Sunday, June 19, 2016

Trust Me...I Tri'd (WW # 46)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!


This linkup is hosted by yours truly and my good friend Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin.    The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women. You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!  {See rules}   

We are thrilled at the number of linkers we have each week.  Thank You!  The support and camaraderie are truly priceless.  Please return later in the week and interact with more women. It's an excellent way to make new friends and gain invaluable support, all while holding yourself accountable!  Don't forget to comment on each blog that you read and remember to support your hosts.  


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Monday -- Strength Exercises
Tuesday -- Rest Day
Wednesday -- 4.5 Miles Run (am) + 12 Minutes Swim (pm)
Thursday -- Strength Exercises
Friday -- Mini Tri Practice:  6 minute swim / 20 minute ride / 5 minute run
Saturday -- Callaway Gardens Sprint Triathlon
Sunday -- 5 Miles Run


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I am a Triathlete!    Hold on, hold on.  I'm getting way ahead of myself.

About a month ago, I decided I wanted to do a duathlon and immediately incorporated  brick workouts. At some point I checked Active.com and noticed everyone (except one person!) had signed up for the triathlon.  I inquired with an e-mail and was told they were merging the Du with the Tri and I could "walk" the swim portion as the water was shallow.  After way too much internal struggle and debate, I signed up for the Callaway Gardens Sprint Triathlon.

I got in our backyard pool a few times and dog paddled for 30 minutes nonstop.  A few days before, I received the typical pre-race e-mail...and yep it included duathlon instructions.  {Heavy Sigh}  By this point, I was invested in the Tri.  I had swam.in.our.pool for goodness sake, as opposed to my normal napping floating. 

Google was my friend.  I looked up everything you can imagine from swimming, to rules, to racking my bike, to body markings, to laying out gear in the transition area.  I read every newbie article I could find. Marcia very sweetly sent me some great tips too.   I took my Trek Lexa XL in for maintenance and pretty new red handlebar tape to replace her nasty white.  Sanity was ready.  Was I?

Last minute, I ordered tri shorts from SLS3 since I had a $25 gift certificate for participating in Level Up Virtual Runs.  Whew -- they fit.  Keeping in mind I have never found a pair of goggles that worked on my pea-sized face {would I HAVE to wear goggles?} and have never worn a swim cap, I was as ready as I could be with so little preparation.  Adding to that, Thursday's afternoon thunderstorms forced my last workout to the day before the race...when I should be resting.  Que Sera, Sera. 

Let's do this thing...


She looks good with her new red handlebar tape!

I arrived at the event with an hour to prepare.  At check-in I was given a blue swim cap and was told I was in the 6th wave.  This was the last adult wave (aka old lady group).  I racked my bike in the transition area easily enough, although it was crowded and I had to squeeze in.  The weather was cool for Dixie (around 70) but humid with heavy, low-hanging clouds.  Thankfully, there was a 15 mph wind. Soon it was time for the blue-haired *ahem* I mean blue-capped group to start.  

I purposely started near the back.  I know my limits.  The water was much warmer than the air and quite shallow.  At no point was it up to my chin.  Some ladies did more of an aqua-jog as opposed to a true swim.  I tried to swim as much as possible, mostly side stroke with some free style, but admit to putting my feet down a couple of times.  When I had open space, I back-stroked as that seemed to be faster. They had gigantic yellow buoys on our right which were easy to see even on my back.   Before I knew it, this swim was over.  Swim = 9:48

Body Markings = Bad Ass

After running across a sandy beach, up a grassy hill, down a side-walk, and into the parking lot -- I was at transition.  I put my helmet on first as to not forget and then washed the sand off my feet with a bottle of water, dried them quickly and put on my socks and running shoes.  I popped a SaltCap and drank Gatorade.  Off I went with my bike.  T1 = 3:08

Thank goodness for volunteers!  I was worried about mounting (and later dismounting) my bike at the wrong time and getting penalized.  The volunteers shouted to every single rider when to do this.  I simply adored this portion of the race.  Remember how I started in the last adult wave?  Guess how many people I got to pass?  Hundreds.  Gosh.that.was.fun!  The scenery was spectacular.  I truly wanted to yell "Whee!" the whole time.  Instead, it was "On Your Left!"  Those rolling Georgia hills claimed a few victims, but not this old gal.  {Thank you Sanity!}   I didn't get my Garmin turned on initially but according to others I overheard, what was supposed to be 9 miles was more like 10.  Bike = 36:49

A very pretty T-Shirt!

Too soon, that part was over the I knew the death march was next.    The transition from bike to run was really nothing.  I put my bike on the rack, took off my helmet, attached my race bib belt, drank Gatorade and got busy.  I had cycled in my running shoes.  T2 = 1:26

As soon as I began the run, my left calf cramped.  I spent the first 1/2 mile trying to walk/run that out and finally did.  I did not have the jelly-leg feeling I did during training though --  I was just TIRED.  I saw two ladies in my age group pass me (got to love the age written on the calf!) and thought I must be near the back of my pack.  I plodded on.  Just get it done.  I did manage a small sprint to the finish line, which felt satisfying.  Run = 21:27

A beautiful location for my first triathlon!

My total time was 1:12:36.  I placed 4 out of 28 in my age group (#2 and #3 passed me on the run!) and 79 out of 254 all females.  I'm very glad I went ahead with the Tri.  It is not the scary animal I had created in my head.  Most things aren't.  This particular race was first-timer friendly too. Would I do another? Yes!  But only after more swimming practice.  I don't think the swim portion of any other race would be as forgiving.

And that's a wrap!



100 comments:

  1. WAY TO GO, Hoho!!! I am blown away by how great you did on your first tri! That must have felt SO EMPOWERING to pass hundreds of people along the way. Total whatevs on starting in the last adult wave, YOU SHOWED THEM. You do look super bad ass with the tri numbers on your arm. =) Congrats on finishing 4th in your AG on your very first try! Are you hooked on tris now????????????

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    1. Thanks, Emily. It was a wonderful experience. I'm so glad I faced my fears! Now I know what to expect. I think I do see another one in my future.

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  2. Congrats on a great finish on your first tri! You certainly rocked it!

    As always, thanks for the linkup!

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    1. Thanks, Deb. There is certainly room for improvement, but it was such an enjoyable experience. It helped this race was friendly to newbies.

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  3. Great job! Your recap was such a fun read it made me (almost) want to try and tri. The swim always scares me, but there are some races nearby that have shallow waters folks can "run" through. I'm glad you had a good time. Congrats again! :)

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    1. Doing a shallow water swim is a great way to get your feet wet (literally) with doing a triathlon. You should definitely give it a go!

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  4. Big big congratulations, Ms. Triathlete!!! You did great on your first (but I suspect not your last, not by a long shot) one!!

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    1. Thanks Shelley. I do think I see another in my future. Next time, I'll know what to expect. That is always the scariest thing to me... the not knowing!

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  5. Oh my gosh! You did great - beyond great! I am so impressed - and inspired. You were crazy fast on your bike too!

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    1. Oh Coco -- I had such fun on the bike! I had NEVER ridden with another cyclist before either and had no idea what to expect. I did not find the hills difficult at all, but others appeared to be clearly struggling.

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  6. I'm so freaking excited for you! In theory, I'm doing my first sprint tri in the fall! Haven't biked... that's what I'm most scared of! Eeep! Congratulations lady!

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    1. I think you'll love it! Spend a lot of time with your bike and get comfortable...the rest will follow.

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  7. Congratulations! What a great feeling!! Swimming with a large group of people intimidates me, so you're a rock star for tackling this!

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    1. I definitely need work on my swim before the next one. If you start in the back, you'll be safe from all the flailing around. I didn't get kicked one time.

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  8. Holly, you are such a trooper! How fun that you got to pass all those people on the bike. You know I would have LOVED that. Not that I'm competitive or anything...

    We have the same bike! Except mine is the reverse colors of yours. I just re-wrapped the handlebars (the tape was all messed up after my crash). Yep, that white tape is gross. But I wear gloves, so it will do for now.

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    1. You know, do what scares you and all. I have no doubt you would have loved that beautiful and fun bike course! Even with gloves, my white tape looked gray...not that I even attempted to clean it. My bike did me proud compared to the others out on the course.

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  9. I am so excited to read this! And I feel like you on the bike, I love passing people (just don't like getting re-passed on the run). Huge congrats, you are a triathlete!!

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    1. I am a triathlete! It still hasn't sunk in really. It's funny how the run felt so hard -- when you think it'd be the easiest part. NOPE.

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  10. Congrats!!! Awesome job!! Sounds like a great time! :)

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    1. Thanks. I'm so glad I decided to give it a "tri".

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  11. That's so exciting and congratulations on your first tri experience. It sounds so exhilerating!

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    1. Thanks. It was. I'd love to ride that bike course every day.

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  12. Woot woot woot!!!!! Awesome job!!! Now, that would be my kind of "swim" (you know, where I could touch bottom without going under LOL)

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    1. Thanks! Knowing you can touch is helpful. It's like security a blanket...just in case. But, you've also got to be willing to stand on that slimy lake weed! LOL.

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  13. Hoho - Congrats on this huge accomplishment. Great time and great place for your very first Triathlon! Very awesome! I have always been intimidated by triathlons for the very same reasons and your recap actually made me want to try one. Loved reading every line.I'm sure it won't be long until your next one:)

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    1. As with most things, it was scarier in my head than it was in real life. I'm sure you would have no problem with a triathlon.

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  14. Congrats on your first tri! What a huge accomplishment! The swim portion of a tri would intimidate me as well, but there's something so rewarding about being pushed outside your comfort zone.

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    1. Getting there and out of the negativity in my own head was the majority of the battle. I knew once I saw the "lay of the land", I would be OK. It was fun.

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  15. Congratulations on your Tri
    Sorry to hear that your leg cramped up. Glad it eased up throughout the race and you were still managed to get 4th in your age group.

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    1. Wow it is so sore today from that cramp! Oddly, it felt fine yesterday. I was shocked to be in the top 15%. It was icing on the cake.

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  16. Wow that's awesome, and a great recap of your first tri, congratulations! I would love to "try a tri" in the future, but the swimming is my biggest weakness, plus I don't have a good bike either! I'm glad it all worked out!

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    1. Find a Tri with a shallow water swim. Just knowing you have that security of putting your feet down IF YOU NEED TO is very comforting! I saw all kinds of bikes during the race!!

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  17. Wow! You did awesome for your first tri! Congratulations!!! I love to hear about tri races but don't think I would do one. If I could run the biking and swimming parts I might, ha ha! Have a great week!

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    1. You know, I was very intimidated at first by the 3 sports. But, it is so much easier on the body! Very little pounding.

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  18. I'm so impressed that you participated in a tri and on your first one 4th age group. That is awesome. You probably would have placed if not for the stupid calf cramp. Way to go and yes, you are bad ass!

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    1. Stupid calf cramp! But, I can't beat myself up over that. I had fun and that's what counts. I was pleasantly surprised to place as well as I did.

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  19. congrats!!!! awesome job on the first tri AND placing!!!!! Believe it or not /i don't know how to ride a bike -- some day!

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    1. That would be something new to look forward to learning!

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  20. Good for you, and so happy to read that the first experience was so positive. When is the next one ? When do you start training for Chicago ?

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    1. I may do another in July but haven't decided. I'll start training next month for Chicago. The heat has me unmotivated about it right now.

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  21. awesome! you killed it on the bike! that's the leg i'm most worried about for my first sprint tri in august. i love the shirt from the race!

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    1. To me, the bike leg is the least taxing on your body. That swim will get your heart rate up too high if you aren't careful! But, maybe that's because I'm not good at it.

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  22. Congrats! I can really only dog paddle since I'm not a swim person. Whatever it is, I don't like competitive swimming.

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    1. Thankfully, they don't care what you look like when you swim. I saw a lot of different things out there too.

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  23. Wow, you did an amazing job for your first tri! 4th place?!? Way to go! The swim part of tris always intimidates me, and is why I have yet to give one a try myself.

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    1. Unless I improve dramatically, I think I would always opt for a sprint triathlon so the swim portion wouldn't be too far.

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  24. CONGRATS! 4th place is incredible! And I've been to Callaway Gardens, years ago, for a summer vacation, but I have such fond memories.

    Triathlete body marking is so BA. I've only done one tri, but I'm on the lookout for my next one!

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    1. Callaway is such a wonderful "off the beaten path" place to spend a nice weekend. Spring is fabulous with millions of azaleas in bloom.

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  25. what a great first experience! congrats! and 4th place too- WOW! Body markings do equal bad ass! YOU go GIRL!

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    1. I would mind the age on the calf at running races. At least we wouldn't have to guess if someone was in our age group. I'm always so bad at that!

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  26. Woooohoooo!! Congratulations!!

    You got me so excited reading your recap!

    My official start of training begins next week...12 weeks and counting....yeah!!!

    Way to go!! Pretty Medal!

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    1. I can't wait to follow along as you complete your first Tri!

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  27. Congrats on finishing your first triathlon! Do you think you've caught the tri-bug?

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    1. Maybe! As long as I was comfortable with the swim portion. I know I wouldn't want an ocean swim at this point and would still want a very short open water swim.

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  28. This is a fantastic post. Congrats on being a TriAthlete. It doesn't matter how you did on each leg. The point is that you suited up, you did it and now we can celebrate you. Awesome accomplishment. Sounds like something I'd like to do too. If the water is shallow, that would make me more comfortable.
    Are you going to do another one now? Haha. They say once you tri, you don't go back.
    Please stop by my new Facebook page and give me a like.
    https://www.facebook.com/KarenWrightAuthor/
    Thanks.

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    1. I will probably attempt another sprint distance. There is one here locally next month. It won't be as scenic as Callaway but I'm thinking...

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  29. Congratulations!!! This is awesome!!! I am not a triathlon person but an in awe of anyone that does it. Pretty cool!!! I would love to do a duathlon with me doing the running. Congrats again!!

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    1. They had a relay option. That would be fun too. I'd pick the bike leg!

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  30. Congratulations! Sounds like it was a really fun race! I'd love to do a tri sometime, for me its also the swim that is off-putting- glad to hear it wasn't as scary as they seem.

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    1. What surprised me most about the swim is that it took less than 10 minutes. I had somehow convinced myself it would take 20-30 minutes!

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  31. congrats-this is amazing! I would love to do a tri some day!

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  32. Replies
    1. Thanks. I'm glad my first experience was a good one!

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  33. Great job with your first tri! I'd definitely a swim portion that forgiving if I was ever brave enough to try a tri. :) Congrats!

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    1. Knowing it was a shallow swim was really the deciding factor. I'm going to really have to get my courage up for the next one. And swim a lot.

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  34. Awesome job Holly! Congrats on your first tri! The tri is still on my bucket list but I really need to work on my swimming. I am so scared of the water. I'm hoping after Chicago, I can work on it.

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    1. Just look for a race with a shallow swim. That will really boost your confidence.

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  35. I am so very glad you had a good experience doing your first tri! Man, you really did do great too! Congratulations!!! I'm not sure (It won't) it'll be for a tri but I want to visit Callaway Gardens that you talk about so much. I've got to see this beautiful place for myself!

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    1. They host one of my favorite half marathons (and full). It's very hilly but just so beautiful and peaceful. It should be around the end of January.

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  36. Congrats!! I've only done one tri before, but it was SO fun! The biking was by far the hardest part for me, I had never trained on a bike before! But it was so unlike anything else I had ever done, and the tri community is so welcoming and nice also!! Great recap, and awesome job!

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    1. The race directors and volunteers were great in explaining things! There were a lot of newbies in attendance. I felt very comfortable.

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  37. I loved reading this recap! So glad you had a positive experience! It sounded like you had a great time- and like it was easy, lol! So have you got the tri bug yet??? The more tine i spend with out local tri group, the more they are convincing me to join the dark side. I've only done 1 triathlon before and while I enjoyed it, I had a horrible swim experience.... But that's a story to save for a rainy day!
    Anyways, congrats on your triathlon-you did amazing!!😎😎

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    1. I was determined not to freak out in the swim and I didn't. I certainly was not fast, but I did not care. Knowing your feet can touch is a great comfort, if you can stand that slimy lake week. LOL.

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  38. Congratulations!! This is so exciting!! You are all giving me the tri-bug! If I only knew how to swim! I'm putting it in my to do list now!

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    1. If someone had asked me last year about doing a Tri, I would have laughed. Funny how perspectives change! Getting very comfortable on my bike last fall was a huge factor.

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  39. Huge congratulatory APPLAUSE for you! You inspire me to do another triathlon. I finished one 7 years ago and haven't done one since. I liked that the water was shallow enough so it's not as intimidating. And I love the butterfly medal and shirt. Are you hooked?

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    1. I would certainly do this race again next year, without a doubt. I'm still intimidated by the swimming. If I did another, it would have to be a sprint distance with a short swim.

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  40. Congratulations!! You make it sound like so much fun!! Reading this really makes me want to try one!

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    1. Give it a shot! You'll never know until you TRI.

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  41. WOW what a great first triathlon!!! Congrats!!!!

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    1. Thanks! I'm very glad I stuck with my TRI decision.

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  42. Good job! What an experience, right? Congrats! And 4th place AG is amazing! I really want to try a triathlon sometime if I can just find the time to train with my husband's annoying work schedule.

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    1. I'm glad I took this opportunity because it was very beginner friendly. Now I know what to expect.

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  43. More kudos to you! Way to rock a tri after being thrown into it out of the du. Calloway Gardens sounds like a perfect venue. I so wish I could find a tri around here with stand-up worthy water. I totally lose my sh@! when I know the water at my tri was 15ft. Wow almost on that podium too. You rock!

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    1. Oh, Marcia. You would love this swim. It was not intimidating in the least! And of course the scenery for the ride is awesome too.

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  44. AWESOME re-cap! CONGRATS on your finish!! I think the swim intimidates a lot of people, especially in open water... I always found the transitions to be as challenging as the rest of the race... well, maybe not as challenging as the end of the run, but still always time to shed in the transitions for me!

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    1. I thought I was pretty quick in transition and was then shocked to see the first one was over 3 minutes. What was I doing?

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  45. So Awesome!! Congrats on your first tri! Very cool that you got 4th in AG! I'm not sure I'd ever do a tri since I can't swim.

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    1. This is one you could have actually WALKED. I'm serious.

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  46. Love the t-shirt.

    Congrats on a great race! I'm still too scared to do a tri. Maybe one of these days... lol!

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    1. It was definitely out of my comfort zone. I stressed so much over the decision for weeks.

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  47. That's amazing! Congratulations!

    My tri training has come to a grinding halt. With all the incidences in the water down here lately, we decided it might be better for me to wait. I am slightly more comfortable being in the ocean, but with my bloody leg injury and the sea lice, I just wasn't feeling strong enough for the last few events. I think I am going to do a duathlon, hills be darned, in September, but we will see.

    I'm so proud of you!

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    1. Swimming in the ocean would unsettle me. I'd rather it be in the bay. Sea lice? Ugh! Something else to worry about.

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  48. You did amazing! The markings do look very bad ass ;) and so does your bike. Love the red. You did great passing all those peeps! Congratulations :)

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    1. When you start in the rear (all the way) there is a lot of opportunity to better your placement. That was the fun part. Do you know my wrap has already come unwrapped? It's going back to the shop!

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  49. Congrats on your first Tri... how exciting!

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    1. Thanks. I'm trying get up my nerve for the second one now.

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  50. Congrats! You rocked it!!!! I am happy it was so beginner friendly! And of course you killed it on the bike. Way to go!

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    1. If I was going to do one, this had to be it. I know this place so well from my childhood and from running races there too. It was a great beginner race. I loved the cycling leg!

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