Monday, September 21, 2009

Kirkland Tri

This weekend, Mckenna and I completed our first Tri. Saturday it poured on Mckenna's event, but she did great in spite of the rain and mud. I think she was disappointed it was over so quickly. And Sunday was my event. I arrived early, pre-sunrise and the water was perfect. The lake was serene with twilight and park lights shimmering on the surface, completely oblivious to the fact that soon thousands of Tri athletes would be invading. After arranging my gear in my little corner of the rows of bikes racked for take off, I made my way to the pre-race announcement area. The event was packed with energy and conversational buzz, so I was catching only bits and pieces of the briefing...something about body count and scuba divers checking to make sure everyone was accounted for...that was definitely the part I could have missed hearing.
I found another novice (obvious by the pink cap) to chat with and we watched as the horn sounded and the swim began. Got a hug from my coach, just before his wave went out. It was comforting to see him there among the sea of faces. I was in the last wave and I hung toward the back to minimize the chance someone might swim over me. I could feel the water churning and I took a deep breath and started out. I concentrated on breathing, blowing bubbles and thinking I'm swimming over the trees (a little visual from Marc). I looked up to sight and was almost to the first buoy. I could see other swimmers around me backstroking and breaststroking and then I was actually swimming ahead of them. Even my dainty swim stroke (as Mckenna calls it) pulled me ahead. Later, Mckenna would tell me that she spotted me in the water from the spectator area because she recognized my stroke. Then all of sudden, the swim was over. Swim split 13:12
Running toward T1, the grass was still so muddy, my mind went blank. I took my bike off the rack, then realized I needed to put on my shoes...almost forgot my helmet...not the ideal transition. I guess I was too surprised the swim went so smooth. T1 time 3:54
The Kirkland bike route is hilly. Even the seasoned tri-athletes say so. I was determined not to walk my bike. I guess that's a Cindy taboo. Even though I had biked the route before the race, it seemed to go on forever. On 132nd street I was convinced I was the last...there was no one behind me. There's a nice descent however, back to Houghton Park and I tucked and coasted. Bike split 54:19
T1 better than T2, 2:17
Ahhh...running...beautiful, familiar, sweet...was over much too fast...Run split 27:48.
I can say with conviction, I love the triathlon. It's fun and messy and crazy. And it's made me a stronger runner. TRI it! You will fall in love.

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