Posts Tagged ‘year of 30’

Tri me!

5 years ago I bought white lightning, my road bike (see post here).  This was the beginning of my tri aspirations.  I started biking but the clips thing wasn’t coming easy and after one bad fall that year (my knee still holds a nice scar), the bike went on hiatus.  It sat around my apartment like a piece of furniture – frankly an expensive piece of furniture taking up a lot of space!  Finally, last year after moving to Brooklyn I decided to take her out on expeditions to work – I “forgot” about the falls I had from clip problems.  Suddenly, clips were no issue.  I wish I could tell you what happened but I can’t – I guess I just stopped thinking about it and just rode?  As the temperatures started to fall last year, I saw the Philly Tri opened up for registration on November 1.  Knowing my previous successes in Philly, I decided this would be my first venture in tris.  I wasn’t quite ready to jump into an Olympic tri but a sprint?  Why the heck not? [note: this was before I knew the ESB run up and Pikes were in my future!]  This is after all: the year of 30.  Don’t ask me why but it certainly has turned into quite the year.

So the tri…Friday night I headed into Philly with my dad to pick up my packet for the race (not before getting my bike tire changed at the bike shop – that’s a whole story in itself!).  I had no clue what I was doing so this whole tri thing?  I was like the new marathon runner joining a club!  When I got there, I picked up my packet with a swim cap and two numbers with a chip that looked more like a tracking device on your ankle (wtf?).  After a couple of minutes of the volunteer giving me instructions, I knew what to do:)  Hey, better to know then screw it up!

Saturday morning.  4:45am wake-up and with my bag packed (my dad had a tri  bag which worked wonders!), we loaded the bike onto a rack on the car.  We arrived in Philly and headed to transition.  I got my body marked (first time seeing 30! Eek!) and said to my dad I’d see him at the finish line.  As I arrived in transition, I pretended I knew what the heck I was doing (thanks to youtube and many of you out there I did!).   I mounted my bike, set my helmet on my handle bars, shoes on the towel, etc.  I tried to make it as thoughtless as possible.  Since the water was 84 degrees, wetsuits were banned which made for one less obstacle to deal with!  Well that and realizing holy crap, I have to swim in the river without a wetsuit?  There goes my bit of extra confidence.  That changed to “well one less thing to deal with in transition.”  I went with a bathing suit and tri shorts – figured I wouldn’t want to deal with those after being in the water.

White lightning in transition with my hot orange shoes

A few waves started ahead of me before they called the F30-34 age group into the water.  Eep.  This was it.  They had us tread water for a few minutes so rather than waste energy I rested on my back and tried to keep from unnecessary arm movements.  The countdown came 10,9…2,1 and *poof* we were off.  Immediately I just tried to get comfortable and stay calm.  I knew this was my Achilles heel today – no need to stress out.  I figured I’d come in somewhere around 25 minutes for .6 miles with a part fighting the current (looking at the times that would put me right in the middle or a bit lower).  As I started swimming I got comfortable pretty quickly and found myself under the bridge – and around getting ready to head back.  This is where I took my scenic tour a bit and got off course.  Unfortunately getting zoned out works against you in the water as all of a sudden I realized “crap, no one is hitting me and I feel alone.” I look up and YIKES!  I’m no where near the rest of the swimmers – the path curved slightly and while I was swimming straight…not where I was supposed to be!  I quickly veer back and make it back to shore (probably adding an extra .1 on to the swim).  I almost wanted to kiss the ground but that would have wasted valuable transition time.

Transition…in.  Change into my shoes and grab my bike/helmet and off we go!  The bike course was 2 loops but had some challenging tight turns and a couple of decent hills.  I felt GREAT!  It was a blast to roar down the hills and cycle my way around Fairmont Park!  I did notice bikes with probably a wheel costing more than my bike passing me.  Other than that, I didn’t feel like I was getting passed by normal tri people.  If anything I was passing people left and right.  I’d check out the right calf and it was especially satisfying to pass those in my age group:)  Considering I probably finished in the bottom third in the swim there was a lot of ground to make up!  I spotted my friend Andrew running along and yelled out to him.  I was having an absolute blast out there – maxing out at 27mph!  Before I knew it, it was time to pull into transition and lace up the running shoes.

By now, it was blazing hot.  The run was flat but the sun was relentless.  I started running – had no idea how fast I was going but all of a sudden I was passing people like they were standing still.  It was crazy!!  I started noticing right calves with ages 30-34 everywhere.  At one point I remember seeing a girl who was a good couple minutes ahead of me but all of a sudden?  I was passing her!  What a rush!  As I came to the finish line, I hear “and here comes Bridges Runner from Brooklyn, NY.”  With a big ass smile and a thumbs up I crossed the finish line.  Final time? 1:54:49.  Time didn’t matter as my only goal today was cross with a big smile and enjoy every minute of the experience.  Mission accomplished.

Next question you have?  When’s the next one? Not this year…too many other items on the plate plus I want to continue improving my swim.  Next year depending on how the swim goes I would like to plan on an Olympic at a minimum.  Too much time to think about that…

For now that’s another item to cross off on the year of 30.  What’s next? Oh you know.  That little race 4 days after the big 3-0.  The race-that-shall-not-be-named…  GAME ON!

My first race as a "30 year old"

Pictures coming soon from the race…I’m sure those could be entertaining;)

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