I will be more than ready.

Am I hooked? Not sure but I will finish what I set out to do this year and then we will just see what happens.

Thanks for all the love and support. Best readers ever!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! Congratulations!!! You are inspiring !!! You came so close to your goal!!! I have some of those zip lace things I can give you to try. SO FREAKING HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!

    1. Thanks Beth! I would love to try those laces.

  2. Congrats on your finishing your first tri, Nicole! That's awesome. Still trying to figure out how to get faster in transition myself. Lock laces do help shave some time. You'll probably want to swim in the ocean a few times over the next month. Distance is short, but you want to have comfort with swimming in the waves. Nice job! See you at Crabman in four weeks.

    1. Thank you so much! Wish I got to see you there. I will most likely do some of the TriMom clinics and get into the ocean.

  3. Congrats on finishing your first tri! Still trying to get faster in transition myself. Lock laces do help shave some time. You'll probably want to swim in the ocean a few times over the next month. Distance still short, but you'll want comfort with swimming through waves. Keep training, and have fun! See you in four weeks at Crabman.

  4. What a great recap to read! I cannot imagine ever doing a tri as I am not a swimmer and I don't even own a bike! Haha, so I found this to be totally awesome! Excellent job, Nicole! Keep up the great training, you are so inspiring! :)

    1. Thank you so much! I didn't know how to swim 6 months ago and I am borrowing a bike. You can do it if you want to, but lets get you to that half marathon finish line first!

  5. Huge Congrats! You killed it :) I can't swim well at all so I think anyone who does a tri is a total badass. Especially swimming with so many people thrashing all around you. Good luck on the next one!

  6. Fantastic!!!! I am so proud of you! You are just amazing, the way you take these things on. Who decides to take on a triathlon without really quite knowing how to swim? My friend Nicole!! Super impressive. Go you!

    1. Thank you so much for the nice comment! Impressive maybe, more like clueless and crazy!