Normally I wouldn't devote a whole blog post to the single transition in an event, but since I took nearly 12 minutes to complete it, it was like a separate event unto itself!
After my happy dance for completing the swim, I nearly ran into a volunteer standing directly in my path, but it turned out he was trying to hand me my correctly-numbered bike gear bag. Then I took my bag with me into the women's side of the changing tent. I hadn't ever been to a triathlon with a changing tent before. Neither had I been to one with a little semi-circle of chairs set up inside (as if they were about to hold a little encounter group meeting) with a head table set up with water and two flavors of sports gels arrayed on it.
And HELPERS! I never imagined that there would be helpers in the tent! I didn't know how to act! One kind woman took charge of me and helped me take things out of my gear bag, asked me what I needed, and gave me two cups of water and a gel upon my request. The gel was much-needed since I was a little shaky after emerging from the long swim effort!
The helper woman also helped pack up my things again, which isn't so simple when it's a bulky dripping wetsuit. I asked her her name and she said that it was Tracy, but that I wouldn't remember. Oh yes I did! Thank you, Tracy, you were an angel!
I started blabbering about how I thought I was last out there in the swim and was so glad to be done with that leg. She looked outside and said there were still men finishing, and that if I beat any men in the swim I must have done pretty well! That was nice to hear, since I really had no idea that there were actually at least 17 swimmers that arrived after me.
I asked her the temperature outside - I couldn't really judge, in between wearing my hot wetsuit and being soaking wet from the swim and warm from the exertion. She said it was about 60 degrees, so I was happy to put on my cycling armwarmers and full-fingered throwaway gloves over my fingerless cycling gloves. I also pulled on a cycling jersey and dry cycling shorts.
Just as I was finishing up with putting on my cycling shoes Ellie came in the door! I was truly surprised! I really thought that she would be long gone by the time I got to transition. We had a cheerful little encounter group session after all, and then I ducked out the opposite door, headed for the porta-potty, and peed like a racehorse, which probably took at least 3 or 4 minutes right there.
Then it was time to get my bike Buttercup! I checked the tires before I unracked her (after my bad experience riding out of Eagleman transition in that very location with a flat), but all was well this day. I trotted out of the teensy transition area, which amazingly still held a dozen bikes, mounted up and we were on our way.
"Hurrah! I get to ride my bike now!"