Thursday, July 5, 2012

Race Recap: Mighty Wolf Triathlon

A few months ago I had the brilliant idea to sign up for a triathlon. I figured how hard can this be, I've completed a half marathon, love biking and enjoy being in the water. I'd been cross training like crazy thanks to my injury and I had spent many hours on the stationary bike, many laps were swum and Jillian Michaels was helping to strengthen my week glutes kicking my ass into shape.

There were two sprint distance races I was interested in so I decided why not go for broke and sign up for both!! The first was this past Saturday and was the longer distance of the two. Oh yeah, did I mention that I got sick the prior Thursday with this horrible summer cold that is going around. Since my car does not work with 95% of the bike racks, I had to borrow my future mother-in-law's vehicle in order to get the road bike there, which is also hers that I am borrowing. I had to take my nightly dose of NyQuil around 8pm on Friday so I could actually sleep and have it out of my system in the morning to wake up at 5:45am. Yep, the lovely cough was still there and I began hacking up chunks of mucus all the way through to basically the start.

After getting everything loaded in my vehicle, I went over to switch vehicles for the morning and my journey there began. It was a very peaceful journey and I just told myself to get through the race. Don't freak out in the water and you should be golden from there. There was a youth race with this one and that started at 8:15am, while this was all cute to see, we all had to wait around until 9 as it got hotter before our races began. There were 2 distances for the adults, short and long, and I was doing the long.

I did not fuel well prior to the race, I had my usual pre-run food of 1 slice of peanut butter toast on wheat bread and I was starving well before the race started thanks to eating about 3 hours prior to the start.. Thankfully Kim brought me a banana and I mowed half of that down about 30 minutes before the race. Here are a few pictures of me trying not to show how nervous I am!

I'm the one in the pink cap

I was freaking out because I was in WAVE 1...WHAT, SERIOUSLY? WTF?? I was trying to figure out what the heck I needed to do since I couldn't just watch the first group and figure it out. Note for next year, don't sign up early if you don't want to be in the first group. I was glad to just get out there and start and not get nervous watching the others swim. The race did start at 9am and it was probably at least 80 degrees at this point anyways.

SWIM: 400 yards
The gun went off and I started walking further into the water and I started to swim. I've done a few open water swims and lakes don't freak me out so the mushy sand wasn't grossing me out. But when I got about 150 yards in and had weeds tangled around my legs and my neck and had clumps right in front of me, I started freaking out a bit. I stayed as calm as I could and began to try and free my legs all while continuing to swim. Needless to say I breast stroked about 70% of the rest of the way so I could keep pushing the clumps of weeds out of my face. And yes, swimming through clumps of weed will leave clumps in your top!

I was thankful to be out of the water and running towards transition, first through the sand and then through the grass, all the while hearing my tumming sloshing around with no food. Idiot me from being a newbie here didn't realize that you couldn't just run into the transition from the pool, they made you run all the way along the side and enter it from the back...UGH. At least I didn't have to go far to get my bike out and start on that, plus side is no weird awkard run with the bike.
I think this one is officially my fav of the day!

I'm spraying my feet off before putting my shoes on here, look to the left of the guy that can't find his bike!!

BIKE: 15 miles
So off I go to begin my journey through the touted fairly flat course on the country roads. I was getting slightly nauseous from looking down at the road and going fast with no food in my belly but I was trying to hold off eating my Peanut Butter GU until 5 miles in on the bike so it would last me the rest of the race. I was getting passed quickly thanks to all the super speedy bikers with there VERY expensive bikes and aerodynamic wheels. 2 miles in a guy was walking his bike back on the side of the road and I just had to focus myself and just push myself to finish. I was starting to get into the groove and I was finally able to eat my GU! I started really feeling comfortable, other than the headache that was starting to begin and pushed the pace and upped my resistance. I started pushing out some 3:35 minute miles on the bike. I was totally turned around at points in the course and really couldn't figure out where I was, SOOO thankful for the volunteers at each corner telling me where to go.

I made it back to transition and needed to dump the bike and grab my fuel belt, I put it in a mini cooler with ice and was thankful for the cool feeling on my waist as I began to run out of transition.

RUN: 3.1 miles
So the first (and last) part of the run was around the pool and REALLY UNEVEN grass, with my IT band hurting for the week prior to this race, it was screaming at me at this point and here is the god awful picture showing it on my face!!

Everyone needs one of these pics, right?!

So I decided to walk it so I could catch my breath and not fall flat on my face with an injury. My goal was just to finish and was not about time. Once I was able to get back on the road I started to run, and then find myself completely out of breath in a few minutes. So the run/walk continued for the next 0.5 miles and I felt like I was towards the back of the pack and really needed to dig deep.

I tried to stretch out my running portions and shorten the walking and put my eyes on the 2 girls ahead of me. Then I saw a sprinkler ahead...I picked up the pace and RAN to the sprinkler, thank you to that wonderful spectator neighbor for the fuel I needed. There was one other girl ahead of them that I saw at the halfway turnaround and she looked really strong.  I began to really push it and before I knew it I passed the 2 girls ahead of me before I even made it back to the sprinkler. Kept on going and passed the lady that was still looking strong about a half mile up the road and I would not let myself stop for the last .75 miles. I was going to run it in at this point and would end up running the last 1.25 miles. I just put one foot in front of the other on the final grass section home and grinned through the pain as I knew it was almost over.

I FINISHED!!!! I am officially a TRIATHLETE and so proud of it!

Overall   Sex   Age   Time
136         57    15    1:41:59  

There were only 147 that did this course so I did not finish last! At the end I was happy to be done and see my dad there waiting for me at the finish.

Also eating the other half of the banana

I've been on a high ever since and have totally slacked with the holdiay this week and the ridiculous heat wave. Seriously it's been 90 degrees for several days and the lows aren't even in the 70s. In WI it NEVER gets like this, and if it does it usually only last a day or two. So I've got to get my booty in gear as triathlon #2 is only 2 weeks away.

After digesting everything that went on race day and not feeling 100% I've learned alot about myself mentally and physically. I am excited to continue this journey and see how I fare in the next now that I know what I've signed myself up for. This one is a little shorter being a 200 yd swim, 11.2 mile bike and 2 mile run.

This is by far the hardest thing I have EVER DONE!! I feel that tackling the marathon will be a cake walk, ok well probably not but after handling this, at least I only have to worry about keeping my feet on the ground and it also won't take an entire bag full of gear! My wallet may thank you later marathon. That will be tackled next year at this point and probably another triathlon next year to keep me cross training like a good little girl.

Would you ever tackle a triathlon?


  1. Yay Lish! Great job! I have been waiting to hear about this!!!

  2. Way to go Lish! You are a triathlete now! Woo hoo!

    Also, I have no idea how you didn't freak out getting clumps in your top and having those weeds wrapped around you. I couldn't do it!

    1. I would have looked like that crazy girl who can't handle a little bit of gross. Being in the first wave I was trying to fake it til I make it!


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