Las Vegas Triathlon Club Sprint Triathlon Recap

I did it!  I survived!  I didn’t drown!  Or fall off my bike!  Or have Jell-O legs!  Woo hoo!  Can you tell I’m a bit excited?

I was so unbelievably nervous for this event.  I just had no idea what to expect, having never done a triathlon before, and thinking for sure something was going to go horribly wrong.  I really expected some sort of major malfunction on my part just because it was my first time.

My alarm went off at 4am.  So early, but because I was so nervous, I was wide awake almost immediately.  I had laid out everything the night before so I didn’t have to rush in the morning.

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After getting dressed, eating my favorite race day breakfast (blueberry pancakes with peanut butter), I headed out the door.  The event was held at Boulder Beach at Lake Mead.  The weather couldn’t have been better.  High 70s at the start, low 80s at the finish and the water was about 80 degrees.  I found my awesome friend Frank, who is one of the people that put on this event for the Las Vegas Triathlon Club, and who has been instrumental in getting me into this sport (Frank, my wallet really thanks you for the mass purchases I will be making in the near future).  He showed me where to set up my bike and gave me a few last minute tips.  I racked my bike next to one girl that was doing only her second triathlon and another girl who was a first timer like me.  They were both very friendly and that really calmed my nerves that I wasn’t the only newbie at this race.

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(photos courtesy of Las Vegas Triathlon Club)

Once I got everything laid out, I rode my bike around for a few and then I grabbed my swim cap and went down to the water.

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I think the strangest thing for me about this whole sport is the start.  With running races, everyone is crowded near the start line and when it’s go time, you all take off running.  With a triathlon, everyone starts calf high in the water.  It was such a weird feeling to be standing there knee deep in the water with all these other people waiting for the race to start.  At that moment, I really was starting to second guess this whole thing.  I was actually shaking a bit because of my nerves.  I didn’t really knew what position I wanted to take so I decided to hang in the middle of the pack, just hoping I wouldn’t get kicked in the face.

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(photo courtesy of Las Vegas Triathlon Club)

When the start was announced, we all dove in and started swimming.  It took a few minutes for everyone to acquire their positions, and luckily I didn’t get kicked in the face.  This was my very first open water swim ever (yeah probably should have practiced that, but it just didn’t happen) and it was definitely different from swimming laps in a pool.

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(photo courtesy of Las Vegas Triathlon Club)

We swam in a triangle around the buoys, which were always to my left, and I typically breathe on my right.  So, sighting was very difficult.  I tried a couple of times to lift my head, couldn’t see anything but swimmers, and ended up just following the feet in front of me.  Once we rounded the first buoy and had our longest stretch of swimming, I started to have a mini panic attack.  I was on the outside of the pack with nothing but water for miles on my right.  All I could see was a pair of legs ahead of me to my left.  A couple of waves came up right when I tried to breathe and I got a mouth full of water and started choking.  I just told myself to not loose those legs in front of me.  Whoever that guys was, thank goodness he was there.  I stuck as close to him as possible and finally started getting a rhythm.

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(photo courtesy of Las Vegas Triathlon Club)

By the time we made the last turn to head back to the beach, I started feeling a million times better.  I ended up passing Mr. Legs and with the beach on my right now, I could see exactly where I needed to go and I started hauling towards it.  When I got out of the water, the first person I saw was Frank, and he told me I was the 4th female out of the water.  What????  Holy crap!

I ran up to my bike, got my shoes on as quickly as I could, threw on my helmet, unracked my bike, and ran up to the mount line.  At the mount line, I hopped on and was off.  The first half of the bike ride was really difficult.  We started near the water and the route took us in the opposite direction, which meant a lot of uphill.  The bike is definitely my weakness.  Thank goodness I secured somewhat of a lead in the swim, otherwise I would have been toast.  I got passed quite a bit on the bike, and it was really discouraging, but I just kept pedaling and finally I reached the turn around point.  The second half was much easier, with a good portion being downhill.  I didn’t get passed anymore on the second half and came in strong (but completely out of breath) to the unmount line.

At the unmount line, I hopped of my bike, ran to the bike rack, racked my bike, took of my helmet, grabbed my visor and water and took off running.  Running after biking is the weirdest sensation ever.  It feels like you are going so slow and your legs just feel so strange.  I felt like my form was all off and I was so out of breath.  Just like the bike ride, the run took us away from the water, which meant 1.5 miles of uphill, then we turned around and ran back downhill.  I don’t know why I took my handheld water bottle for a 5k.  It felt so heavy that I actually just threw it in a bush a few minutes in to the run.  Between the uphill and being tired from the swim and bike ride, I really struggled to find a good pace on the run.  I didn’t take my GPS, so I was just listening to my body and going as fast as I could.  I was so happy to see that turn around point because I knew the last 1.5 miles were all downhill.  I was starting to find a rhythm and I charged down the hill for the last leg.  When I rounded the last bend I ran as fast as I could and felt such a feeling of accomplishment crossing that finish line!

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I received a lot of congratulations from everyone there, which was such a great feeling, being such a newb.

I placed 8th amongst the females with an official time of 1:28:16.  I went into this race with no goals in mind other than to finish it and hopefully not make any major mistakes, and I think I really accomplished that.  And the most important thing.  I had so much FUN!  I really loved the variety.  I know my strengths and my weaknesses and I love that I can work on multiple aspects and not just the same thing day in and day out.  Frank asked me if I’m hooked yet and all I had to say was, “Find me a bike to buy!”  So, yeah, I’m hooked.  I want to do this again.  I want to get better on the bike and more comfortable swimming open water.  I think I’ll stick to the sprint distance for a bit and then maybe do a longer one.  But…baby steps.

The Las Vegas Triathlon Club is a really fantastic group.  I got such warm welcomes from everyone and look forward to future events.  Plus they gave me this really cool transition bag for joining their group.

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So, in conclusion, my first triathlon was a huge success and now I’ll be broke for the next few years funding my new passion.

Oh, and let’s not forget…we have a Nature Factor Coconut Water and Cooler Bag winner!

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Congratulations Kerianne!

 

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19 thoughts on “Las Vegas Triathlon Club Sprint Triathlon Recap

  1. Wooooohooooo! Congratulations! It was super interesting to read about your adventure. I think I would have panicked too if I was surrounded by so many swimmers. Recently I’ve been reading quite a bit about triathlon. And even though I’ve never really considered participated in one before, it is on my to-do list now. Also keep it up! I am sure that in one of your following races you’ll place better than 3rd ❤ xoxo

  2. YAY! I knew you were going to do great! 8th overall is AMAZING! I am terrified of getting kicked in the water, which is why I haven’t done a tri yet, but maybe someday, I’m not ruling it out completely! I can’t wait to hear about your next one 😉

  3. Wow, that is awesome! I am intrigued by a tri but am terrified of the swim. I’m not a strong swimmer, don’t even know how to do the breathing, so I would have a lot of work to do. Congrats!

  4. Pingback: And That’s a Wrap! |

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