lesson #1 – don’t start celebrating too soon

topsail-may-07-008.jpgSurf and Turf triathlon at Topsail went well. I cut 6 minutes off my time (1:13 down from 1:19 before) – all from the bike and run sections. The swim was a bit disappointing as I HATED the way my wet suit felt in the water. Turns out it’s too big and there was lots of air between me and the suit all accumulating around my shoulders and back. It made my stroke feel off and my arms tired. Good I found this out now since this is the wetsuit I was going to wear in Philadelphia. Now I’ve got to figure out what to do about it. At Topsail, I ended up breaststroking a lot of the way. Plus, the waves were big and I thought it was harder getting in and out of the water to get to a calm place to swim. Despite all that though my swim time turned out to be exactly the same (to the second!) as last time I did this race. Odd.

Then I shaved at least a minute off each 4 mile bike section and a minute off each mile of the run. I think my transitions were faster too. All in all I was pleased. I was fourth in my age group but in the spirit of full disclosure I should tell you that there were only four of us in my age group! Turns out my age group is pretty competitive though. Had I been in some of the younger age groups where there were many more people I would’ve easily placed in the top three. Strange that us older ladies are fewer but faster. Also, had I entered as a novice female, which I felt I shouldn’t do since I’d actually done one triathlon before, I actually would’ve won that category! Anyway, I was solidly in the middle of the pack. 30th out of 60 women to be exact which is much better than I anticipated and nothing to be ashamed of for sure. I was really pleased to see my run and bike times improve and I know I felt better at the end than I did the first time. I wasn’t even sore the next day which goes to show you regular training is helpful (!).

Other than the fact that I hate my wetsuit, the biggest lesson I learned is to check out the finish line before the race. Turns out this finish line was not where I thought it was. I crossed over a little platform where I heard my timer chip beep (like it did at ever transition spot) and a guy called out my name. I thought I was done so I raised my arms in victory and walked slowly forward. Turns out the finish line was still a few yards away. Mom, Dave and others were telling me to run and I was arguing with them saying I was done already. The picture below shows me at my imaginary finish line where I came to a grinding halt!

topsail-may-07-006.jpgI suspect this story may get embellished as time goes on. I’m already telling people that must have cost me several minutes on my overall time. It’s my story and I’m sticking with it!

So, now back to the grindstone with less than 5 more weeks to go before Phili where the race is more than twice what I did this weekend. Better get to it.

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