Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ramblin' Rose Triathlon: Winston-Salem: My First Tri

" That was fun" was the first thing I said to my husband after I crossed the finish line. I was a big ball of emotions. I was smiling, holding back tears of excitement, and exhausted. It took me a minute to collect myself and catch my breath. 

  Just moving from the Big Island of Hawaii, in February, I had witnessed the Ironman Championships in Kailua-Kona. That day was amazing, those athletes were SO focused and intense. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to qualify for that specific race but an Ironman(Iron Girl/Women) is on my bucket list. Having ran many races I was ready for the next step. I honestly can't remember how I found out about the Ramblin' Rose series. I was the only one from my area that even participated.It could have possibly been just a search on the Run USA website. But all I know is I wish I was staying in this area so I could compete in the rest they are offering this year. 

I have a pretty busy schedule (training for mountain races, a half, and a full) 2-3 jobs, and am a housewife. I had to use what I could to train. The pool at one of my jobs is a 15 meter pool, pretty small. But I had free access to it and just swam many, many, many laps LOL The swim was my biggest fear. I've swam in open water, snorkeling, but never with laps. Let's just say I was freaking out!

When I got to the packet pick up I had known what my swimming time was but decided to go down a level (5) to make sure I wasn't trampled on . For those reading this that haven't participated, this races series usually does the swim in a pool . In order to keep some control they break everyone up into groups according to how you rate your swimming capability to their chart based on the time it takes you to swim 225 meters.

Packet pickup!!! I was so excited, Pink is my favorite color! I drove 1 and 1/2  hours, one way, specifically to go to the clinic and gets some tips on how to make things smoother. From the questions that were being asked I was sure I wasn't the only first timer out there. The presenter did a great job and I made lots of notes on my Iphone. 
Still being unsure of the course and transitions I headed over to the YWCA and checked things out for myself. I was EXTREMELY excited to see my bike bar was very close to 2 of the start and finish's 

I drove back to my home and got things prepared . I did have a little bit of a breakdown when I realized my nose clip had been left at the pool I swam in that morning. That was a lesson to learn, always have doubles 
It was an extremely, early morning for me. 3:45 came very soon and before I knew it the bike was loaded and we were off! I was constantly checking my radar the whole way, crossing my fingers for no thunderstorms!

Everything is set up!!! I'm OCD about getting to races really early. I got here at 6:30 and still had to inch my way on the bar with my bike, everything was ready to go!

                                     There was a HUGE crowd. I never did hear the total amount. 

                             Lined up for the pool (BTW my 5 ended up on my pillow case... WHOOPS LOL)

                        These guys were making all of us laugh so hard.

                            I thought the pool course was going to confuse me, but honestly it ended up being much, much easier to understand. They spaced us out SO well that I only had to pass one person on my swim. It was really organized.

                                           Before I knew it I was out of the pool and into the transition area. This ended up being my longest due to wet feet LOL my shoes would not cooperate. The whole time I was running from the pool to the bike I was thinking.. "Clip you helmet , clip your helmet." It was THE FIRST thing my hands were on after I dropped my swimming gear. I did NOT want to get disqualified. They warn you A LOT about that

Ok...so..the bike..yech...it kicked my butt. That course....was T-U-F...tough...it was my fault. I didn't train enough for it. 
To make things a bit more difficult my helmet front broke and my bike isn't the greatest for a race like this, but it's all I had. It had been acting up since being left outside during a snow storm. I was peddling up the 2nd monster hill and shifted gears and boom, my pedals bounced back and they weren't moving. I hopped off and immediately thought.."this is it, I'm done, my race is over" but took a breath and saw the chain looked weird. I bent down and saw it was off it's gears. So, I pulled the slack, put it back on the grooves and moved my pedals.. WA-LA it began working again. NOW.. I know NOTHING about bikes, just how to put air in my tires. I was RELIEVED  I figured it out on my own.I saw one girl putting her bike on her shoulder and walking it down. My heart broke for her, I knew she had to be upset :(

By the way, we went up that hill first ...then came down, went up a hill 3-4 times as big as that for a mile... and then did it all again. 
The Ghetto helmet..LOL

Even though it was THE HARDEST part, I think I smiled the most on the bike. The volunteers were amazing! One was dancing and both times that I passed her I was like "WORK IT!" oh goodness she cracked me up. After riding that course once and made my 2nd pass through I knew it well enough to talk to myself on those big hills "ok.. you got this.. you're strong" and then at the end I FLEW down that hill. I love the sensation of flying! The women on the course were amazing too. They would pass me and yell "you got it!" and I would do the same. Sometimes if they had their running bibs on with their names I would say "good job *insert name* I liked that feature a lot. Nothing made me happier than to go to the right of the course and take the veer back to the transition station, my fastest. 

The run was an easy distance but my legs were a mixture between lead and jello. In the past 2 months I had participated in 2 hill races and I've learned to just push even when I have nothing left. I did that on the run. I was so happy to get a drink of Gatorade and turn around. Funny enough the beginning of the run course swings right by the finish and I was like NO..I"M SO CLOSE!..lol

                                  I didn't realize the grease from the chain got all over my neck, but my hands were a fine mess. I'm sure I looked hilarious with my helmet and grease neck LOL

When I crossed that finish line I was emotional. I couldn't believe I just did that. I was so happy I had a personal cheerleader AKA my husband ( the pics) as well as all the other women who cheered me on the race. It was so amazing.

This event was EXTREMELY organized (they had your results at the event posted and then had them delivered in an email about an hour after the race ended).. CRAZY. Volunteers were everywhere and it made it extremely easy to dip into the triathlon world.  The weather was perfect (overcast and mid 60's) and everything I had worried about was not as a big deal as I made it !

I saw women in bikini's, sports bras, and even one pieces. I took note of that because I myself had a wardrobe concern. I wanted to keep things as simple as I could in the transitions but was a little hesitant in just wearing that top. Once the beginning became closer to time I saw more of more of everything and finally felt comfortable about my decision. With an event like this women are more comfortable to be a little more open. This isn't a race, it's an achievement.:)

Like I said... this was a fun and amazing event. I would do it again in a heart beat..now for my legs, I need to rest LOL

This event was a sprint Triathlon
225 meter swim
8 Mile Bike
2 Mile run

Swim : 6:41
TI- 1:37 (wet feet into shoes...yikes!)
Bike- 40:40
T2- :58
Run: 19:57
TT: 1:02:52

Thanks for reading!

Ramblin' Rose's Website:


  1. Awesome job!! I did Ramblin Rose Rock Hill in July and being from Florida was not at all ready for the hills I encountered.
    Now its time to get over my fears and get ready for the two tris I have scheduled in September that are lake swims YIKES!


  2. Way to go! The first is always the hardest and you made it!