My experience in detail completing my first ever Olympic Triathlon and everything you should know!
3am, I lay wide awake, stomach growling and mind racing. I decide to get up, slam a protein drink and eat a granola bar. The article I read the day before said I should get up around 2am to eat anyhow to store fuel before the big race! I laid in bed until the alarm sounded at 5am, took a quick shower, grabbed my adorable Vooray transition bag, packed my bike and were off to Belle Isle!The sunrise was showing off, the sky was filled with pinks, purples, oranges and yellows! My nerves were getting to me. Ron was so excited and proud I committed, which got me excited. I ate a banana and a Quest bar arriving at 6:30am. The weather was perfect, no wind calm and quiet.
We walked to the second transition area. This is where we, “bike in” and put our running gear on. I laid out my tennis shoes, gels, a water and an electrolyte tablet.
We rode our bikes to the first transition a mile away. I set up my riding gear. I hung my bike, laid helmet on my seat, towel, clip in shoes, socks, sunglasses, an extra water, and an electrolyte tablet. By 7:10am they kicked everyone out of the transition areas.
TIP: Arrive early! Give yourself an hour to set up your transitions, they close well before your race start time!
Out of nowhere it got dark, the wind picked up, the announcers tent blew over and the water became choppy! I was like, alright it’s going to be like that today, bring it!We awaited our jet ski example of where we were to swim. I can swim a mile all day in a pool but seeing it on the open water made it look INSANE far!Mens Olympic distance went first which was great to see where they went. 90% of them missed the first buoy! They must have not listened!
TIP: watch and listen for swimming directions or you can get docked time.
Since the water was 66 degrees we walked in, dunked and then 3… 2… 1… were off!
I legged in the back to not get kicked. Surprisingly, I was quite calm. I never swim in open water and I hate that I can’t see beneath me. I used “The 5 second rule” to keep calm. The current felt strong. Every time I looked up I kept swimming the wrong direction! About 10 minutes in my shoulders began to burn. I made it to the end of the yacht club. The long distance had a current up to 6mph, I didn’t feel it. However, I sure felt the waves crashing over my head and gulping water every few feet. I quickly learned the motion of the waves. Before I knew it, I was at the end! It went by quick even though my time was 34-minutes! I saw Ron which made me happy and then fell at the same time, lol. Little did I know I cut my toe pretty good! These are not the most glamourous pics but they mean something to me.
Trying to take off my wet suit was funny! I gave up trying to stand and just sat on the ground! I felt dizzy from the swim, I assume from the current but it didn’t last long.
As I got ready I put the electrolyte into my water bottle, slammed some and ate a gel packet.
Carried my transition bag, tossed it to the volunteers and started my 23 mile ride! This is the longest ride I have ever been on solo and all season!
Half of the island I was cruising 20-23mph. The other half I was struggling to stay above 10-13mph because of the wind! I tried to push hard through the wind and it wasn’t helping much in speed so I conserved my energy and just kept a good pace without getting my heart rate up too high.About seven miles into my ride I came along a guy riding in flip flops! I asked if he forgot his shoes! He responds “yup, and my goggles!” We laughed and said at least this will be a good story! Cheers to that guy for not giving up! Running barefoot had to be rough!
I ate a gel packet that I stuffed in my phone case on my bike after my first 15 miles. I would take a sip of water after a full loop around the island. We had to do four laps! I usually don’t drink too much when I ride.
They were very helpful letting me know if I needed a lap or to finish. I was so excited to see the dismount sign!I was SURPRISINGLY not as tired as I thought I would have been after the ride. Once I jumped off my bike though, it was strange to walk!I racked my bike, ate a gel and slammed some of my electrolyte drink.Now, only 6.2 miles to run!But first… PEE BREAK! I was so pumped they put these porta-potties here! Though, it did mess up my time. I had to wait a minute or so for one to open. Come to think of it, my average is a tiny bit better then I thought! 😛The first 5k was the toughest part of the entire race! It felt as if I weighed 500 lbs, running 1mph, got a cramp and felt blisters growing on my right foot. I had to zone it out. At this point I felt like I was in a meditation state of mind. I was so calm and relaxed. It was truly a strange feeling hard to describe. It was either my adrenaline, gels, electrolytes or a little bit of everything! I felt my pace pick up a bit in the 4th mile.
Tip: You can have headphones during your run and your run only! I did not know that!
My last .2 miles a man came running beside me and said, “lets finish this strong and run together!” We pushed with every once of energy we had left and ran past the finish line! I wish I got his name to thank him because he truly pushed me and helped me dig deep and use the energy I thought I didn’t have to push myself to the end!
I was so excited to see Ron! He tried talking to me, asking me questions but I couldn’t breath!I literally could not take a full breath. I had to keep walking or I felt like I was going to pass out. It was so strange but after a few minutes I calmed down!
In 3 hours 13 minutes and 26 seconds I swam a mile, biked 23 and ran 6.2 miles! I came in at 7th place in my age group and 169 out of 188 overall!
That my friends is my first ever Olympic Triathlon experience!
We had some fun taking pictures along the Detroit skyline!
Shout out to my number one fan for waking up at 3am (both couldn’t sleep), driving to Detroit and cheering me on. I was so happy every time I saw you and it made me even more pumped because you looked like you were having the time of your life! Thanks for always supporting me in my crazy goals and being there for everything I do.
Are you interested in learning more about training, gear, and completing your first triathlon!? I would love to hear from you! Comment below, Pin, Share and subscribe!
I highly recommend putting this on your bucket list! I started out by doing my first Sprint Triathlon three years ago. I remember my first 50 meter swim I was dying and its amazing to see how far I’ve come since! With some proper training you can absolutely do the same, we all have to start somewhere! I am not a “professional” athlete. I am just like anyone else that has big goals and dreams. I still consider myself a “rookie.” But now that I have completed this race I have learned so much about what works for me! I plan to do one more Olympic Triathlon this September with Ron so stick around!
My next big achievement will be to complete a Half Ironman next year! Its a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 mile run! Stick around to see my training, tips and screw ups along the way!
Coming soon: Complete gear guide to your first triathlon