The night before: I "signed in" and got body marked (they wrote my bib number on both of my arms and both of my legs with a permanent marker and they wrote my swim time on my hand), packed up my stuff for the next day, and actually got some rest ;)
The morning of: I was freaking out about the 6 minute swim time that I had told them (I was having visions of all the swimmers behind me passing me!) So, I scrubbed off the 6 and changed it to a 7! I got to the park, got my stuff unloaded and to the transition area...waited with my friend for everything to start...and got more and more nervous as I waited!
The Swim: Because I had changed my swim time, there were quite a few people between my friend and I in line so I had to meet some new people (definitely not one of the things in my comfort zone :) We women had to wait for the men, the coed teams, and the other teams to start before we could so it was about 45 minutes from the official start until I actually touched the water. I jumped in and swam my little heart out AND even passed 2 people in the process. My official time was 5 minutes and 41.25 seconds! AWESOME! I guess I should have left the number on my hand alone :)
The Bike: I was feeling great after my swim and felt confident going into the bike ride. That is UNTIL...like 20 people passed me during the 11.3 mile ride! :( I watched them as they passed me and I was pedaling just as fast as they were, yet they kept pulling away from me. The problem...my bike chain was stuck on the two smallest sprockets of my bike! It worked great everytime I got to a hill, but most of the race was on fairly flat land and it was just impossible for me to cover the same amount of ground as everyone else. I stopped once (after someone who was pedaling much slower than I was passed me and pulled away from me!) I tried to change the chain, but it immediately changed itself back down to the smallest sprocket as soon as I started pedaling. Yes, I have been training on this bike, this way, the entire time and most of that training was done by myself so NO I did not realize what a difference it would make in a race! LESSON LEARNED!!! :)
I was proud to say that I did make it back to the park :) (also despite some very weird clicking noises that was coming from my bike too the entire ride!) and also knew that I had probably exerted WAY TOO MUCH and way more effort than many of the other participants for this part of the event I was also quite sure that I had to be the VERY LAST person still on a bike, which was quite humbling :( My time was 1 hour 10 minutes and 21.95 seconds~Not so awesome.
The Run: After my experience on the bike, I was still feeling pretty good physically and started out on the run. Quite quickly, though, I could feel my internal body temperature rising too much so I ended up doing this part as a run/walk. Lo and behold, about 2 miles into it I saw another participant coming TOWARDS me! I was not last! Alleluia :) I actually ended up meeting a couple of people, which perked me up as I actually got to cheer them on towards the finish line like others had been doing for me! I also ended up actually catching and passing one person and almost caught up to another! Of course, you have to run across the finish line and I saved up just enough energy to do just that :) I finished my run/walk in 41 minutes and 7.05 seconds-okay with this after the bike!
My official time was 2 hours 1 minute and 39.5 seconds! (transition times are included in this time)
I had kind of forgotten that it didn't really matter when you finished (and REALLY all that did matter was that we all finished!) because each of us had a timing chip so technically, you could be the "last" one, but also the fastest one. I remembered this once I found out my times...definitely not the slowest, but definitely better than I thought it would be, especially after that terrible bike ride!
My rank was 161/165 (better than I thought it would be), my swim time was ranked 113, my bike was ranked 165 (but I saw one person ranked as 166 with a time about 15 seconds slower...not really sure where the extra biker came from), and my run/walk was ranked 147. For my age group, I was ranked 15 out of 17.
So, I am very pleased with myself that I finished my first mini-triathlon, but I am not so pleased with how my race itself went. BUT, I know what needs fixing and I know how to fix it AND I will compete again to prove to myself that I can do it and do it better! :)