This morning was my first triathlon of the season. It was in the BEAUTIFUL St. Augustine Florida, which is about an hour south of Jacksonville. I set my alarm for 5:00 am in order to allow ample driving time, loading/unloading of gear, packet pickup, transition set up, getting in my wetsuit and getting warmed up in the ocean before the race at 8:00 am.
However... I woke up at 3:30 am and could NOT go back to sleep. I was so excited/nervous that I just couldn't sleep. So I left earlier than I planned and got there around 6:00 am just in time to see the sun rise over the Atlantic ocean while standing in the oldest city in America. It was beautiful!! Jordan and Hunter left around 7:00 am so they could get there right in time for the start of the race.
I was pretty nervous about the ocean swim because any triathlete will tell you to get PLENTY of practice swimming in the ocean before hand because it is SO different than a pool. The ocean has swells and waves and currents and creatures and well you get the idea. It just so happens that I went to the beach yesterday to practice before today's race and to get some last minute tips from the pro's, but the water was so rough they wouldn't let us get in. It looked rough! All night long I just kept picturing "that water" for our race the next morning... and I was scared out of my mind and thought I was going to get killed by some of those waves!
Well, I showed up this morning to absolutely PERFECT conditions. The surf couldn't have been better! It was quite the experience though because they placed the buoy's right smack in the middle of the breakers so the whole time we were swimming parallel to the shore waves were crashing over our heads... NOT IDEAL! I swallowed quite a bit of that salt water as I would come up for a breath and get hit in the face with white water. They really should have put the buoy's out another 100 yards or so from shore.
Start of the male swim (they had a 5 minute lead on females)
Start of female swim
(I am in a full wetsuit towards the back middle)
I let them all get slightly ahead at while we ran out to the first buoy so I wouldn't get kicked in the face when it got deep enough to start swimming... another tip from the pro's
I am exiting the water
(dead center of the picture)
I am trying to unzip my wetsuit and run out at the same time
heading for the bike transition
Telling Jordan, "I think I swallowed half the ocean!",
as I am running to the transition area and trying to take off my wetsuit
"T1" transition from swim to bike
(I am dead center behind the lady in green
I am in the grey/black and white suit putting my helmet on)
Running out of the transition area with my bike,
I am in the grey/black and white suit in center of the pic
you can see my right arm to the left of the lady in green
(we didn't get an pics on the bike because I was too far away)
Start of the run (I am wearing white hat in front of girl with red shorts)
On the run and yes I am smiling because I am having a BLAST!!
This was seriously the most fun I have ever had in a race. There were a few things that I learned and mostly a few things that were confirmed. For instance it is confirmed that I still hate running :) it was by far my slowest/weakest of all the legs. But I learned that the bike is my best leg by FAR. And the ocean swim... it's NOT scary! Let's put it this way. I passed a few people on the swim and did not get passed by anyone. I passed A TON of people on the bike and did not get passed by anyone and on the run I passed ONE loan person and got passed by probably 7 people, :(
So, I guess that means I need to run more- BLAH! But hey I beat my overall time goal by 18 minutes! I way underestimated myself on the swim and bike so in the middle of the race I set a new goal and still beat it despite the dreaded run.
Immediately after the race
still smiling :)