A few months ago, I found this website for a “beginners” triathlon called the “Girls Tri Too.” They have this super snappy pink website that is just bursting with all sorts of positive talk like this:
If you can walk or run a 5k, you can complete a Girls Tri Too Triathlon event. With swim courses in waist deep water and beginner friendly bike & run courses EVERY WOMEN has the opportunity to become an official finisher. I look forward to greeting you at the finish line.
Not that I had been looking to do a triathlon or anything. It just looked so convincing (and easy). I mean, I can do a 5k, I can even do a 10k. So why couldn’t I do a mini Tri. Well, besides the fact that I don’t have a road bike and I haven’t swam in about 15 years.
However, my friend Charlotte thought it sounded like a fun time too, so we started training. We had no (and I mean no) idea what we were doing but we figured that since it was meant for beginners, we could do it, after all, we cruise through 5ks right? Plus the website said:
Yes, one-speed, two-speed or 10-speed, as long as it has two wheels and you pedal it you can use it in the race.
We have been training by doing mock mini Tris at the our gym. Which included mostly doing the bike and swim indoors and our run outside. We also had this idea that the event was just women and just for beginners.
Imagine our surprise when we arrived at the event location yesterday and kept seeing all these very professional looking bikes, riders and MEN! When we arrived to pick up our they asked us “which race” we were participating in. WHICH RACE? I think Char and I were both about to pass out. That is when we realized that the Girls Tri Too was one of 5 races on the same day. AND it wasn’t all women, well our race was, but the other 500 participants were co-ed.
I am not going to lie, it was very intimidating. Here we are with our regular old bikes, helmets and swim suits. We don’t have the first clue what we are supposed to do. We thought we were going to be with this intimate group of women all of a sudden we are thrown into this huge mix of professional triathletes. The only saving grace was they offered a “course preview and questions” the night before. I am so glad that we went to that because we met two of the women (and a nice guy) who work for HFP racing who gave us all sorts of advice about the race and transition area.
We woke up bright and early, had a peanut butter and banana sandwich and rolled our bikes down to the transition area. It was awkward at best. We found our spots, popped our bikes up on the racks, laid our stuff down and stripped into our bathing suits. No fancy Tri suits for us and no flip flops. Who knew I should have brought flips flops? (Tip #1 to those going to your first Tri, bring flip flops for the transition area.) We were our shirts down to the beach (call us modest or embarrassed) and stripped down as we touched the sand. Then stood in line with another 80 women, in 50 degree temps, just waiting to head two by two into the water.
|Getting Ready to Start|
Then off we went! We swam. We ran up a zillion stairs to the transition area, where we wiggled our wet bodies into our clothes, jumped on our bikes and headed out. (Tip #2: Make sure you use special bike laces or at the very least double tie your laces.) We made our way around a beautiful 7.4 miles of corn and soy fields and back into the transition area. Then we tossed our bikes up on the racks and headed out for our run. I tried to have a little talk with my legs because suddenly they forgot how to run. It went something like this:
Come on legs, you can do this, it’s only 2 miles and you are good at running. It’s not even 4 or 6 or 10 miles. Just 2 little miles and we will be done.
All the while my brain was thinking this (which is probably why my legs were so confused):
Just 2 miles? That is 26 minutes and that is almost 30 minutes. How the heck can I possible go 30 more minutes, up hill, in the grass. Where is the water, I need water. And I am wet, and hot and wow look at that bike go. I wonder what time it is. I wish I had remembered my watch. Shoot what were the lyrics to that song again?
Once we finally scored some water, I made Charlotte sing worship songs with me (or actually try to come up with some that we knew more than 4 words to) Which was fruitless yet funny. (Tip #3: Memorize some songs or a mantra or something because the USTA says that you can’t use headphones.)
The next thing you know, we are at the 1 mile turn around, headed home and each step is feeling closer to the finish line. We round the corner, hear the announcers. I see my kids sweet faces and hear their “go mommies” as the follow along the fences! A big smile on my way across the finish line and the Girls Tri Too is in the history books.
|Overall Place: 52, Total Time: 1:11:07|
We are doing it all again in July. Another Girls Tri Too event. This one is women only and we will definitely be more prepared than we were today. I really enjoyed the challenge of the multi-sport event and I am looking forward to beating my time in July. Plus I am thinking that a road bike might be in my future. So if there are any companies out there, looking to give this random mom runner a bike, let me know. (that was just a joke, companies like this aren’t looking for moms, but they should be ;).
Let me leave you with the beautiful tech shirts that we were given as part of our registration. Lovely huh?