Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ron Jon Cocoa Beach Triathlon
April 22, 2012

Dawn and I drove over to Cocoa Beach very early Sunday morning. We had picked up our packets the day before (1.5 hours of waiting in line!!), so we didn’t have to worry about that race morning. We got our bikes and gear set up before heading over to check out were we would be swimming. The water didn’t look too bad, considering how windy it was. A storm had moved through Saturday during the day and evening, but left the wind behind for us. We learned that the swim was now “wetsuit legal” since the temperature of the water had cooled down. Didn’t factor into our plans much as we didn’t have any wetsuits! We did learn, from chatting with others, that wearing a wetsuit helps keep you buoyant, which helps you swim better. I might have to invest in one if I keep up doing these triathlons. J

Swim (quarter mile): We got started just after 7:30 am. The race was delayed by half an hour to make sure the earlier storms and lightning had a chance to be well away from us. Dawn and I started in the 4th wave. The water felt pretty good considering it was supposed to be cold. We stood in the waist deep water for a few minutes before we heard the “Go” shouted. I ran a few steps in the water before putting on my nose plug. Unfortunately, my nose plug broke as I went to put it on! Not a good start. I have a problem swimming without it. I had water running down my nose and throat within minutes. I stopped trying to freestyle swim and went with a breast stroke for a few minutes. Soon I was near one of the volunteers on his paddle board. He asked if I needed to grab on and rest, so I did. I told him what was going on. He told me I need to exhale through my nose while in the water and that should help. I let most of the next wave of swimmers pass by me before getting back to the swim. I made a wide turn around the buoy so that I wouldn’t get hit by the other swimmers. Half way done! I used all methods of swimming to get myself back to the shore. As I was finishing, I had women from two waves after mine, swimming by me! I climbed out of the water and ran towards the transition. Race organizers had set up a plastic baby pool with water, for us to run through, so I did that before running to my bike. I dried off my face, put on my sunglasses and top, then went to put on socks and shoes. At this point I noticed the bottom of my foot was bleeding. Not much I could do about it, so I put on my socks and shoes, grabbed my bike and headed out of the transition. Swim- 16:03 (ouch! Almost twice as long as it should have been) Transition 1 – 1:57.

Bike (12.5 miles): I headed out on my bike and within minutes I saw Dawn up ahead. She should have been much further ahead, since she is such a good swimmer. When I caught up to her, she told me she had had a problem with her bike, which took about 8 minutes to fix. She was feeling pretty mad about it. I told her I would see her later before passing and riding along. Once we turned south, we were riding into very strong winds. It was pretty rough going for the next 5.5 miles until the turn around. We were riding on a two lane, one way road, were we had the right side to ourselves. I managed to pass a few people, but for the most part, I was passed by people on their fancy tri bikes. Once we hit the turnaround, I was able to get some speed going. It felt awesome! Soon enough, I was making the turn to the left that would bring us back to the transition. That last mile was rough. The winds were pretty strong here too. I had to change gears again and just keep peddling. On the last little stretch of the ride, we shared the road with the runners. There were people already running into the finish before I had even finished my bike! I was so happy to get my bike back on the rack! I changed out my helmet for a visor, pulled on my skirt cover-up and grabbed my water bottle, before heading out of the transition. Bike – 44:12. Transition 2 – 0:54.

Back of the event shirt.
Run (5k): It took my legs a couple of minutes to feel normal after the bike, but once we hit the entrance to the golf course, I was feeling good. We ran a good portion of the 5K on the paved sidewalks of the golf course. I started passing other runners right away. I could tell from the number on the back of their legs, which swim wave they had started in. It felt really good to catch up to, and pass, people who had passed me in the swim and bike. I felt really strong the entire run.  About 2 miles into the run, we exited the golf course, turned left and ran through the neighborhood next to the golf course. After passing the last water stop, I heard a volunteer say we had about 1.25 miles to go. I was so happy to hear it! I ran the last quarter mile strong, passing a couple of guys just before the finish line. J Run - 26:28.

Finish – 1:29:36. Good enough for 2nd in age group (first timers). There were a lot of first timers. I finished 34th overall in first timers. Which was right in the middle of 68 first timers for this race. J
I am so happy to have completed my first triathlon! I look forward to doing another one next month. 

Me and Dawn after the race!

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