Sunday, May 6, 2012

polar bear triathlon

spoiler alert #1: i survived my first triathlon!
spoiler alert #2: yes, ill be doing another one (not soon...enough). you all can go ahead and collectively say those 3 words you've all been dying to say....

2012 polar bear sprint triathlon recap: the end!
 just kidding. but thats pretty much how it happened... with a whole lotta emotion thrown in there.

i registered for this triathlon in october. OCTOBER. 7 months is a long freaking time... plenty of time to adequately train for a race. maybe sometime ill take my own advice...

friday night i freaked out, regretted my decision to do this race, and then proceeded to (over)pack. and then i wrote everything down that i packed and sent the email to allie (her first tri also). all things running? im your girl. but incase you are ever doing a triathlon, stay clear of any/all advice from me (other than DO it. cuz theyre pretty sweet).

like i said.... overpacked.
(i ended up taking a bunch of stuff out... including post race warm clothes. fail)

in normal type A fashion, i laid the stuff out... but felt like something was missing...

oh yeah. oops (rule #1: dont forget the bike)

i think i saw every hour on the clock and decided to get out of bed sat am before my alarm even went off. i took a shower and braided my hair, made coffee and had to literally force myself to eat two pieces of toast with peanut butter and a banana. ive run close to 100 races in my lifetime but the nerves i had saturday morning were so different. i was worried that i hadnt trained well (fact), and i didnt know what to expect since i had never done a tri before. but i left home, picked up allie (who was also regretting the decision), and off we went.

# of times the phrase "what the fuck were we thinking" was said on the 30 min drive: at least 20.

luckily we had eric and andy who pretend to know what theyre doing to help get our shit together. once we got there eric took us in to get body marked...

thanks jess!

...then helped us learn how to set up our bikes in transition. although i didnt have a lot of stuff in there, i sure wouldnt have known how to set everything all up to make my T's fast. trash bag, towel, sneakers, jacket, gloves, socks, water, gum, gu chomps, helmet, race bib, bike. nothing to it! (still so confused...)

forgot my water of course

transition rule #1: do not sit down. allie got this out of the way pre race.

while setting up i finally met kellie!!! holy bad ass won her age group today
so i gave her cookies :)

and on the 10th try... we got a decent pic before allie headed into the pool :)
yes the arm warmers were necessary despite the zillion degree weather in the pool
also note the super hot big pimpin sweatpants (for you, sara bradley)

allies wave started 1st so we all hung out in the bleachers and watched her and kim kill it in the pool. then we had a lot of time to kill until kellies wave (3), erics wave (4), my wave (7), and andy and jason were in wave 10... so we took goofy pics:

bad ass tri triplets, according to middleagedrunner
my mom and MIL arrived a little before my swim, i freaked out on them approx 4 times and then headed over to get checked in at the pool. i had wanted to be in lane 22 but ended up in 19. i blame this for my terrible swim, obvs. i got all buddy buddy "please dont lose count i do not want to swim any farther than i have to" with my lane girl. she seemed legit.

swim: 525yds 12min
im not a natural born swimmer. i am well aware of this. surprising to many, i know how to do more than the doggy paddle, but not by much. ive been in the pool 9 times this year... clearly not enough. but alas, i didnt drown. i had trained to go "swim swim breathe, swim swim breathe"... which worked for maybe 100yds. after that, i got all discombobulated, felt like my heart was beating out of my chest, lost track of my laps and got worried lane girl would forget our heart to heart and forget to put my pink sign in the water at the right time... i was a hot mental mess. i started taking breaths after every stroke. my legs felt heavy and i knew they were sinking. i knew i was going slow but i just wanted this swim to be done. luckily lane girl remembered the sign and it was on. i gave the last 25 yds all i had. when i got to the wall, i attempted to climb out, successfully looking like a beached whale on the pool deck (i have never EVER practiced climbing out of a pool like that, AND the pool wall was literally 3 or 10 feet above the water. not kidding.) there was a mat that lead out of the pool to the transition area, and i shuffled along trying not to slip/fall (im pretty sure you werent supposed to run inside the pool but i wasnt listening when they went over the rules. oops). to add to the misery fun, the time for your swim includes beached whale inpersonation, shuffle out of the pool, and run down the shoot to the entrance of the transition area. im not certain but i think i swam just under 11 mins. room for improvement x a million.

T1: 1:31
i had a mental plan about what i needed to do/get in transition. but remember the mental mess that started in the pool? that didnt take a hike til i was on the bike. i ran to my bike and started to pull the bike off first thing. then i remembered i needed to put my helmet on, so i replaced the bike and grabbed my number & helmet. i pulled my towel out and tried to dry off my feet (yeah right), struggled with my socks, slipped my feet into my shoes, took a sip of water and headed out. after leaving the transition area i realized i didnt put on the long sleeve jacket i wanted, i didnt grab my gloves, and i didnt take my gu. luckily the sun was starting to come out so i figured i wouldnt be too cold, but i was pissed about not bringing my gloves. i quickly let it go since there was nothing i could do about it now. then i realized i hadnt tied my shoes. OMG I DIDNT TIE MY SHOES. f-ing lovely. i pulled my bike over to the side so no one ran over me and bent down to tie my shoes. bad idea.


bike: 11 miles 38:49 (17mph)
after the shoes were tied, i ran the bike to the mount line and jumped on. i had forgotten (shocking) to put the bike in a good gear so i needed to adjust that, but i was so happy to be done swimming and i had a huge smile on my face. there was a guy riding ahead of me and i knew i could pass him but we had two quick turns right away so i figured i would wait until we were on the first straight away. as we turned off that 2nd corner i told myself it was fucking on, and i took off to pass that guy. i had 15 seconds to get my back tire to his front (i think?) and then he has to slow down (just one of the zillion rules this sport has). after i passed him i saw a group ahead of me and decided they needed to be passed to. seriously, i was thinking i would be passed all day and have to make up time on the run. not today. i felt great on the bike and was so happy i went and previewed the course so i knew where i was and what was coming. at one turn i took it just a little too wide and ended up in the dirt on the side of the road, which was not easy to spin out of... but i successfully kept both wheels on the ground and carried on. when i crested the last hill and saw the last long stretch, i couldnt believe it was almost over. if anything went well today, it was the bike. i felt like i owned that road (which im sure sounds ridiculous to all you fast bikers out there cuz i know i wasnt any sort of lance armstrong or anything) but i really loved it. (uh oh.... ps- so sad when eric took my his bike away after the race)

T2: 0:37
i dismounted at the line, and whooooaaa hello jello legs. i knew this was coming as i have actually trained to run off the bike quite a few times, but its just a funny feeling regardless. i had taken the advice i was given and counted bike racks coming out so i knew just where to put my bike, i grabbed my handheld and took off (almost forgetting to take off my helmet. that would have been cute).

run: 3 miles 25:02 (8:21)
starting the run i began thinking that i had forgotten to do something in transition. i was in and out so fast that i didnt even think straight. but i had my bib, i had water, just f-ing go! the run starts on a field, then heads out into a neighborhood and then in for two loops in the woods. since i didnt have my watch i didnt know a) where i was mile wise (they had a mile 1 sign at a water stop and then nothing til the finish. annoying), and b) what my pace was. i knew i was slower than usual (especially with wet socks/shoes), but i didnt think i was really killing it by any means. i just really wish i had some idea. i was alone for the most part, and then caught up and passed a few people. coming off the 1st loop through the woods you have to run about a quarter mile on the field again... grass running is hard! the wooded trail wasnt too beat up (and wasnt as muddy as it had been earlier in the day according to allie) so i didnt mind that. after the 2nd loop, i took a left turn and headed towards the field. there was a guy in front of me and i knew i needed to pass him. i saw my family and friends lined up along the finish and i took off sprinting to the end.


sad note: no medals.

im pretty sure i have yet to wipe that smile off my face. i knew i could do it but of course i was still so nervous. regardless of the fact that its half the distance and time of a marathon, this was no joke. im not as sore today as i had expected. i had a GREAT time, surpassed my original goal by a long shot, but i know i couldnt have done it without all the support from my friends and family. THANK YOU ALL!!

i then proceeded to drink way too many bud lights.
 the end, for real. until the professional pics come out.


can i wear this tattoo for a few more days?

official stats:

pretty pumped about 5th in age group (missed 4th by 3 tenths of a second- she was 1:17:57.4)
also happy with 39th female


sooooooo, whats next?

 dont worry, i wont go thiiiiiiiis far....

but ... just maybe i will go this far:


  1. Congrats!! And, I went to Bowdoin and loved all of these pics of the field house. These are the days I wish I still lived in Maine :)

    1. yay! i love bowdoin now haha. ironic, i was literally reading your blog post when the email came through that you commented on here. great job on your race too!!!

  2. So proud of you!!!! Way to go.

  3. Hell to the ya!!!! You definitely earned that beer and any forthcoming cookies :)I saw the getting hooked coming from 700 miles away!

    1. apparently i also earned two bags of potato chips :) thaaaaaank youuuuuu

    2. Hehe :) I guess so..and maybe some cookies in a week!!!

  4. Replies
    1. thanks christy! i had a really great time :)

  5. Nice job kid! Suzie says she misses you too!

    1. poor suzie, i just used her and ditched her just like that. i might have to hang out with her just a few more times ok? ;) if i havent said it enough, THANK YOU.

  6. awesome! bitchin, woman, you kick ass. let's talk 70.3.

  7. Congratulations!! I knew you would want to do another one :)

  8. Crazy, crazy woman!!! Great job there lady and way to rock out in those big pimpin sweats. You tri triplets are ALL off the tracks with your displays of athletic prowess. I bow to your greatness, I am not worthy....!

  9. nice job danielle! great recap. races get easier each time you do one! had to comment after seeing your last photo..... yeah, that as been my computer desk top screen all winter!! it would look better on you then me!


  10. Congratulations! I love the long dress-it's really pretty!

  11. Congratulations!!! I love how HAPPY you look in all your pics - triathlon is FUN!
    You did a great job and can't wait to see what race you do next!