Ok, everyone was right and I loved it. I was completely terrified and wanted to bolt the whole time, but I managed to stay put and had a total blast!!!
I managed to get myself to bed at a fairly reasonable hour and only woke myself up in that "OMG I totally overslept!" panic once. I sprung up at 4:45am and packed up all of my neatly laid out out stuff, loaded the bike, puttered around the house for awhile, and finally took off.
Everything apparently went way too smoothly because by the time I checked in, got marked, and set everything up, I had over an hour to wait and fret. After half an hour of just aimlessly wandering, I started edging up to people who looked nice and getting in on conversations and figured out very quickly that tri people are so freaking NICE! I mean WOW! I seriously would have bolted or gotten way too nervous if I had not had these people to talk to. Which was good because After waiting another hour, I ended up waiting another 40 minutes because the swim was a seeded pool swim. But it was ok because I ended up in line with a group of newbie and one older experienced woman who kept us all calm.
The swim was tough, but better than I thought considering since I had not been in a pool in an unmentionable amount of time. I varied up my strokes when I got tired (which was often)and prayed the lifeguard would not think I was drowning! I think I came out of the pool at 13 minutes which was pretty miserable, but I was just getting through.
(NOTE: there was no split timings at this race, just an overall finish time. I had on my watch but I am still not certain how to use to it so all times are rough ones. They don't have our final times up yet so I am not even certain on that either)
I ran outside and quickly threw on my shirt and shoes and grabbed my bike. And here comes the part where Leah jinxed me. Big time. She wanted me to have something funny to tell. So I grab my bike and run to transition, hop on, start to clip in and pedal...and then fall over because my chain has fallen off. I just started to laugh as a guy ran over to help me and put my chain on and I was able to take of for real this time. But Leah, I was thinking about you that whole time!!! The bike was uneventful but I was never really able to get any speed up because it was a 5 lap course so any time I got any speed, there was another turn and I needed to slow down. It was good though because it gave me time to chill from the swim and recover a little mentally.
The transition from bike to run was kind of stiff and harder than I thought it would be. My hip was giving my some problems and I ended up walking for the first few yards. I settled into a very unsightly shuffle for awhile and then walked when needed. I ended up running a lot more than I thought I would though and at one point a woman caught up to me and with a bright smile informed me that she had been chasing me down since the bike. Huh? Someone had been chasing me down? She told me that it had been so frustrating because she would almost catch me and then as soon as we would turn into the headwind she swore I would speed up. To me that seems unlikely, but still flattering in a weird way. We ran along together for awhile, but she ended up ahead and finished about a minute or two ahead of me. I should have pushed harder and caught up, but next time, I am going for times!
I think my overall time was somewhere around 1:35 for a 400 meter swim, 11 mile bike ride and 2.4 mile run so not too bad for my first time. I know I could have pushed a lot harder, but I really think I would not have enjoyed it nearly as much. I met a lot of very nice people and just had a great time and have been looking for other ones close to me. Until then though...I will be hitting the pool and running more because that no practice thing just not smart. I got away with it once, but I am not pulling that again.
Another thanks to all of my blogger friends because just from reading all of your descriptions, I was totally prepared and knew exactly what to expect, how to set up my transitions, and made no major newbie mistakes (that I am aware of). I vaugely checked my trasition times and am pretty sure I did not spend more than 2 minutes at each which was my goal so I am pretty happy with that. Anyways, thanks you guys!!