I TRIed and it ROCKED!

I know I said it a million times but words can’t say how nervous I was for this tri. The question wasn’t whether or not I’d finish; I was terrified I was going to hate it.

Truthfully, I was moronically under trained – even for a sprint distance. Shamrock training consumed most of my 2011. I swam a few miles but my swim schedule was sporadic too given the monster of marathon training. I was too scared of pulling a Texas Dan to ride my bike on the road. The second I finally got a 26.2 that I was happy with, I broke the cleat off my cycling shoe in a spinning class. Unfortunately, without shoes I can’t ride my bike so I got just about zero miles on the thing prior to the race. I also had no one to practice open water swimming with – why didnt I pick a sprint with a shorter/pool swim??

Open water swimming scared me. What if I got kicked in the head, went unconscious, and no one saw me?? I’d been swimming in a 50m pool, which meant I was pushing off a wall, which is totally cheating when I’d say I swam a mile. I was also unsure if I’d really need a wet suit for 65* water (I’m sooooo glad I listened at rented one!) and wouldnt be able to get a practice swim in it. If that wasn’t bad enough, it was a dirty man-made lake too. Everyone I told “The swim is in Lake Raleigh on NC State’s campus” gave me the Ewwwwwww look and told me I was going to get dysentery or cholera or some other disease from the Oregon Trail.

I know most of you already saw this…but I have to get Coach Penguin in the full report
Trying new things on race day has always resulted in HORRIBLE experiences. Surely my lack of training was an invitation for trouble. I had a ton of reasons to be scared.

In true Jenster fashion, I slept like a rock the night before. I learned my lesson on the lying Dunkin Donuts by my house and had a bagel ready to go. Since I packed my transtion bag and loaded my bike in the car the night before, I made excellent time and got to the race site 1.5 hours early.

Transition…super organized chaos.
Last min bike tweaking available
Anyone else find it hilarious this guy is dressed like the Gordon’s Fisherman minutes before jumping in a lake???
Holy cow tris are organized! There were people and bikes and sharpie pens everywhere, yet everything was clearly labeled and I had no trouble finding where to rack my bike and lay out my stuff.

The walk from transition to the lake sucked! I was barefoot and it was down a steep hill, which wouldnt have been so annoying if I wasn’t thinking about running up it after the swim!

We were seeded according to our 100 meter swim time and they released us in groups of 5 according the race number. I figured they were asking for a 100m time in a 750m swim…and since mine was a pool time I padded it to make sure I didn’t get swift kicks to the head by Michael Phelp’s protégé. I was one of the last people into the water. In fact, people were already running out before I got in. Even though I waited forever it all happened really fast. All of a sudden I was in the water and swimming my little heart out.

After about 100 meters I was pooped. The buoy looked soooooooooooo far. The water was cold and I started to freak out a bit. How the heck was I going to make it? There were Kayaks all around and I could see people already resting, which was tempting. I took the advice I always give to new runners and slowed down. Before bed I had watched some youtube videos on open water swimming (I know I’m lame) so I calmed down and pretended to be in a pool. I settled into a 3 stroke breath, and on the breath I over-rotated and glided on my side, kicking, which allowed me a longer, deeper inhale while still moving. I literally repeated 1-2-3-Breathe over and over again and got to the first buoy before I knew it. I started running into people after the 2nd buoy, which was annoying because they’d interrupt my 1-2-3-Breathe. 1-2-Foot wasn’t working as well and I kept having to sight more and more as I made me way back to shore. However, part of me was pumped – I WAS PASSING PEOPLE!!

SWIM 750m – 18:28

Coming up the hill from the swim, I saw my friends Ellie and Julie, who cheered their hearts out! It was a surprise that perked me up a lot and pumped me up for the bike portion.

The first transition was awkward. The grass was wet so sitting down wasnt a fun option. I had opted to wear just a sports bra a shorts under my wet suit so I was trying to put on my tri-top when the photographer decided to come snap pics. Really dude? Can I put on my shirt first?? I didnt have a race belt so the bib was pinned, which only made trying to get dressed quickly before the camera could  come back even more awkward. Yes, I need a race belt!

Taking off wet suit, putting shirt on, drying feet, putting on cycling shoes and helmet, grabbing bike – I felt like I was in a Double Dare Physical Challenge. Where was the slime??

T1 – 5:38 (I walked up the huge hill, I am a pansy)

I thought the bike would be easier than the swim. I’m a spinning machine (regularly hit up 2 hour classes) and thought spinning vs biking would be similar to TM vs road running. OMG I AM A MORON!! The course was hilly and apparently I throw my body weight a lot when I climb in spin class. The climbs totally trashed my legs. I couldnt figure out the best gear. I def need a lot more practice. I also need more practice riding one handed on hills because I was too scared to grab my gatorade or pull the gel out of my back pocket. There were no flats on this course – it was all climbing or down. I dont know what was worse. The downhills were terrifying. I averaged 28 mph on the downs and that’s with a lot of braking. It seemed silly on the up to lose the momentum but I was scared! Traffic was still open (besides intersections) so the thought of getting side swiped if I swerved or fell was very much in the front of my mind. 

On the wobbliest legs I dismounted the bike a bit dazed and wondering how I survived it all.

BIKE 10.5 miles – 43:21

Transition 2 went a lot better, although my quads were so trashed it was hard to change shoes. I also paused to take a gel and drink some water. I was also scared of forgetting to take off my helmet in exchange for my hat…but I remembered 🙂

T2 – 1:51

My legs felt crazy. I do bricks all the time running after spinning…but lemme say again that spinning is totally different. My legs were smoked after the bike.I actually walked a lot of the first mile (11:14). During mile 2 my legs started to feel better (mile 2 10:03). Mile 3 I was feeling normal (9:34). I hate 5ks. Over once I’m feelin good again! A guy passed me going up the final hill. His leg told me he was 23 and his race number told me he started the swim before me. I thought “you little punk!!” My friends Ellie and Julie were screaming by the finish, and I managed to kick passed the guy.

Yeah, you probably saw this one already too…but it makes me laugh 🙂
RUN 5k – 31:51

I was pooped at the end…but a different kind of tired than a Pikermi or a Marathon. All know is, I want to do it again!!! I’m looking at an Olympic Distance in July 🙂

Totally NRR and just me rambling – this just got sprung on me within the hour and I need to process it. Mr Jenster/CH and I are putting things on hold. He’s deploying in a month, I’m gone the next two weekends, and he’ll be going on block leave when I get back before heading out so there’s really no time. We both have had bad luck with waiting and he says he wants to focus on his men rather than worry about what I’m doing. Plus we really haven been seeing each other long enough to wait around for a year. Granted it’s more his choice than mine, but it makes sense. He wants to be friends…but I never know what that means. He says we have a ton in common and he loves talking to me so he doesn’t want to kick me out of his life…but I dont know if that means he sees me as one of his dudes or he wants to keep in touch and possibly pick back up later. As of right now, I am fine with waiting. The last guy roughed my heart up pretty badly and, before CH, I wasnt really on the market emotionally. Personally, I dont think I’ll be finding someone else who sparks my interest but he seems to think I will and doesnt think it’s fair to me. I thought we were headed in a diferent direction. I wish he’d just say he’s just not that into me because all that rationalization just drives my little mind insane. Obviously I think too much.

Of course, I’ll be ok. I have a fabulous life, amazing friends, a supportive family, and too many reasons to smile. With so many people going through real issues, I feel horrible whining about it. I’ve never needed a guy to make me happy….but this one made me happier 😦  

On the positive side, looks like Nashville just got a little crazier 🙂 !!!!!

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