We decided that we're not tri-ers, we're runners. If I was being completely honest, I'd totally do a regular triathlon (vs a sprint, which is what this one was) if I didn't have to do the bike portion. I'd happily swim AND run, as long as I didn't have to bike. Although the bike was when I got to wear my special helmet, so there's that.
We picked up our packets on Saturday at Fleet Feet in Winston-Salem. Suzy/Google didn't know that Fleet Feet had moved, so I was following directions to their unoccupied building.. no bueno. That did lead me to finding a Winterfire store, which meant I got to peruse some StoryPeople prints while I was waiting on The MD Adult Roomie to arrive, so I didn't mind.
The race workers who were handing out packets were bitches and there was no real direction on what to do. There were many first time triathletes there, so I'm sure we all could have used a little more direction.
First we were approached by a lady who was holding up a sign for us to estimate our swim time on and she would assign us a group and write a number on our hand. She was helpful. Then we went into the packet area and there was no one at one of the tents, but the merchandise tent had someone at it. There was also a little table with forms on it.
That form seemed important and since it was the first thing on the way in the area, we went there to fill out a form. Since there was no one at the table, we figured we could fill out the form there since there were no clipboards or any open tables to write on. We just started writing when someone came over and told us we needed to move in a not friendly way (this isn't just my opinion, Teh MD Adult Roomie agreed with me and she's way nicer than me). Almost 1/2 way through the form I realized we didn't actually need to do the form, but the lady hadn't asked us if we were already registered so we had figured we needed it. Ugggh.
Then the ladies were jerks when we explained to them that we were pretty sure we already had filled out the form. I figure as the 2nd interaction a participant has with race workers, you'd want to be a good interaction.. but that did not seem to be the case with these 2 ladies. Finally, packets were handed over and we meandered to the merchandise table so Teh MD Adult Roomie (MD-AR) could pick up a bib belt (that's a thing apparently). We walked inside and picked up our shirts and got swim caps (that neither of us wore because why would anyone wear a latex swim cap when silicone doesn't break all your hair off?). We browsed around Fleet Feet and I picked up Body Glide (which Erin pointed out could be dirty, but it's anti-chafing stuff (that didn't work the first time I used it)) and my own bib belt (which I was gonna return but Meri ate the receipt like the #goatdog she is).
Then it was time to wait on it to be race day!
Our hotel was only 8 minutes from the YWCA where the race was happening, so we weren't worried when we looked at the clock and it was already 0620 and we hadn't left yet. We wanted to get there early to get our biked checked over and tires pumped and get our station set up.
When we arrived, we brought our stuff to our station and then went to pick up our timing chips and got body art (left arm: race number, right arm: name, left calf: team name, right calf: age). After we had all the stuffs, we set up our stations like we had seen in the example on Saturday at Fleet Feet.
|We made it!|
|Getting my tires pumped up|
|Sexy body art!|
|We totally welcomed this photobomber.|
Ok, and I had bombed their photo. #sorrynotsorry
They opened the pool for warmups and I figured why not. Yeah, after doing a few laps I was worried about the swim. Then when I went to get out, I slipped off the edge and bashed my shin on the wall. I had a knot form quickly after. Good times. It's a really pretty green/yellow color now and really prohibits satisfactory foam rolling.
After warmups, we had to vacate the transition area and line up for the swim. I had already told Teh MD-AR that I was going to wait on her before starting the bike portion, so we wished each other luck and headed to our different swim groups. I had nothing to worry about during warm ups. Once I got in my swimming groove, swimming 225 meters was fine. Unfortunately, I underestimated my skill/time and I ended up having to pass 2 women and then got stuck in a line behind another lady, there were 3 of us stuck behind her, but we were almost to the end. I ended up doing a lot of breast stroke because I needed to go slower so I wouldn't hit the person in front of me.
I waited 20 minutes for Teh MD-AR to finish her swim, then we headed off for 8 miles on the bikes. During my wait, I did that awkward thing where I put on my sports bra over my swim suit. I almost left it on over the suits since I was struggling with the straps and fearing REALLY stretching out my suit, but since I had time, went through the hassle of putting it under my suit, despite potential onlookers. Whatevs, I couldn't NOT wear it for the run portion, so it had to happen.
Teh MD-AR had practiced biking, so she was way better than me. Additionally, Monty was giving me serious problems and refused to shift gears which was obnoxious. Had I practicing my biking more than once, I still wouldn't have been prepared for the HUGE FUCKING HILLS we encountered. There's nothing in Charleston that steep except for one side of the bridge. The worst part? We had to do 2 laps for the bike course so it wasn't a one and done situation..... #nomegusta.
The best/worst part of the bike was all the compliments on my awesome helmet. I really appreciated the compliments, but as a lady who had been behind us pointed out after the race, "I bet you were so tired of hearing it!" I was. I was trying not to be rude and stay motivated and say thank you to everyone who said something, but as the one person who stands out in the crowd, at least 50 people said something, and when I was trying to push up that devil hill, the last thing I wanted to be was polite. I was glad the lady said something about it so I didn't feel guilty about feeling frustrated.
It took almost 1.5 miles to get into running after slaying my legs during the bike part. Then we only had 1/2 a mile left and I was like, that's it?
|Running selfies. I told Teh MD-AR that she looked like she was growling in this photo and I think it's funny, but she's going to want to kill me when she sees this. Sorry you'll have to wait a few more weeks! ;)|
The run was the final event, and we ran into the chute holding hands because we did it together!
|We survived the Tri!|
We checked out the tents and picked up some snacks and water. Hell yes to the person who was like, "Let's have blueberry bagels." I love you. Same to the person who was giving out little cups of Jelly Bellys. Me love you long time. I was sad there wasn't a roller station since that was the highlight of finishing my 10-Miler in April, but eh, whatevs.
After we checked out the tents and decided we weren't going to wait to see the results scroll through, we headed back to the transition area to pack up and head back to the hotel for showers. Since I'm a rewards member with Holiday Inn, we were able to get late checkout, which was delightful.
|Post-race photos were completely necessary!|
I participate in virtual races and when they had a BFF run that came with 2 medals, I KNEW I needed to get one for Teh MD-AR and I. I had meant to give it to her after we finished the race, but I completely failed and forgot until we got back to the hotel, so I gave it to her before I went to shower.
So we got TWO medals for the race, which for this bling motivated girl, was completely awesome. We totally wore our medals to brunch. We saw several other women from the race where we went to breakfast (their shirts/body art gave it away). That's my favorite part of post race meals, seeing others who participated with you. It's especially fun after a color run! These women weren't overly friendly, so we didn't chat with them, but that was ok.
Overall, I'd say the race was fun and it's good for someone who wants to try a triathlon. It's a sprint so it's not the regular distances so you get a feel for each activity. There were a lot of first-timers there, including us, so that tells you something. There were also hardcore triathletes there. There were small girls, they were the most impressive. Some of them completed the whole race, some of them were just part of a team. Either way, to see them out there was awesome.
I personally felt like I hadn't really done much after we finished. Both the swim and run left me wanting more. I wasn't tired from the tri like I usually am after a solid run, despite the struggle that was the biking portion. Honestly, driving home was more exhausting than the tri, that is not the case with my other races. When I run in a race that I've trained for, I want to be challenged! This didn't feel like a challenge, but I also think Teh MD-AR and I underestimated our skill levels. We can run 13 miles. This was like running around the gym track expecting to feel fulfilled (at least for me).
Will I do another triathlon? Uuuuuggghhh, probably if I was super peer pressured. I'd prefer to do it as a team. I'd be willing to swim AND run (for a full or sprint) if I didn't have to bike though. If I'm completely honest, this medal wasn't worth it. It wasn't anything better than I get from doing the virtual runs, or maybe I'm just a medal snob after my Divas 1/2 and Tarheel 10-Miler medals (this isn't because I expected a different medal than the one they actually give either)? Also, I have high expectations for the Navy-AF medal after seeing the Marine Corps 1/2 medal that Teh MD-AD has. Teh MD-AR and I agreed that it was maybe a once a year thing, but definitely not a regular thing.
Would I recommend the Ramblin Rose Triathlon? Sure. Especially if you want to try it out and see what it's all about. I would say not to go in with high expectations of being a star because there are definitely some badasses out there. That said, I would also take my time, which is exactly what we did. I waited 20 minutes for Teh MD-AR during the first transition because I wanted to do it WITH her (heheh that's what she said).
That said, I'm glad it's over. Monty is too. When I pulled him out of Yurtle when I got home, his front tire completely detached from the wheel. So much for possibly continuing to ride the bike... I'll stick with running and possibly swimming.