Things I wish I knew before I did my first sprint triathlon:
1. That it's good to get there early, but it's really not necessary to get there at 5:30am when the race starts at 8....and you're the first car in the entire parking lot
2. That tri is best done with FRIENDS--thanks, TriShannon!
3. That open water swimming is NOTHING--repeat, NOTHING--like swimming in a pool
a. Perhaps this would have helped me to know as I went full speed ahead, just like in the pool....and ran into a BUOY WITH MY HEAD
i. and make sure that your goggles are...um...secured....in case you hit a buoy with your head
4. That mountain bikes really aren't that fast, no matter how hard ya pedal
5. That at mile 2 of the run, some really fit-looking girl with a 6-pack stomach flew by me and said, "You go, girl" as she passed me--wait, she just passed me and ENCOURAGED ME? What kind of wacked out sport IS this? When you strike someone out, you don't smile and say, "That's OK, maybe you'll hit me next time." This was strange to me, but in a good way
6. Adding to #5: That triathlon is the most supportive sport out there--it doesn't matter what your skill level or how fast OR slowly you go...it just matters that you are there giving it your all, and everyone is there to help you cross that line
7. That despite finishing 3rd from last in age group, within the next year I would start bringing home AG hardware in most sprints that I "tri-ed"
Things I wish I knew before I did my first Olympic-Distance Tri:
1. Wow. That's a LOT longer swim...especially in Lake Erie when the water's REALLY choppy
2. I'd rather not know the bacteria count in the water was at an all time high before I got in it
3. But realistically that knowledge DID make my arse move pretty darn fast
4. Aerobars make a HUGE DIFFERENCE
5. When re-racking your bike at T2, do it quickly, but not SPASTICALLY SO YOU KNOCK OVER AN ENTIRE ROW OF BIKES
a. yep, I'm "that guy"
6. 10K is tough to race...short enough you feel like you need to hammer, but HARD to do so, especially after 24.9 miles on the bike
7. The Great Lakes Escape is a great course, but pretty hard to run on sand dunes
8. But I won some sweet tri-shorts, to make up for my lack of qualifying for Alcatraz
9. But I don't feel so bad because the girl that did is a nationally ranked triathlete and I was honored to even be competing in her presence!
10. That this distance made me wonder if I could do MORE....
Things I wish I knew before I did my first Half-IM
1. That the swim wasn't as scary as I thought....hey, am I actually getting better at this thing?????
2. That the start would be delayed for an hour and a half due to FOG
3. That this would make my run begin at 2:00pm in a bright, sunny, cloudless day of 82 degrees
4. That putting on 30 SPF at 8am doesn't cut it
5. That it's the FOLLOWING MARCH and I still have ridiculous tan/burn lines on my back and legs
6. That I could reach my goal time on the bike, which I really doubted I could do
7. That I did not come even remotely close to reaching my goal time on the run, since I did all my summer training runs at the nice cool hour of 7am....yeah, that's not really what my race-day conditions were
a. NOTE TO SELF: TRAIN RUNNING IN THE HEAT OF THE SUMMER DAY
8. That I am proud to say I did not walk at all in the run, and I may have been slow, but I made it
9. That somehow I finished ahead of my amazing running coach who I respect TREMENDOUSLY
a. Ahead only by about 10 seconds though....she kicked my BUTT on the run cuz she's AWESOME
10. That I could shatter my goal of breaking 7 hours
11. That I have the world's most supportive husband and family, who drove 3 1/2 hours just to see me and some even stayed for the end
12. That I did this just 6 days after signing up for IM Wisconsin, and it made that mouse click feel a little bit better
Things I wish I knew before my first IM.....
Hmmmm.......well, you'll have to wait on this one. In the meantime, any IM Veterans out there want to throw in their 2 cents? Or maybe more? :)