Race File: NYC Tri
It's been over 2 months since I braved the streets of NYC and finished my first Olympic (OLY) distance triathlon! And it's all still very vivid. Today I'm dishing the deets on the whirlwind of an experience I had in NY.
I arrived in NY the day before the race to pick up my bike and attend mandatory athlete briefing and bike check in. I truly thought I allowed myself more than enough time to get everything done--this coming from a girl who clearly had no idea how close yet far everything is in the city. That, the terrible traffic and blazing heat made for a really long day. I got around by foot and rode my bike to transition so by the time I got to my hotel that night I was exhausted. I went to bed at 10pm really anxious about what the next day would bring and also that I would miss my wake up time of 3am--ouch.
A little before 3am: Race Morning
In typical fashion I woke up before my alarm and headed straight to the coffee maker. I quickly ate my breakfast, got dressed and checked my transition bag for the 100th time to make sure I didn't forget anything. I hopped in the elevator at 4am exactly and soon after the doors closed the elevator made a very unusual jump like motion--I was stuck in the elevator. I was in complete panic for a minute. After a few phones calls using the elevator phone, the hotel reset the elevator and I was on my way down. What seemed like a 2 hour ordeal was really only 7 min and I finally made it to the lobby. I hopped on the shuttle and made it to transition with just enough time to check my bike tires and give them some air. I felt good about my transition setup so I headed down to the swim. Not knowing if I was headed in the right direction, I asked another athlete if I was heading in the right direction and that's when I met Dana. Let's just say I could write a full blog on my experience with Dana. We were in the same wave and spent over an hour together before the race. There was laughter, self-doubt, hugs and tears before we jumped in the Hudson River together. If you're reading this Dana, I'm so glad to have met you! Thank you for making this such a memorable experience.
6:42am: The Swim
Jumping isn't allowed so I scooted into the Hudson River. It took me a while to warm up and I found myself swimming off course quite a bit but once I finally found my groove in the water I felt great! The water was warm and try as hard as you want but you will taste that Hudson water and it is so salty--yuck. I took a few breaks and backstroked to catch my breath. I looked at my watch a few times to check my pace and I couldn't believe how fast I was swimming....really I couldn't. I thought I paused my watch by accident so I asked one of the volunteers in the water if I was half way and to my surprise he said I was almost done! The current was strong so it took us with it and I earned a personal best at 22:30.
7:14am: The Bike
I was in transition getting ready to start the bike leg. I chugged some Gatorade and ran my bike to the start. Athletes were told over and over that there is a hill at the bike start and it was suggested to put your gear on low so you could climb the hill without effort. What did I do? I struggled up that hill on a high gear--rookie move. The bike was unexpectedly HARD. I knew there would be hills but my gosh they were non-stop. So many of my bike photos capture the essence of how I felt the entire 25 miles. My legs were really tired around mile 16 and I kept looking at my watch in disbelief on how slowing I was riding. I gave myself a pep talk and reminded myself that the pain was temporary.
9:16am: The Run
I was back in transition to prep for the run. The run was cut short do to the heat so it was a 5 mile run instead of 6. This was the last leg of the race, the homestretch! I was so relieved to park my bike and do something that is familiar to me. I tried my best to eat a honey stinger waffle but only managed to eat half--eating while running is hard! Running those New York streets gave me life. There are spectators everywhere on the course cheering for you and pushing you to finish. They brought me so much joy that I couldn't stop smiling. The heat was grueling so I decided not to push myself because I didn't want to risk a burn out. I grabbed water at every water station and put ice in my sports bra every chance I could. I was feeling fatigue at mile 4 but with the finish line so close I kept pushing.
10:06am: The Finish Line
I crossed the finish line! I did it. A NYC tri finisher.
NYC tri was an amazing experience! As with every "first" race I've completed so far, I got emotional. I have body gratitude everyday but especially after crossing a finish line. Shortly after catching my breath I found my tribe. I hugged each of them hard and was so grateful they went through so much effort to see me reach my goal. Big love to my friends and family who cheered me on from the west coast and woke up early to track my progress. I love you guys! I felt the love on the course.
Triathlons make you feel invincible! There have been several talks of doing an Iron Man in 2017....right Sunnie?!