And now the race... I arrived early got all set up and felt pretty comfortable. I don't know if it is this way with everyone but even though I consider myself a strong swimmer, the idea of swimming on, under, over and shoulder to shoulder with people is intimidating. We got the usual instructions and I took off in the first wave. Before I knew it, I was out of the water. One of the spectators yelled that I was the 10th female out of the water. Sweet! I wondered at one what point she would stop counting... "you're the 83rd female out of the water...". Not nearly as encouraging.
I ran up the hill to the transition, threw on my shoes and helmet and took off. (I have decided my helmet is too small so it takes a minute to get it positioned on my head where it doesn't hurt... The downside of having a pumpkin shaped head... There is a reason my friends call me pumpkin. I will be getting a new helmet asap). This is where the wheels fall off the race so to speak.
About 1.5 miles in going up a hill, I switch gears and the chain come off. This had happened to me before so I knew I could get it back on easy enough. I guess in the heat of the race I managed to forget my shoes are clipped in. You guessed it, I had the slow motion fall. Nothing you can do but hit the ground with your feet attached to the pedals while the other bikes scurry around you. If I had a unibomber type outfit with me I would have put it on at that point to avoid recognition. Lol. Seriously, the bike is my Achilles heel in the tri. Ugh.
So... For whatever reason, tbd derailer seemed off. All the way to the left and the chain wasn't feeding through it, it just clanked as it went by it. Me, being a total bike noob, figured I can't ride it like this and start making a walk of shame back to the transition area.
Bikes are flying past me, all of my teammates passed me and asked what was wrong as I am walking the bike back to the transition area. About a half mile into my walk of shame, I decide to see again if I can change the gears and maybe ride it out. The thought of walking all the way back to transition and a DNF was not appealing AT ALL. I get on and get the gears going! I did a u turn and got back on the course. I had one minor problem with the chain locking up about a mile down the road but got it going again. At this point, I am having the fastest ride of my life passing people right and left. I caught and passed all but one of my teammates. The last one I passed, who always claims I am a sandbagger, did a double take then yelled out "you know I hate you" as I passed her. Lol. She knows she is my long lost sister :)
It goes without saying that adding a half mile walk and an extra half mile ride to backtrack will not give you a PR. I was just uber excited I finished. Back into T2, tossed on my shoes and headed out on the run. I had trashed my legs a bit on the bike but still feel my run was strong. Despite it all, I was proud to finish and enjoyed myself. I am disappointed that I did not conquer my bike issues like I had hoped but am determined to do that soon! I have a 35 mile ride in July as well as an olympic distance tri in August so I had better get out there and figure it out, right?
After MUCH reflection on it, I don't recall riding bikes with gears all that often as a kid so maybe where I excel in swimming because of my childhood experience, I lack in biking for the same reason. Aren't we supposed to blame all our shortcomings on our upbringing? ;)
Have a good weekend! I have spin class tomorrow, work and two tennis matches over the weekend. Talk to you soon :)