Take 2 by Tamieka Thomasson

Its been almost 3 weeks since my 2nd triathlon and with things fresh in my mind, I thought I would share my experience for you all.

Let me go back a little bit. When I did my 1st triathlon last September. I really took a HUGE leap into the triathlon world doing the SavageMan 20.0.  Although this is a Sprint Distance Triathlon which is usually a good way to ease into the sport, SavageMan (as its name states) is NOT a beginners triathlon (In my opinion).  The open water swim alone is a daunting task as a new athlete and the hills of Cumberland/Deep Creek MD are no f-ing joke. After completing that triathlon, I was not convinced that I would do another triathlon anytime soon.

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Fast forward to when Sarah  shared the Rev3 Sprint Series. with me and a few other tri-friends. I looked up the series and saw that there were a few that had pools swims and relatively flat bike and run courses. Also they were close to home.  I googled to find some reviews of the Westfields race but didn’t find many.  I talked to Sarah about it as she knows me and I trust her advice.  She assured me that it was beginner friendly and a great race! Well then….Sign me up buddy!!!
With my training that I received from Tri-Equal, I came into this triathlon feeling much more physically and mentally prepared for this race.
The race was a Sunday race, so Saturday night, I packed my bag, checked it about 5 times-going over in my head ‘what do I need for swim,,,,what do I need for bike…..what do I need for run?)  Can you believe I almost forgot my Garmin! EEKK! Before bed, I practiced the Multi-Sport function on my Garmin. After obsessing, I was off to bed about 10:30.

The weather was slated to be in the 70s but with high humidity. Yuck to the humidity but I will take it over last year’s weather which was cold and rainy!
With early packet pick up available on race day (5:30-6:40 am), I set my alarm to get up at 4:15 deciding to leave the house about 4:45 am to give me enough time to get lost and still make packet pick up. I made it-with plenty of time!  I parked… crashed my bike into a tree…don’t ask and got my packet.  The bike was fine thankfully. After heading back to my car to get everything, I headed to my spot.

Note to self and others…..if you are going to use your towel after coming out of the water….don’t neatly set out your other race items ON TOP of said towel! Note to self-don’t forget to get a transition mat or another towel.
I was all set up and ready with plenty of time to run to the bathroom, chit chat with friends and wait for the race to start. During this time, I got to meet an Instagram friend – Kristen! This was such a treat!
My Ride Or Die-girlfriend woke up early to be there for the 7am start.  We were able to see each other and chit chat before I was off to self seed to the swim. Booo-that we didn’t get any pictures together. I was so thankful to have someone personally cheering for me.

The early start time and decent drive made it a bit too early for the kiddies and hubby. Maybe next year, we will stay at a hotel so they can be there too.
The race started promptly at 7am. I seeded myself at the 2:30/100m and waited. I got myself ready for the water by wading in the kiddie pool as I watch the faster swimmers make there way in and out of the pool. I liked that I was able to see exactly how the snake swim worked. This relieved a bit of the anxiety that I had for the swim.

While waiting, a girl introduced herself to me and turns out she was another Instagram friend.  It is always so nice to meet social media friends in real life. Katya and I chatted as we made our way to the start of the swim. She had her coach Taryn with her giving her some last minute advice and pep talks which I gladly enjoyed as well. We wished each other good luck and we were off. Remember the practicing of the Mutli-Sport Mode on the Garmin, I did the night before…..yeah well I wasn’t able to get it to work correctly for the race…uuugh! The 1st 150 of the swim, I felt great but started to feel myself fading in effort and form shorty there after.  The good thing about a pool swim is that you can stop and rest on the wall. Which I did. This allowed me to catch my breath re-focus and finish the swim strong.

Swim Time: 6:41

After hoping out of the pool, there was about a 200m distance to transition.  I eased out of the pool and took my time making my way to transition. Giving myself time to get my breathing under control and to feel comfortable getting onto my bike.
After flipping everything off my towel to dry off, I gathered what I needed for the bike and was off!

T-1 time: 3:28

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Katya and I saw each other again and started out on the bike course together. We stayed together for the first mile of the course and then she was gone.  I kept her in my sights for the 1st loop but lost her after that. I felt strong on the bike and comfortable shifting on the slight inclines of the course.

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Bike time: 45:05 giving me my fastest bike speed to date at 15.7mph
I hopped off my bike, swapped my helmet for my visor and clipped on my race belt and was off.

T-2 time: 2:04

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Here is where the humidity kicked my butt! I found it really difficult to catch my breath and to get a good rhythm to my run.  I ended up stopping and or walking way to much to my liking which resulted in my slowest run ever!
I was DONE.COM when I rounded the corner to the finish line. Katya, Taryn, Sabrina and a few other ladies where right there at the corner and cheered so loudly for me and that truly helped me push to the finish.

Then I saw the finish line and I sucked it up and pushed to finish strong!

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Run time: 36:23

Not too shabby!
I really had no set time to finish as this race was so different from my 1st triathlon but I knew I wanted to finish under 2 hrs.
Overall, I felt that the race went well and I absolutely felt the improvements of my swim and bike efforts!

Read more about Tamieka at https://fitballingrunningmom.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/rev3-westfields-triathlon-race-recap/

Thanks to Ritanne Duszak who donated her time coaching Tamieka as part of our Equally Inspiring Program.

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