Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Esprit De She Triathlon Recap

My double race weekend continues. I did the Esprit De She Triathlon on Sunday following the half marathon on Saturday. How'd this race go??

Esprit De She Triathlon

On Saturday after the half marathon, I headed to Naperville with Carol. We picked up our packets and perused the booths, entered many giveaways, and got free Panera muffins from someone raffling a bike with a cool paint job (thank you because I was starving!). I ended up purchasing an Esprit De She visor that I thought would be good to wear for the race the next day (because it's always good to wear new things for a race, right?). This race swag comes with a great Moxie cycling tank that I am going to love to wear.
Carol and I showing our "guns"...or my lack thereof.
The following morning, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. again (ugh) to get ready for the tri. Derek was coming to support me (it's an all women triathlon) and we were picking up Carol. We got down to the race and set up our spots in transition. I was feeling incredibly nervous and had weird dreams all night about the triathlon. My wave wasn't supposed to start for an hour so I went out by Derek. I realized I forgot something in transition (they were closing it), so I ran back in to get it. When I came back out, Derek asked me why I had my visor. Um... Uh... crap, I don't know! I won't need that until the run! I ran back into the transition area and apologized to one of the volunteers that I would just be a minute. He chuckled and said that no one was mad at me. lol. When I got back out by Derek, I said goodbye to head into the swim area. He asked me why I still had my sandals on. I rolled my eyes and took them off to give to him to hold for me. He laughed and basically said he is not sure how I'm going to do on this. My mind was so scattered.

F'N Run Club about to Swim, Bike, and Run!
(L-R: Carol, Kim, Me, Lisa, Michelle, Julie, Betsy, Angela, Susan)
I headed into the swim area but had an hour to wait. While in there, I found some people that I knew and chatted with them. I went to the bathroom one last time and finally got in position for my wave to start. I also chatted with some of the people in the same wave as me. 

A picture of the swim at Centennial Beach (Photo Credit: Derek). Love this photo!
My wave - green caps (I'm the person with the yellow arrow!)
My wave started and it was so crowded that I was jostling to try to get into a swim position but couldn't seem to. I was starting and stopping. I'm not sure what I did with my arm but as luck would have it, I ended up dislocating it. As soon as my tri started, I thought it was over!
I stopped and stood for a minute (this swim area is a man made beach and there is a shallow end that gradually gets deeper). Luckily for me I was still in an area that I could stand in (the water was about to my chest). I was holding my shoulder hoping it would go back in place. My wave swam away without me and I was alone. Two women came passed me and asked if I was ok. I told them I have shoulder problems and that I dislocated it. She said "Yeah! It's dislocated! Do you want me to get help?" I told her that I was trying to get it back in place and right after that, it went back in. I told the woman it was back in (she saw it slide in place) and she exclaimed "Oh!" I told her I was ok and decided to try the swim.

My wave was gone but the next wave hadn't started yet (they are 4 minutes apart). I did a "half" stroke with my right arm for a bit because I was afraid of dislocating it. I guess the good thing was that I had this area of the water to myself now and didn't have to worry about being kicked. After the first turnaround (there were 3 out-and-backs), I got into a regular stroke rhythm, albeit slow, and started catching up to my wave. I was surprised. And I started passing people and was getting a bit happy. I thought, "Wow! I can actually do this!"

I felt better during this swim than the last triathlon I did in Naperville last August. I totally panicked and could only do about 4 strokes at a time before I would stop for a while and swear and feel like I would drown (even though I could swim). This time, I just swam until I would get to the shallow area, walk around the buoy and swim more. I never stopped swimming unless to readjust my direction. I'm not sure if it was the wetsuit that helped or what but I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at my watch and saw that the swim only took me about 15 minutes to complete! Dislocating my shoulder and all!

I get so disoriented on the transition after the swim that it takes me a minute there to really get things together.

Photo of the transition area
The bike was fairly uneventful. There are rules to the bike that I try to follow: passing, riding on the right, no drafting, etc. The problem is that most people don't know the rules so it was hard to get around people at times. The bike portion was pretty windy and I know that slowed me down a bit. But I like cycling and the course was fine.

Leaving T1 and on to the bike. I'm the one with the white bike and purple helmet. (Photo Credit: Derek)
I don't have much to do in the second transition except put on my visor, since I already clipped my number on in T1. Ahhh, see what I did there? Put on my visor but I forgot one important step...take off my helmet. So I started running away from my transition area, went to go put on my visor and realized I still had my helmet on. Ran back and threw my helmet somewhere relatively close to on my stuff and took off.

My real only main goal on this race was to PR my run from my last triathlon. I did walk up one hill in the beginning and walked at the first aid station. I was planning on walking at the second aid station but when it came up, I didn't stop and just kept going. I just kept reminding myself that I wanted to PR this run. And I did!! :) My run came in at a 9:29 avg pace and the last one was a 9:41 pace.  Surprisingly my legs didn't feel tired at all from my half marathon from Saturday. I guess the ice bath and compression really helped!

My final results

Finish time: 1:38:07
Swim: 15:49 (2:07mins/100 m) - 800 meters
T1: 4:04
Bike: 47:03 (16.96 mi/hour) - 13.3 miles
T2: 1:46
Run: 29:27 (9:29 min/mile) - 5k (3.1 miles)

The swim was double the distance from the last triathlon and my overall pace for the swim was better. So I actually PR'd my swim even with dislocating my shoulder! SUPER THRILLED!

I did slightly better on my first transition but it appears that I still took a nap or something.

I did not PR my bike but I had a feeling that would be the case. The wind didn't help.

I did not PR my second transition. Damn helmet!

I PR'd my run! Yay me!

My number #1 Supporter Derek.
Some of the FNRC finishers (we all finished)
Final thoughts:

I was completely all smiles when I finished my triathlon. I LOVE THEM! I want to do them all the time. But I can't. Super sad face! It is clear I need to take care of my shoulder before I can do any further triathlons. Had I been in open water, I probably would not have been able to relocate it and probably would have needed to be rescued. I'm resigned to running and duathlons right now.

But I PR'd my swim and run and I'm super happy about that. My shoulder didn't actually start hurting until I was done. I guess it's the adrenaline that kicked in during the race. I was completely proud of myself for being able to finish this race. I thought I was done as soon as I started. It was an awful feeling. Luckily I was able to continue, and even finish strong! It was one of those days that "just finishing" was the happiest thing I could do! To have a time that (to me) doesn't seem bad at all was icing on the cake.

And super big props to my boyfriend for waking up at 4:00 a.m. He doesn't have to do this for me but I was really nervous for the triathlon and him being there helps keep me somewhat calm.

Love the tri medal. The "Be Stong" center can double as a charm for a necklace.


  1. Congrats on PRing your run! Sounds like a lot of fun. I'd like to try a tri one day!

    1. Pete - I think they are so fun! I've only done 2 indoor ones and 2 sprint ones though. Would love to try longer ones once shoulder is fixed.

  2. Congrats on your race! You're a rockstar!

  3. Awesome job girl! I can't believe you dislocated your shoulder, then it went back in place! I've never done that, but it sounds painful! Congrats on the PR swim and run!

    1. Thank you! Unfortunately (and fortunately), I can mostly get it back in myself now. That's how many times it's dislocated. I went to the ER the first 3 times to have it relocated. And only 1 time since then but while waiting in the ER, it went back in. It's super painful when it's out and the longer it's out, the more painful it becomes. :(

  4. You are seriously my hero. I don't know how I would keep everything I needed for a triathlon straight! Congrats on the PR!