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2012 CSULB Reserve Triathlon Race Report

This past Sunday I did my first Triathlon. I must admit I was really, really, really nervous for the whole entire thing. It was a reverse triathlon with a 5K run, a 12 mile bike, and a 400 meter swim, in that order. I had no idea how it all worked and really just wanted to do one to see if it is something I would possibly want to do again. I didn’t want to go all out when I had no idea what I was doing in the first place. The race takes place not far from our house and B came along which was extra exciting for me :)

I had to go pick up my packet Saturday and the packet pick up was located at a little Tri Shop right around the corner from our house so I picked it up, nothing exciting or special, just a bib and a unisex cotton t-shirt. B could tell I was really nervous all day. I guess I was nervous of the unexpected. It’s so much different than just going out and running for a couple hours. We packed everything up and double checked my bike the night before and then got to bed around 10. He had his friend’s birthday party so we went out for a little bit but came home early and I didn’t drink at all.

Race morning came and I pressed snooze a few times. I didn’t want to get up because that meant one step closer to the start line. Finally I was all ready to go and we traveled over to the Cal State Long Beach pool to set up all my stuff. When I got there I was rather intimidated by all the people already set up and ALL their gear. I mean these people had tons of stuff. I had two gus, my helmet, my towel and my goggles. Since I don’t have clip in shoes for my bike, I didn’t have to worry about changing over my shoes. After we set it all up it was over to the start line where people were starting to congregate.

You can see how nervous I am in this picture and yes, my shoes are pretty much always going to be colored after the Color Run last weekend :)

B took a few pictures throughout the race that I think shows that I just was so scared the entire time. I must admit, it wasn’t as hard as I imagined, and I wasn’t ever tired during the race. I know I didn’t push myself because in my mind I was so scared of what was going to happen next and nervous that I wouldn’t have enough left in me to keep going. Alas, I did at the end and it’s a lesson learned.

We started off with the run. It wasn’t that easy of a 5K, a few small hills, about 8 flights of stairs (???) and some downhill, before I knew it, we were back in the transition area and I was to grab my bike and run out and hop on. This happened pretty quickly. I grabbed half a gu and ate it while I grabbed my bike. There was a big chalk area where we were suppose to get on your bike, so I hopped on and peddled away.

Transitions were pretty easy because I had nothing hard to change into or do so they were both under a minute. To get my bike and run out took me 52 seconds.

I realized I am pretty much terrified of my bike. I just don’t like going fast because it scares me. a LOT. So I peddled hard on the flat sections and braked going down the hills. The first time on the entire bike loop I went SO slow just because I was so scared. The bike loop was not that difficult, there was one giant hill on the backside of the loop, and we just had to do the same loop four times. There were two areas where the hills were fairly steep and I was scared I was going to get too much speed and fly off and crash. I know it sounds stupid but it’s a huge fear of mine, so working on getting more comfortable on the bike is a top priority. Around and around the loop we went four times. I must toot my own horn, I killed it on the large hill there, and went up it without getting off my bike every time.

After four laps we turned back to go into the transition area and got off the bike, ran it over to the rack and totally forgot to take off my shorts and tank top before going over to the pool area, which may be why my transition time was only 35 seconds. At this point I grabbed another gu and took half of it on my way to the pool. Right before jumping in I realized I needed to take of my clothes. So I was totally that person who took of their clothes on the side of the pool, which I didn’t want to be. Fail.

I jumped in, which I HATE jumping into the pool and started swimming. I was a little out of breath but I was okay and told myself to just keep going. I looked down and just swam. I made it to the wall and went under the rope and swam, further and further, until the wall was right there, this was repeated for the next 7 lanes. I just kept going until I would get to the wall. Twice I touched the wall and I popped my head up and B was right there telling me to keep going. I literally at one point yelled HOW MUCH FARTHER because I felt like I was swimming forever. He snapped this GREAT picture of myself…. looking rather happy?

Swim, swim, swim, swim it seemed to take forever, and finally I climbed up the stairs on the side of the pool and across the mats I went for a pretty non celebratory finish. So I was done? I looked around and yup, there I was, all done. The took off the chip on my ankle and off I went. It was pretty sad that it was over like that. I at least wanted a medal to wear around back to the car and add to the collection, alas, no medals for this tiny race.

So after that non-exciting finish… I just felt kind of sad. I knew I could have pushed a lot harder in all aspects of the race. I wasn’t tired, I wasn’t sore, it just wasn’t my best effort and I think that’s because I played some mind games with myself the entire time of how tired I would be and how I had to “save” something for the next part of the race. There are always more races though! So it wasn’t terrible at all, it was pretty actually easy. Nothing was really taxing or hard and I’m really glad I did it, but I guess if I could do it again I would try much harder in all parts of the race.

I didn’t know what to expect going into the race and now I know what I need to work on and how to train for the next one if I decide to do another one. I’m glad I did it and happy with my time.

103   97 Danica        lakewood       CA  26 F   82 26:52    0:52  134   53:18    0:35 11:02  103 1:32:37 F2029

I do think it was a fun experience and would consider doing another one but right now I need to get back into being more on track at the gym and making an effort to be consistent. So kicking off the month of May with consistency on the brain.


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  • Reply Michelle

    I can totally relate to your bike fear!! I biked the bridge in San Fran about 4 years ago (clearly not competitive) but I was so freaked the entire time!! Hah I didn’t want to be too close to anything or have to bike in between anything. And I one hit a pole bc I thought I was going too fast & didn’t know how to slow down! Yeah, biking’s not for me ;)

    Congrats on your completion!!

    May 1, 2012 at 9:43 am
  • Reply April

    Great job on your first tri. I’d love to do a reverse tri. Something to keep in mind for your next one (i learned this the hard way) that the hardest part of any tri is going from running after biking because your legs are super tight from the bike.

    May 1, 2012 at 9:44 am
  • Reply nicole

    Nice work D! I’m mad impressed with your tri!! I’m scared out of my mind of the swimming and would be freaking out just like you!! I’m proud of you sis!

    May 1, 2012 at 10:03 am
  • Reply Kelly

    I’m so proud of you!

    May 1, 2012 at 10:21 am
  • Reply Carrie

    I’m so glad you faced your fears and did this! And I’m so happy you are posting about being terrified of your bike…I’m scared of mine, too and I feel like I’m the only one.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:21 am
  • Reply Christy

    Congrats on finishing your first tri!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:02 am
  • Reply Sandy

    Nicely done! I would have been scared out of my mind so I respect you for being so brave. Trying new things can be fun! Now that you know what to do the second time will be much better.

    May 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm
  • Reply That Pink Girl

    Glad you had fun – congratulations!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm
  • Reply ilovesteaks

    Congratulations! That’s a pretty cute pic of you in the pool! :) I’ve been thinking about training for a 70.3 but I probably want to get Lasik done first.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm
  • Reply kristen

    Triathlons can be SO intimidating. And don’t even get me started on the triathletes them selves. A lot of douches in the sport. I remember I was so freaking nervous for my first one. Good for you for getting out there and getting it done. Kinda an anti climatic finish, but it seems like you got a lot of it anyways. Congratulations.

    and ps. the bike STILL terrifies me. I don’t think I will ever love it. Tolerate it maybe, but not love it.

    May 2, 2012 at 6:06 am
  • Reply Beth

    Good job for facing your fear and moving through the morning!!
    Sorry about the meh finish, I hate that feeling. Isn’t it crazy how a race like…idk..LBM kids race can have such awesome medals for the kids….but a tri’s got nothing for ya? when my 9 yr old did her first 10k, she stood at the finish line looking around waiting for her medal…but there were none. No biggie, but I know that anticlimactic finish feeling is a bummer.

    May 2, 2012 at 6:58 am
  • Reply Missy

    Congratulations Danica! That’s a great accomplishment!

    May 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm
  • Reply Nicholas

    Congrats!!! This is so inspiring to read. It sounds like you did great even though you were nervous. But it was your first afterall, it’s normal to be nervous. And like some of the other comments the swimming scares me too! Thanks for the great post. :D

    May 3, 2012 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Page

    GET IT GIRL!!!!!!! Congrats on your first tri!

    May 3, 2012 at 10:08 am
  • Reply Anna

    Congratulations! I’m terrified of my bike, and I’m not a strong swimmer, but this makes me want to work harder and do one of these! It looks so fun!

    May 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm
  • Reply Colleen

    Good job! That is totally normal to be scare of going to fast on your bike and crashing, I’m sure everyone has felt that! I think you should do a regular tri, the finish will be a lot more fun and climactic running in. Also swimming in open water will make you feel like super woman when you get out! I’ve never done a reverse tri though. I’m glad you had a good experience!

    May 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm
  • Reply danielle

    yay for TRI-ing new things :) i cant see the pics for some reason but im glad you had fun. my first tri was this weekend too but i didnt do it reverse like that, which seems pretty cool. great job :) and i agree, the finish was a bit “meh”, and no medals seriously sucks.

    May 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm
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