Sorry for the late update! This was my third triathlon ever, with a 1/3 mile lake swim, 12 mile bike, and 3 mile run. This is one of the oldest triathlons in the country. It had been held in Tunica for the past few years, but this year it relocated to Edmund Orgill Park in Millington, TN.
I woke up around 5 AM and left my apartment at 5:30 AM. The race was about 45 minutes away, and I ended up getting a little lost on the way because the address that I put in my GPS (the one provided on the race website) led me to a field of nothing that was clearly not the start of the race. I found a different address to put in my GPS and made it on time. Parking was a little difficult, but I didn’t really feel a rush to park because it was pouring pouring pouring rain outside. Sadly, by the time I found parking it was still pouring pouring pouring rain outside. I still had to pick up my race packet, and it looked like it was a bit of a walk to that area, so I got out of my car and everything was immediately soaked. While walking to the race start, the bag I had everything in started foaming. Apparently all the soap had not come out of it when I washed it, and the rain triggered it. I’m sure it looked like an interesting site. Once I got to the start area, I got my packet and t-shirt, bought a race number belt from a vendor that technically wasn’t open yet, set up my transition area, and had a short warm up swim in the lake, where I discovered the presence of flying fish. By the time the race was ready to begin, the rain had become a light drizzle, which I was grateful for.
Swim (1/3 mile, 18:54.15)
The swim was… interesting. I’ve only done an open water swim once, and I was not very good at it. I had been practicing in the pool, and although I swam much longer than the swim was during the race, open water swimming and lap swimming are two very different animals. Instead of a mass start, we got in the water one at a time based on age group, which was appreciated. I thought I would have awhile before getting in the water because we lined up numerically and my number was in the late 400s, but apparently the numbers started around there because I was in the water just a few minutes after the clock started. Honestly, I did not enjoy this swim at all. The water was a little choppy, and I kept getting it in my mouth which freaked me out. I’m not very good at sighting, so I probably went off course a million times. The course was a triangle, and the stretch between the start and the first buoy seemed to last forever. I had to turn over on my back several times due to getting water in my mouth and having a mild panic attack, and the lifeguard asked me if I was okay. Honestly, I felt like swimming over to that kayak and calling it quits… but I kept going. I made it to the first buoy and saw that there were a few people holding onto it and taking a break. I joined them, composed myself for a few minutes, and then started back on my way. The next two stretches went considerably better. I got into a rhythm, and before I knew it, I was done with the swim! Yay.
Transition 1 (2:23.41)
Slow transition, as always. I was relieved to find that I was not the last one out of the water even though so many people passed me (in fact, I’m pretty sure there were still people just starting their swim).
Bike (12 miles, 45:22.10, 15.87 mph)
I don’t know if I had ever been more happy to get on my bike than I did in that moment. Biking is definitely my strongest leg in the triathlon (I have way more experience in it), and getting on my bike felt like home. There was a slight drizzle, but the course was enjoyable! The only real challenge was that some of the roads were flooded all the way across. I took the risk and biked slowly through those puddles of water with no problems. I saw a lot of people throughout the course on the side of the road though with mechanical problems/flats, and I am wondering if that contributed to it. I passed a lot of people and was passed by some. The course was also pretty flat! I could have stayed out there all day and been happy, but alas, I got back to the transition area and had to leave my sweet Davis behind.
Transition 2 (1:53.21)
Once again, slow transition. I will work on this.
Run (3 miles, 36:25.28, 12:08 min/mile)
This was the best run I’ve ever had during a triathlon! I am proud of myself. The time is still slow, and I would like to improve, but usually my legs are dead after the bike. I think the bike being flat helped me with this. I opted to wear my trail shoes for this run during the transition because a. my regular shoes (with the lock laces, sadly) were soaked from the downpour earlier and b. part of the course was on grass and everything was super muddy/slippery from the rain. I was glad that I made this decision even though there wasn’t too much of the race on the grass! My trail shoes are amazing. I don’t remember the intervals that I used right now for the run, but I think it was 1 or 2 minutes running with 30 seconds to 1 minute of walking. Usually I can run for longer than that when doing intervals, but I’m not at that point in triathlons yet. My coworker gave me an old watch so that I would have something to time myself on, which helped a lot throughout the race. The run was a lot hillier than I am used to, but I think I may actually be starting to enjoy the challenge that hills provide. They had water and gatorade on the course, which was lovely! My goal was to finish the run in 40 minutes, and I did 🙂 The last part of the course was running on the grass levee along the lake to the finish line. They said my name when I crossed, and I got my first ever triathlon medal.
I love when Start2Finish hosts events because you can print out your time immediately after you are done. I did that, then I grabbed some barbecue and watermelon for nourishment. I was tired of being wet all day, so I didn’t stick around too long and headed home. Overall, a successful race! Next year I am hoping to try out the Olympic distance… with some open water swimming practice beforehand.
Chowing down on some food with my medal! They had Elmer Fudge (?) cookies. Yum.
Other random notes: This was my first race wearing my new kit from SOAS! I loved not having to worry about clothes during transition. It was also very convenient to just put on my race number belt for the run. It was comfortable, and I didn’t really have any problems with it. I would always feel more comfortable in spandex or whatever if I lost a few pounds, but this did the job and was cute!
The pictures of me from this race are awful (typically race pictures are). I look like an ogre in all of them. Ew.
This was my transition area after the race… not very clean. Need a better system.
Had a stranger snap my picture! 🙂