I did it!!!!! The Iron Girl Lake Las Vegas Olympic Triathlon is complete. I am an IRON GIRL!
Friday, my sweet friend Heather and I left my house around 10am to road trip it out to Vegas! Originally the Hubby and RJ were going to come out with me, but after some thought, we thought it best that they hang back and make it out for my next event!
When we arrived at the Westin Lake Las Vegas, we were in awe of the beautiful mountains and scenic view! I never knew there was this side of Vegas!
First things first! We went to check in and get my bib number and hit up the Expo!
The expo was very small, but had some really cute women specific booths. I really like the Tough Chik booth and ended up buying my first visor!
At 4pm there was a great chat about the course. It was so helpful to hear from the race coordinator about what to expect. When I heard that we would be doing two laps of everything, I almost thought about switching to the Sprint.
Then we headed up to our room! I have to say this may be the best view from any Westin Hotel I have EVER visited!
After we settled into our room, we took the hotel shuttle to a few of the restaurants and shops just a few miles down the road. It was so nice not to have to worry about driving or getting lost and be able to have someone to pick us up from the hotel and bring us back. We decided on a local Italian Restaurant called Luna Rossa. Honestly, it was some of the worst service I have ever had so I wouldn’t recommend going there, but the food was pretty good. I ordered the balsamic salmon with mixed veggies and potatoes. Salmon is always my GO-TO pre-race meal if I can find it!
Then we went back to our rooms to settle into our HEAVENLY beds and call it an early night. I laid out all my gear so at 5am I wouldn’t have to think much. I loved that we were staying at the Westin because all I had to do was walk downstairs and suit up!
At 5am my alarm went off and I slowly moved toward the coffee maker, made a cup of joe and enjoyed a whole wheat egg muffin with almond butter and banana.
At first I went downstairs to the transition area and put all my gear out! I had one major fail when I forgot to unhook the Velcro on my cycling shoes for an easy transition, but everything else was fine. I laid my towel down and put everything I needed on top. I had my running shoes, helmet with gloves and sunglasses inside, long sleeve shirt in case it was freezing for the bike ride and finally my bib number, which I had on a belt.
Then I went back up to my room (a one minute walk) to put on my awesome Aqua Sphere wet suit! I was so excited when they sent this to me to try out and a little nervous that it might not fit., but if fit perfectly! It was super easy to put on and throughout the swim I felt light and WARM! Thank goodness because the water was 62 degrees!
At 6:15am, I was back at the transition area and walked to the start line.
The race started at 6:40 on the dot! I loved that we got to watch the sunrise. A sunrise swim is my favorite! I jumped in a little before the start to warm up. It always helps if I do a couple strokes before the race. It helps me get rid of some of the nervousness.
I have done two sprint Tri’s and a Half Iron Man Tri, but this was my first Olympic Tri and my first race at Iron Girl Lake Las Vegas as well so I had no idea what to shoot for as far as time!
Then we were OFF! Here is the thing that is mentally hard about this course. We had to do everything twice for the Olympic distance. For the swim, we swam out to the red buoy, came out of the water, ran across the start line and jumped back into the water to do it again. Getting out of the water was mentally challenging. It was easy to think I was done, but I had to do the lap again. Same with the bike and run. The good thing was that you knew what was coming and how to pace yourself.
My swim was ok and felt pretty good. When I jumped out the water, I had to run quite a distance to the transition area on pavement and so my first transition time was SLOW because my hands were so cold that I had a hard time getting my suit off and putting on my socks and gloves. But when I finally got everything on, I ran with my bike and took off up the SUPER STEEP FIRST HILL!
Transition #1: 04:06
The first 8 miles of the bike were all uphill. I didn’t have a watch (My battery died. It’s a long story.), but I used my MapMyRun App on my iPhone. I tried to stay between a 10-11MPH pace up the hills and 15-18MPH on the flat parts. Coming down the hills is where I hoped to pick up some time! I was going 30MPH at one point and had to put on the brakes a little. Once again when we got back to the transition area, we had to take off back up the hill for LAP #2! The best part was that the finish was all downhill. I liked the bike course (hills and all), but I just wasn’t as fast as I hope to be on the bike. I saw some beautiful views and didn’t have any flat tires, so all was good!
Transition #2: MUCH faster, 2:29!
Oh how I love jumping off my bike and hitting the pavement! Running is my event! My transition was a lot faster this time because all I had to do was throw on my shoes, bib number, visor and go! The first two miles, once again, were straight uphill! My feet were so NUMB! It took them some time to come to life, but when they did, I took stride as fast as I could without killing myself. Mile 3 was downhill and then we had to do it all again. Some of the hills were so steep that women were walking, but I kept telling myself one baby step in front of the other. No matter how slow I was going, I was running! I really hated that I didn’t have a watch to tell me my pace, but at the same time it was kind of nice just to run!
The last two miles I prayed and enjoyed every minute of the race. No matter what my time was I was so happy that I had the health to do the race! There are not a lot of spectators throughout the entire course, but when I came in to the finish there were a ton of people screaming and cheering. When I saw my friend Heather, I sprinted, threw my hands up and crossed the finish line with a smile!
Finish time: 3:04:59, 24th overall and 5th in my age division! Not bad for my first Olympic!
I loved my Saucony Guide 7’s and I felt like I was running on AIR! They come out in November folks! I really like the color too. I am kind of obsessed with teal blue and pink these days. I also really liked my Danskin Tri-Suit that a friend gave me! I loved the one piece for a short Tri. I did wear a sports bra under it but didn’t chafe at all! I also wore my new Oakley’s and although this pair is super cute, I wasn’t a fan of them for racing. I need a lighter pair for sure!
FEED ME!!!! After the race, I quickly showered and headed to the STRIP in Vegas for lunch! I was craving some yummy tacos, margaritas and guacamole! We went to the Fashion Mall and found El Segundo Sol! Best Margs and Mahi Mahi tacos EVER!
The homemade GUAC was to die for!
The rest of the day was spent shopping! The Fashion Mall is HUGE!
For dinner we got all dressed up to hit up town, but then ended up just going to the Westin hotel restaurant, eating dinner and bringing wine and dessert back to our rooms! We enjoyed being in our yoga pants and watching the World Series a little more than dancing the night away.
It was such an amazing weekend and I was so blessed to have had the support of a dear friend! Next year I must get a group of girls together to do this race with me! Iron Girl is so organized and everyone on the course was encouraging and friendly! I can not wait to do another!
Thanks Iron Girl for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing TRI!
Also, thank you Westin for letting me experience your hotel as an athlete. I may never choose any another hotel to stay at again.
And finally, thank you to Juice It Up for the fuel to get me to and from Vegas!