Okay, here goes. Warning: Looooooong post ahead. Get yourself a cup of coffee and a comfortable chair.
I was nervous all freakin' day. I could barely work or do anything. Never pick an evening tri as your first one, that's for sure.
FINALLY it was 5:30 and time to go. After rechecking my bag, we headed up to the lake. I registered and got marked and my swimcap. Dr. Z of course just had to take pictures of my numbers. I arranged and rearranged my transition area a million times, and even remembered to put my bike in the gear I wanted to start in.
Got in the water after the pre-race meeting and did a few quick strokes just to warm up the arms a bit. I also ate some Chomps and hydrated well since it was in the mid-eighties.
I placed myself in the back of the pack since I'm a ridiculously slow swimmer, and the horn sounded. I felt strong and fast...for two or three minutes. Then I couldn't catch my breath. I had gone out way too fast. I panicked and finally ended up holding on to the sweeper kayak for a few minutes. Even when I started swimming again my form was completely gone. The 400 meters took me a redonkulous 15 minutes and also cost me a lot of energy. Amazingly enough I was only the SECOND to last person out of the water.
T1 went fairly well...found out later that it took almost 3 minutes...way too slow. A lot of that was having to tie and double-knot my running shoes. Bike shoes will make that go faster next time.
Bike was pretty good, although not as fast as I hoped - 52 minutes and change. That's when I had to let my original goal of a sub-1:30 finish go. I did, however, pass four people on road bikes while on my heavy-duty mountain bike, some while going UPHILL. Can I mash or what?
T2 went REALLY fast since I didn't have to change shoes - just drop off my bike and helmet.
I was hoping to run an 8:00-8:15 pace, but it was not to be. My legs still had plenty of juice, but my only long training has been paddling and I had no endurance left. My stomach was getting that "Nay, nay not today" feeling it got at mile 12 of the half-marathon last year. I kept it to a 9:00 minute easy pace and just focused on not stopping. I managed to pass another four or five people nonetheless, which was cool.
When I was coming down the homestretch, IronKid (who had finished literally almost half an hour earlier) cheered me on from the lake. I finished in 1:35 and change with a huge grin on my face. That was the most fun I've ever had competiting!
Anyway, I've been fully bitten by the tri bug and can't wait to do it again!