What I wore to Iron Girl – fab tri suit from Betty Designs
I cannot tell you how good it feels to type that! Last Sunday, I did a half marathon on Saturday and a triathlon sprint with Iron Girl on Sunday in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. Let me just say- my 8th half marathon on Saturday- not my first rodeo. My first triathlon on Sunday? Totally my first rodeo, and it showed.
Setting up for a triathlon is a totally different experience. Not only do you have to be pretty much ready to go the day before (bike racking and packet pickup) but there are a lot of moving parts. So many so, that even when you have YouTubed “how to set up transition,” and “what to pack in your triathlon bag” and read countless “what to expect on your first half marathon” blog posts, you’ll still feel like a fumbling idiot the day of your first triathlon…well, at least I did.
Luckily, I made it through it one piece- my competitor number was “911” (I know right?) but luckily emergency services did not have to be called. I made it through without any hiccups and after being tired from my half marathon the first day and being nervous about competing in a triathlon with a ton of other people, it went really well!
Boyfriend was an amazing coach. He not only guided me through the weekend, help me prepare, made me food when I was simultaneously recovering from a half marathon and packing for the triathlon the next day.
Ladies, if you ever want to know if a man is worth keeping- take him with you to something that makes you as uncomfortable as a first triathlon. Seeing how he handles your stress, fatigue, fumbling and quite frankly, how unattractive you look when you finish the swim portion will determine his grit as a man. Completing my first triathlon made me feel completely awkward and vulnerable, he handled all of that like a champ.
I will say though, it was awesome. While I totally underestimated the swim (ya, that 1/2 mile is not 1/3 a mile like I thought and dear God, it was an eternity), I ruled the bike and made up time on my run. For a first rodeo, I had a blast at my first triathlon and everyone with Iron Girl from the competitors to the staff were just awesome!
The swim is the most challenging part of any triathlon. Not only am I a weak swimmer, but being in a lake with other swimmers trying to navigate to shore, even with buoys and boats to mark the course, race day was an experience. I won’t lie- though I was in the second to last wave, I was the second to last person out of the water. I had to stop at a few points to catch my breath…. a half a mile never seemed so long.
Luckily for me, there were plenty of lifeguards during the swim and there were also ladies in the water with floaty noodles to offer you a spot to rest or encouragement if needed. Honestly, I was a bit panicked about the swim and the encouragement from other swimmers and the staff in the water was totally appreciated. For me, swimming is tough- but doable.
I learned a lot from the swim that day and highly recommend any first time triathletes to do their first triathlon with Iron Girl. Triathlons are scary enough, but the atmosphere at Iron Girl was fun and supportive, and the setup and staff were geared for a variety of experience levels.
No matter how much you mentally prepare for your first triathlon, expect for it to be a tad bit confusing and chaotic- after all, you’re going from swim, to bike, to running. You will be mentally, emotionally and physically challenged inside and out. I have done countless races, but the combo of the tri was a totally different experience.
I met so many awesome women out on the course when I got to the running part, but since I was such a lousy swimmer and was one of the last in the water, I was alone for most of the bike portion. I biked as hard as I could and overtook one lady (who I didn’t see come in near the end, I hope she finished!!) but the 12 miles flew by as I rode through gorgeous, flower covered and quiet prairies. While transition was stressful for me, the biking was totally relaxing..yes, that part of the tri was relaxing!
After racking my bike (being one of the last people in yet again) I started my run around the lake for a 3.1 mile stretch. Again, the scenery was gorgeous and for being tired, I still powered through as much as I could. At this portion, I felt like I could finally connect with my fellow Iron Girl athletes (water and bikes=not too chatty) and loved seeing everyone on the run portion. My legs felt like lead, but I chugged to the finish line with a smile on my face and yes, my adorable tri suit (where I got a ton of compliments, thank you everyone- it’s from Betty Designs…see my sidebar!)
I absolutely loved Iron Girl and I am so excited about my triathlon medal! The race course was lovely, the swag bag was good and the post race food was delicious (veggie burrito, om nom nom!)
Honestly, I still can’t believe I am a triathlete… one of the coolest memories I will have from this race, was the lady who yelled out “Just a few more steps until you’re a triathlete!” as I neared the finish line. Triathlons push me beyond my comfort zone and challenged me in every sense of the word, but in such a powerful and profound way. I feel very fortunate that for my first tri, I went with Iron Girl since the women-only course and manageable numbers made the event a little less intimidating and far more welcoming than your traditional triathlon.
So, there you have it… I’m a triathlete! 🙂
Here’s the swag bag from the Iron Girl Triathlon:
If you would like to do your first triathlon (If I can do it, you can do it!), save $10 by using the code FRUGALBEAUTIFUL to register for an upcoming Iron Girl event!
So awesome! I can’t believe you did all that AFTER a half! You rock!
The swimming portion is what is keeping me from doing a tri. Maybe some day?
Hey Emily! Yes- the swimming is a challenge… even after doing 8 half marathons, I was totally awkward doing the swim. I now am doing a second tri next month and am going to the pool even more so I don’t struggle as much as I did last time!
Iron Girl races are swag-a-licious! I’m glad your first tri went well. And your tri suit is so cute!
You inspire the hell out of me! I always thought “I can’t run” but because of you I’m finally trying. Today will be day 2 of my couch to 5k program. Wish me luck!
Congratulations – way to rock it! I’m thinking about doing a sprint tri sometime next year 🙂
That’s awesome Courtney!! You will love it!
Congratulations!! Way to go! Your tri outfit is so cool! Love the colors.
After seeing your outfit, My husband has a bought the same and also suggested your blog as well…thanks for sharing.
I’m doing my first on 10/5 and I’m so nervous! But I’m bringing my Half Ironman blogging buddy so hopefully she can show me the ropes.
And you’re right, our men do prove themselves in these situations! My husband came to synchronized skating nationals once with me, and has been at almost all of my races and has survived with flying colors. Definitely one of the reasons why I married him. 😉
Wow! Fantastic job!! I did one tri and you’re right, it’s a totally different experience!
Congratulations! I did my first Iron Girl in September (Rocky Gap) and it’s a great feeling to cross that finish line! Love your Betty tri outfit!
This web site truly has all the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.
Thanks for the great summary. I’m registering my daughter and myself for the 2014 Pleasant Prairie Iron Girl Tri. It will be her first triathalon and I think she’ll have a great day. BTW, some of us think the swim is the best part and would rather swim again than run at the end!
Wow. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your experience. I enjoyed reading your article. Just keep working hard and always have fun.