Thursday, September 30, 2010

Goodlife Fitness Try-A-Tri 2008 Race Report

My first triathlon race.  The Windsor Goodlife Fitness Try-A-Tri was held August 10, 2008.  I was excited to race and sooo nervous.  I had started running that January and had completed a couple of 5k races.  Very slowly.

Race Kit Pick-Up
The day before the race we picked up our race kits.  Man I thought I was something!  Participants got a knapsack type bag with a gel and the usual advertisements, etc.  My race number was 365.  My friend and training partner Sydney and I had dinner together that night with our husbands.  We "carbo loaded" with pasta and bread and ceasar salad and tried to estimate what our times would be like.

Race Day!
I got there early!  I'm an early bird by nature.  I always want to be there with plenty of time to set up my transition and figure out where I'm going.  Syd and I chose our spots and set up our stuff as best we knew how then proceeded to get our timing chips and get body marked.  Now I must admit, I think getting body marked was the thing I was most looking forward to.  I felt so cool!  Poor Syd though, the person marking her wrote the wrong number on her arm!  Then tried to fix it.  It looked like a hot mess and I knew Syd was devastated!  I dragged her down to the beach and proceed to rub at the number with sand and water until it mostly came off.  She got remarked and all was right again.  I hadn't eaten much that morning.  I hate eating in the morning in general and I was really  nervous.  I think this came back to haunt me later and I've certainly learned from that.

The "Swim"
I got into my Seadoo shorty wetsuit that I had purchased at Costco.  I thought I was so smart buying that thing.  Little did I know about the difference between a wetsuit for jet-skiing (which frankly is like a sponge) and wetsuit for triathlon swimming.  The swim was a 300m triangular course in Lake St. Clair.  I was so nervious I was almost sick.  I am not a swimmer and at that point did not know how to do a proper front stroke.  I could only swim head up and planned to do that for the entire swim.  It was an inwater start and Sydney and I placed ourselves at the back of the pack because we had read about the thrashing.  Syd is a fairly good swimmer but was nervous also.  The gun went off and everyone started running through the water!  WTF?  They were running and moving their arms as if they were swimming!  The area of the lake where this swim is held is not overly deep.  I'm 5' tall and it comes to my shoulders, so obviously deep enough to swim in.  Of course Sydney and I got caught up in this and didn't want to end up last so we started doing it as well.  I'm embarassed just thinking about it.  The only problem is that my legs go totally trashed (have you ever tried to run through shoulder deep water for 300 m?) and my feet were getting cut up by the zebra mussels.  There were a couple of times that Sydney grabbed a hold of me and dragged me because I was dying!  Finally we hit the beach and ran into transition.

"Swim" time - 5:39 (1:53/100m)

T1 + Bike + T2

I got to my spot in transition and started to get my wetsuit off.  My legs were burning from the effort of my "swim" and my heart rate was so high that I was feeling really light headed.  I had to sit down to put my shoes and socks on because I really thought I was going to pass out!  Sydney was waiting for me because we had planned on doing this race together.  I was trying to get her to leave but she wouldn't!  I finally grabbed my bike and we ran to the mount line.  I jumped on my bike and immediately felt like my legs were made of rubber.  Of course, the fact that I was on a mountain bike, had no idea about how gears on a bike functioned so was probably in the hardest gear, and had not really done any serious "training" for this race didn't help.  The course was an 11k out and back that felt like the longest bike ride of my life.  I finally coaxed Sydney to save herself and go on without me.  I think it took me about 8k to feel my legs again.  Not good on an 11k course.  Other than that it was pretty uneventful.  When I dismounted and tried to run into T2 I almost fell over!  I had never done a brick workout in my life and wasn't prepared for the wobbly legs.  Needless to say I walked my bike in.  I threw on my shorts (I had done the swim and bike in a two piece Nike bathing suit that I had used previously for beach volleyball), grabbed the gel that had come in our race kits and headed out to the run.

T1+Bike+T2 time - 37:17 (17.7 kph avg)

The Run
By the time I ran out of T2 my legs were feeling okay.  I took the gel and literally gagged and almost puked on the side of the course.  I'd never had one before and wasn't prepared for the consistency (and the fact that it was warm didn't help).  Looking back I laugh that I even thought I needed a gel for a race like that but what did I know?  Also, I hadn't eaten anything that morning so I probably should have had the gel before the race started!  The run was a 3k out and back on the Gnatcho Trail.  I remember about 1k into the run a herd of duathletes came up and ran around me and past me as if I was standing still!  I was excited at the final turn to see my sister and mom and best of all my niece Ally.  Ally had done the Kids-Of-Steel race the day before because she wanted to be just like her Aunt Mary!  I crossed the finish line and remembered to raise my arms and smile! 

Run time - 17:59 (6:00/km)

Total Time - 1:00:54
Overall - 67/78
Age group (F35-39) - 7/10

Post Race
I was so damn proud of myself!  The first thing I said to my husband was "I want to do that again!``  And so it begins!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mary!
    Okay... that first tri experience is hysterical! I love that you bought a jet ski wetsuit! haha! The best part of it is that you got to the end and knew you wanted to do it again. It's good stuff!
    RE coaching... I coach people in California, in the southern U.S. and locally in New England. I have never been able to coach a Canadian athlete, but what fun! Having a coach that doesn't live near you can work just fine. I'm in touch with my athletes daily via email--both the ones who live the next town over and the ones who live 3000 miles away. My coach is in Chicago, and I live in Boston. We've only met face to face once, but I've been very successful (more successful than I was with a local coach) since I began working with her in 2008.
    If you want to talk further, I can be reached at or at
    I would love to hear from you!