Swim, Bike, Run, Lounge

I did the Assateague Assault sprint triathlon on Sunday.  A sprint distance, meaning .5mile swim, 13.7mile bike (but this distance can vary), and 3.1mile run.  It was my first tri ever, though I have done plenty of open water swims, and even the swim spot on a tri relay.  But never the full tri itself.

It was awesome!  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.
So my friend Whitney was going to do this tri with me, she even offered that we could stay at her grandma's place on the shore that weekend.  Well, then life happened and with too many important things to take care of, Whitney decided she'd rather do a tri when she had had time to train.  This also wouldn't be her first tri, so she didn't care about the "bucket list" element of the tri.  But, she still offered to come with me, hang out at her grandma's place, cheer me on and document my race for me.  And, that meant she woke up at 5am with me on race day.  She is amazing, I'm so glad she came along- I needed the support :-)  Also, check out that last sentence for the "rules" of the beach house.  Just fyi.
Sunrise as we approach Assateague Island, and transition area with the beautiful sky background.
I got my packet, and started numbering everything, including myself.
Jeez, my not-paying-attention face seems so mean.  I promise I was sleepy and zoned out, not mad about being marked.
After everything was set up, and the time was right, we walked .5miles down the beach, just so that we could swim back .5miles, haha.  Zipping up and ready to go.  How come I kept thinking suit up while doing this?  Anywho.
 I was wave 4 of 6.  They broke it up into ages and genders, but we had quite a small wave.  So I grabbed a spot close to the left, since the buoy was to our left, and who wants to swim or run further than they need to?  So, Whitney and I analyzed the 3 waves before me, seeing who was reaching the buoy first, and how they did it.  We are both swimmers, and used to waves and the like, so we agreed jump over the breakers, dive under the swells.  Despite not hitting the water first, I got out quickly and actually reached the buoy tied with another girl for first.
 I'm the arm, 3rd from the left, out in front.  So with the swells, it was impossible to sight the next buoy or the finishing buoy, so I just kept swimming.  I realized I was out further from shore than I needed to be, but the buoys were so close to shore, there were big swells and even breakers hitting people staying too close to the buoys, so I stayed out and just cruised.  I caught up quickly to the wave of people from wave 3 (each wave had different colored caps), and started to catch up with the next wave as well, when it was time to swim into shore.  I caught a swell in and just steadied myself a bit before running up the beach, over the dunes, and into transition.
I lost some time in transition, but I was so worried about forgetting something.  So i got my wetsuit off, dried off just a bit, then put on everything for biking.  I was afraid of forgetting my timing chip, which I had taken off to get my wetsuit off easier, or forgetting my helmet.  But I got everything together, and was off again!
It was flat, with some cross-winds, but I love flats, I can just keep pushing myself faster.  Biking felt fantastic!  And a .5mile swim really wasn't going to take much out of me, so I was ready to move!

Then Whitney walked up to the bridge I would be biking back over, here is a bird along the way.
As I was coming down the bridge, I knew Whit's silhouette and waved so she knew I was coming!  Then I got scared that I had just waved at some rando, but she put my camera up to her eye and got some smiling pictures of me finishing up my bike!
Also smiling because this was the first girl I was passing, no other girl passed me, so I was feeling quite good!  Yes, plenty of guys passed me, and vice versa.  I didn't feel bad about the guys passing me, because based on their ages, I had passed most of them in the swim already, ha!  Also some of their bikes and wheelsets were ridic.  They paid a lot of money to pass me.

Then running.  Oh dear lord, running.  There's a reason triathletes train bricks.  It's what they call biking, then the feeling of running after.  You feel like you're pounding the pavement hard, but not going anywhere.  Yep, that's how I felt.  I knew to expect the feeling, so I didn't let it get me down, I just kept moving and didn't question the fact that I would be finishing this thing.  I just promised myself I wouldn't stop, so I didn't.

We ran through the Assateague camp grounds, so everyone was cheering from their campsite, and I mean honestly, it's hard to stop running when someone is standing right there cheering your number, so that helped a lot!  I still thought I might puke though as I crossed the finish line...
But I didn't!  I was exhausted though.  Whit tried to tell me things about the other finishers, or something, and I couldn't even process what she was saying.  I just waved at her to stop talking, I got some gatorade and water, paced a bit, and came back to life slowly, haha.  Sorry Whit...

Then she finally was able to tell me she thought I got 4th in my age group, based on girls who looked about my age.  She was absolutely right.  I was 4th out of 9, 10th overall for women, and 58th overall in the tri.  Well, as luck would have it, those top two girls from my age group went top 2 for women overall, so in the spirit of not double-dipping, I ended up being 2nd in the age group, and got a medal! 
Oh yeah, I'm looking glorious.  Jeez.

But more importantly, I felt awesome!  I felt awesome for finishing, and doing well (in my eyes), and mostly because I know I'll do more, which means I had a great time!  Maybe next time I should do more than just train a lot of swimming.  My running/biking training consisted of me running or biking when I felt like it.  Which isn't necessarily all the time...

Whitney, again, you are so amazing for documenting my first tri!  Thank you thank you!

We went back to the house, got me showered, cause I smelled, grabbed bagels for the beach, and lounged for a couple hours there.  I drifted in and out of sleep, while Whit scoped out some girls' hat nearby.  So mission #2 for the day- buy cute hats for the beach.  Don't worry, mission accomplished.  Hers makes her look like such a hot gangsta chick.  Mine is pretty awesome too, it's totally adorable on me.

Here are some clouds above us while I veg'd out on the beach.  Be still like vegetables, lay like broccoli.
 Pink glitter toenails, in the sand.  Love.
 It was an absolute perfect day for a tri, especially my first tri.  It was also a perfect day for lounging on the beach after my first tri.

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