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First Triathlon Story - Another Success Story!

Ashley HolmbergHi all! I am a triatha-newbie. I just completed my first sprint Triathlon in Buffalo, MN on June 3, 2012. Here’s how it went..

Swim: 10:00

I was insanely nervous going into the swim leg. I knew if I could get through this, the bike and run would be a “cake walk” – ha! I have had no formal swim training and knew that it was my weak spot. This triathlon is early in the season, which means (being from MN) I had very little opportunity to train in open water beforehand (brrrrr….). My only open water swims had taken place the week before, and I realized that it is an entirely different animal than doing laps in the gym pool. Moreover, I had heard many horror stories about the group start. I ran into an old friend about 60 seconds before the start of our wave. He reminded me that “you’re doing this for fun!”, which calmed me down quite a bit. When the gun went off, I did my best to stay off to the side so as not to get a foot to the chin. Needless to say, the swim was the toughest part. Although I was completely exhausted coming out of the water, I am fairly happy with my 10:00 time. I ran up the hill to T1 and my wetsuit slid off much easier than expected.

T1: 3:10

Wetsuit off – check. My feet were soaking wet and covered in grass (I didn’t bring a bucket to wash them off). It took a bit longer than I had planned to slip my wet feet into tight running socks. Next came the bike shoes, sunglasses, helmet, and I’m off running to the mount line.

Bike: 42.36

Click in and take off. It was an incredibly beautiful day – 75 and sunny. The 13.5 mile ride took us through some nice rolling hills. There were volunteers at each mile cheering us on. Overall, I had a fairly smooth ride, averaging about 18mph. It was fairly uneventful but for the end – as I rolled into the dismount line, I clicked out and got nailed by another biker as I was getting off. Somehow I managed to stay upright but he flew off his bike and must have scraped himself up pretty badly. I think he was just coming in too hot and didn’t hit the brakes in time. Our bikes were stuck together, and we managed to dislodge them after about 10-15 seconds. Onto T2.

T2: 1:46

My legs felt like lead as I ran my bike through the transition area. C’mon quads – you’re not done yet!! I managed a fairly quick transition, hanging up my bike and switching out my shoes. I took a couple of quick swigs of electrolyte mix and ½ a chocolate Gu packet, grabbed my ipod and ran off.

Run: 26:54

Running through the transition area, I strap my ipod to my arm and hit play. Let’s do this thing. I get out on the course, which leads around Buffalo lake. What a beautiful place to run. Halfway through the first song on my playlist, my ipod quit working. NOOOOO! I am very dependent on having my music when I run (I know, I should get used to going without). So the whole run I kept trying to hit play with no success. The darn thing sure picked a terrible time to bite the dust. So I started singing Ke$ha in my head to keep myself entertained. On the way back into the finish, it felt so great to hear all of the cheers from spectators. I pushed it across the finish line for an overall time of 1:24:23.

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