Monday, August 01, 2011

My first tri!

Swim, bike run? Yes, please!

This weekends Ohio Tri for the Cure race was so freakin fun. I mean it was like this fun experience of pushing yourself and seeing how training pays off!
I just really learned how to swim right about 4-5 weeks ago so this was a stretch for me. Can I say how much I have learned to love swimming? And how much better of a runner it has made me? I can def. tell it has helped with my breathing.

Anyways, I got up around 4:50 am on Saturday morning to leave for the race. I had half a bagel from Panera and a cup or two of coffee. My clothes were all laid out so I just packed them up and put them on and headed out. That early morning was killa!

With my bike loaded on the back, I headed to Alum Beach. The traffic was non-existent and when I arrived at the beach for the race, it was a beautiful morning. The sun was rising over the water and it was just peaceful and serene.

I went to the transition area and got my place set up. I put my bike helmet on my bike seat and my sunglasses in the helmet. I opened a GU and put it in the helmet for after the swim. Then I went over and got my first markings and chip to put around my left ankle. They told us to put it around our left ankle so it wouldn't get in the bike chain.

After that I went to the bathroom one more time and then headed to the beach. Right before I was ready to go in I saw mom and Kelly and then Brandon and the girls.

I was really glad I had signed up for a smaller swim distance. I have read so many times about open water panic and thought that if it happened I didn't want to be stuck.

They had us line up by our estimated swim time and I lined up somewhere in the middle. The first ladies to go were amazingly fast.

My goggles were fogging up so I licked them. Casey was standing beside me and she was 16 weeks pregnant. She was only doing the swim portion of the race.

At last our time came to line up by the timing mat that started the race. When we were given the go ahead, we went running into the water and then started swimming.

I have swam in Alum at least 3 times before this -- I had done laps 2-3 times at the pool per week for 5 weeks--but I still got that race panic. I wasn't able to get full breaths because I was so worried about being passed or about not going fast enough. I started panicking and wasn't even able to go underwater for longer than 2 seconds.

Finally I just told myself to relax and to "enjoy this part you have worked so hard for this" and I could start taking full breaths. The nice thing about this race is that it's in waist/chest deep water so you can stand if you need to. I got my stride about halfway through and was able to stop doing the breaststroke and do more freestyle.

I rushed from the swim to transition one and put my feet in the water bath they had to wipe the sand off your feet. Running to the bike my legs were tired and I felt like I was running through mud. I got my helmet, shoes on and put the GU in my mouth and started walking my bike to the transition end. I got on the bike and started pushing it out of the park and around the 7 mile course. In the first half mile, my shoelaces got stuck in the chain and pedal -- now I know why bikers have bike shoes. And Brandon let me ride his road bike, which was amazing. Amazing. I felt like I was in the Tour. I got down for the downhill parts and tried to climb on the hills. I passed maybe 20-30 people! Biking and running are my favorite parts of the race and I would actually have wanted to do longer distances except for my swimming.

I could tell my days of spinning had helped. Really -- it translated to road biking -- and my endurance was great going up this big hill. I passed like 6 people going up it. Maybe the magic powers of the bike? I told Brandon I need a road bike next year.

The only thing that probably slowed me down was my shoelace (2 minutes to tie up, stop, regain speed). And my weird thing of passing people - in tri races you have to pass within 15 seconds, pass on left, and make sure when you pass that you get back to the far right. I felt bad passing people! I would say, "Great job!" "Thank you" and I need to be not afraid of passing people, while saying great job. I have to race for the race -- not worry about other people's feelings. I mean what guy does that?

After I got back from the bike to the transition area, I got my bib number pinned on and running Nike hat on and BOOKED it. I wanted to have a really fast T2 time to make up for my slow swim time. I knew I could make up some time if I was smart.

I started running and felt like I was running through mud. Like Ali said you feel so weird after running off the bike. I thought to myself I should have done more bricks (double workouts) even though I had done at least two a week. I felt like I was running 9-10 minute miles when I had wanted to run at least an 8:30 mile.

The course was on a sidewalk and then through wet, muddy grass and then back to the sidewalk. I got water at the end of mile one and stopped for three seconds and then booked it back. I passed a couple people with my age division and by some really fast women in their 50s (hello, i want to be you ladies!) and then headed to the finish line.

It was around 50 minutes, I was hot, tired and huffing.

I finished thinking -- probably did that in an hour or so. I had a goal of 55 minutes for the race, and hour for my second goal.

My family was there afterwards and I loved seeing them. It was such a blur for almost and hour that I just wanted to collapse. Ironman for 14-plus hours? How do they do it?

(That is my new bucket list goal by the way. :) )

We had a great post-breakfast with Brandon and the girls. They had a singer there and we ate bagels (the guy asked me if I wanted a half or whole bagel and I thought, "This is def. a girl's event." Where else would they ask you if you wanted to have a whole or half bagel?

Can I say how excited I was with my running time -- 14:06 for two miles! 7:03 per mile. Whoohoo! I got 17th place for running out of 200! And 33rd place overall. In my age division I got 7th place.

Swimming could use some help - but that comes in time. Sans water panic will help lower my time. And the biking will be fun to train for -- Brandon and I love to ride together. I did about 14.5 mph, which is slower than I usually do. There was a pretty big hill at the end though.
Age name bib swim time t1 bik T2 run ov. run


Erin Shmidt












Erin Shmidt, 33
Bib 15
Swim, 07:21 (125 overall, 26 age group)
T1 1:32
Bike, 28:38, (58 overall, 10 age group)
T2 00:50!
Run, 14:06! (17 overall, 3 age group)

I can tell that training really does help! And the swim, bike portion helps you run faster.

There were a lot of really fast women. Amazing how people that look really fast sometimes are not and you look at other women and think they aren't fast and they kill it. Can't judge a book by it's cover for sure. One thing that I took away from this was how many women were moms and how the dads and kids and extended family would come out to support them. It's okay to want more than staying at home and taking care of your family. It's okay to be a great role model of fitness for your kids.

If you want to push yourself and go for something, go for it!

The last lady came running in at 1:30 minutes and all of the remaining ladies stood up and clapped for her. It was this moment of complete support and honestly, I had tears in my eyes. She was the last person, but she was putting all of her heart into the race. I thought, that's strength. Finishing and finishing strong.

How many times do we fail to do something because we are afraid of being last or doing poorly?

How many times do we miss that moment of bliss because we want to have a perfect performance? Next time you are afraid --- just go for it!


christina said...


Ali said...

Your run time is AMAZING. Boston qualifier?!! You could totally do it.
The only thing I disagree with you on is that I think it is great that you cheered people on as you passed them. I have done a handful of sprint tris, and I am usually at the very end of the pack. It's nice to hear those words of encouragement when so often I felt like, "is anyone even going to be left when I cross the finish line?" Not to mention, individual sports lose a lot of that team camaraderie, so it's nice to hear people cheering each other on, even among competitors.

Erin said...

Ali, thank you for saying that because Brandon thought i was crazy asking people how their swim was on the bike -- there was a lot of women there with lots of support. Just no one talked on the bike, which I thought was weird. I have read other places where people talk or say good job!

And, I think it's awesome you have done so many tris.

Erin said...

Thanks Christina! Have you gone to that one pond yet? Ha. ha. I bet Crystal Lake is a lot better experience.

Erin said...

Ali - also, I just read it again and it wasn't what I meant --not be afraid to pass people because of the rules, etc...I guess that comes with practice?

Jess said...

So proud of you friend!! Wish I could have been there to see you kicking booty!!!