Since I've been training a lot on my own, this was my first chance to put it all together in a race event. It was a short course on familiar training grounds.
Pre-race: This was my first swim in my new wetsuit. Wetsuits may not be allowed at Vineman. It depends on the water temperature. I didn't want to train in a wetsuit and then get slayed if wetsuits were ruled out. I managed to put on my wetsuit in public without too much struggle. I'm a big fan of the plastic bag trick to get it on over the feet. (I learned that from Chris McCormack, Ironman World Champion. If it's good enough for Chris...)
Swim: I stepped into the mushy, low tide shore and sank 6 inches. I spent a few minutes convincing myself to not be grossed out by the oozing mush. My new mantra is, "It's chocolate pudding. They lined the ocean with chocolate pudding."
Then the gun went off and I started swimming and panicking. Big time race jittering panic. Jumpin' junebugs on pogo sticks! Why? I'm a strong swimmer in a buoyant friggin' wetsuit. One of the swim buddies (thanks Tri Clubber!) helped me calm myself. Once I had myself calm, the swim was fine.
Here's what I learned on the swim. I can to do a better job of sighting as I round the buoy.. Also, my shoulders did tire out from the wetsuit. I need to do more swimming in neoprene.
Transition 1: Doh! Timing chip got caught on the wetsuit. Time lost while I unraveled that snag.
Ride: Easy breezy on the pancake flat Silver Strand. No issues.
Transition 2: A smooth grab and go. I'm off to the run.
Run: I got caught up in running with people and over did it on the pace. I need to set some alarms on my Garmin to tell me when I'm going too fast. Otherwise, I get over-eager and run myself out of gas.
Post race: The Tri Club eats like Rock Stars. The post race buffet was: pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, bread pudding, yogurt, granola, berries, bananas, oranges, coffee, juices...did I mention this was a free race? Thanks Tri Club! I took yogurt, granola and fruit, because it would have been really easy to over eat with all that food after a short race.
Overall, a successful, short race. I can do this.