On the day of the race we got to the venue early to set up our transition area, check out the course, and use the bathroom. I was so worried about needing to use the bathroom mid-race that I bought a tankini that I could wear to make potential potty breaks less stressful. Just before starting time, they had everyone line up according to their estimated swim time. I had been swimming the 25 yard pool (300 yards total) in about 6 minutes, so I lined up behind the 6 minute sign amid several large men. Dave lined up with the 9 minute folks. Apparently Dave underestimated his swimming abilities and I overestimated mine. Several swimmers passed me and my time in the pool was 7:17. I think that if I would've started further back, I would've gotten a faster time since I wouldn't have had to wait at the wall for others to pass me. Next time I'll know better.
After the swim, I climbed out of the pool, managing to scrape my knee in the process, adding another wound to my colorful array of scabs and bruises. I nearly forgot to put on my shorts during transition and had no idea that putting socks on wet feet would be so difficult. Eventually, my bike and I were on our way.
I knew that the running portion of the race would be the hardest for me, so I made sure to pace myself on the bike. I got passed by a lot of people, but felt like I was riding steadily and not wearing myself out too much. I guess I overestimated the need to pace myself because I came in at 50:54, slower than I expected to be.
I continued pacing myself on the run. The beginning of the run went down switchbacks on the Jordan River Trail. I took them slow because I really didn't want to fall down and hurt myself when I was only 3 miles from the finish. Even though the rest of the run was fairly flat, I was pretty tired by this point. I took lots of walking breaks, but made sure to run into the finish. My run time was 33:51, just about what I expected.
Unfortunately, my family (who was waiting near the finish) didn't realize I had pulled on a shirt over my swim top during my bike/run transition. So they were looking for a black and green top, but I was wearing pink. By the time they realized that I was me (despite my waving at them), it was too late to get any photos of me in action. My total race time was 1:35:54, which was 7th place in my age group.
Swim - 7:17
Transition 1 - 2:44
Bike - 50:54
Transition 2 - 1:08
Run - 33:51
Total - 1:35:54
7th among females 25-29
I was pleasantly surprised that I completed my swim faster than expected–only 5 seconds behind Kristen. This can probably be partially attributed to adrenaline, but mostly because I never stopped at the walls to catch my breath like I typically do in my workouts. Instead, whenever I needed some air I would stand up to "run" in the water for a few seconds. One of the benefits of swimming in a pool as opposed to a lake, I suppose.
Overall the bike portion went pretty well, though I nearly bought the farm at one point, as Doc Brown would say. We were on a rural road, and the edge of the asphalt was raised about 6 inches from the gravely shoulder. As I pressed onward I was kind of spaced out and drifted off the road's edge. I quickly snapped awake as my tires dropped, braking hard and recovering my balance just before going over the handlebars. My time of 46:52 was right about where I expected. The week before the race I swapped the tires on my mountain bike for some slicks, which certainly helped. I'm hoping to invest in a road bike at some point down the line which I hear makes a world of difference.
After all of Kristen's agonizing about having to go to the bathroom during the race, I ended up needing to go for most of my run. I considered finding a discreet bush or tree off the trail, but managed to hold it. By this point of the morning the sun had fully risen and was starting to really beat down on me. I wasn't really in the mindset of holding back during the swim or bike to save myself for the end, so halfway through the run I was pretty spent. It felt like I was moving in slow motion, but I attained my goal of running the whole distance without stopping to walk. My final time of 28:21 was right on target with my training.
Daybreak 5K in 2007 (left). Not only is there a major difference in my physical appearance, but check out the pained expression on my face after struggling to jog/walk the same distance in 40:44 (and that was without swimming or biking first). At least I earned my pained expression in the second photo. My total race time was 1:25:56, also good for 7th in my age group.
300 yard swim - 7:22
Transition 1 - 2:32
11.5 mile bike - 46:52
Transition 2 - 0:49
5K run - 28:21
Total - 1:25:56
7th among males 30-34
Kristen and I both had a great experience preparing for and participating in this event, and have already started thinking about what our next race might be. Of course with all the money we've spent leading up to it (exercise apparel, swim goggles, running shoes, a bike for Kristen, a new wardrobe for me as I've shrunk, and the list goes on), we've invested enough in this active lifestyle that it feels like we need to keep doing triathlons just to get our money's worth.