So last week I mentioned that I had signed up for a triathlon. I wavered quite a bit on whether or not to sign up for it and in the end I’m so glad I did!! The event was a small, local race, right here in my hometown. It was a sprint tri, but instead of swimming the first leg was paddling. As a solo participant I was in a kayak. (Doubles were in a canoe). I have some kayaking experience as my in laws now have a kayak at the lake house! It’s so fun kayaking on a quiet lake in the morning. But this wasn’t a quiet lake.
This was a moving river. And there were lots of other people in it. And even though I rented a recreational kayak when I arrived at the start line all that was left were the performance kayaks. In talking with some guys at the starting line there were 4 kayaks dropped off and the guys grabbed the first two (the recreational kayaks) and left the other two (much larger kayaks) for me and another girl. I tried to convince them to trade since the store I rented it from picked a kayak for me based on my size (which was smaller than those two guys!) but they weren’t having it. So I was stuck with a kayak that was much larger than anticipated. I was having a hard time keeping it straight and almost ran into about 6 people. I felt so bad! It took me about a mile of the 2.5 mile course to get comfortable with the kayak and find my groove (and start passing people).
Based on my practice runs I thought it would take me about 40 minutes to go 2.5 miles. My time was 32:27, which included transition time.
After getting out of the water I had to haul my kayak to the grass across the path and then head out on the run. I took off running, but then realized I forgot to take my life jacket off! So I had to circle back, toss the life jacket back in the kayak and then take off on the run!
The run was a 5K. It was on the bike path that I run a lot! It’s a pretty flat path so it made for a quick run!
I finished in 26:12 (8:27 min/mile) which is only 5 seconds over my 5K PR. Not too shabby!
The bike part made me a little nervous. I really wish I’d have taken a picture of my yellow cruiser bike on the rack with all those legit looking bikes. My transition time was only 32 seconds since all I really had to do was put my helmet on, get my bike off the rack and walk it out of transition (and panic for a moment!). I hopped on my bike ready to tackle 10 miles. I peddled my little heart out. And so many times I wished I had more than 7 gears on my bike. My legs were working double time and not getting me very far because again, the course was pretty flat!
I loved that the course was an out and back because I got to see all of my friends as I was riding so it was fun cheering for each other along the way (I also saw them canoeing while I was running and we were yelling back and forth to each other!). I figured it would take me about 45 minutes to complete the cycling portion and I came in at 42:01. Pretty close. It would’ve been faster if I’d have had more gears.
My overall time was 1:41:07, which was almost 20 minutes faster than I thought it would be. Although I really had no goals or expectations for completion time as it was my first triathlon. So I’m very happy with it.
Luckily the weather was great that morning (a little humidity, but not nearly as hot or humid as it has been). And the small event meant that I wasn’t fighting for space. It also helped having some friends there, some experienced at triathlons, and some first timers like me. We all loved the event and would definitely do it again next year. And I think we’ve got some other people excited about it, too.
Hopefully I can get some more time in at the pool this winter so I can try a swimming triathlon next year because that was so fun!