If you have read this blog before you know that I was gently coerced into signing up for my first triathlon this summer. Although I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked to been, I had an absolute blast and can’t wait for the next race! I know that it can be scary to try something new, especially when you don’t know the first thing about training, but there are so many resources now to help, not to mention the outpouring of support from family and friends who all want you to achieve a personal goal. I think what amazed me the most was the amount of advice that came from individuals that I didn’t know had ever completed a triathlon. My openness about training and the race led to many great conversations and new friendships! Talk about a support network!
Anyway, I know you are all dying to know how it went, so here’s the skinny. My friend Katie and I set a time goal of 2 hours. We figured (both being newbies) that this was a realistic starting point, and we would be satisfied finishing in any time under that. We got up to the race site before dawn on Sunday to set up our transition site. I cannot begin to tell you how nervous we were, but seeing all of the athletes there (some veterans and other first timers) was actually very reassuring. We weren’t there to compete with anyone but ourselves and had a new “family” of 650 out there trying to accomplish the same. How refreshing it is to see so many people really testing themselves!
We were in the last heat due to our experience level and age, so we started a 19 minutes behind the 1st group. It gave us a little extra time to see that people were successfully completing the swim, and the likelihood of us drowning was slim to none…whew, one hurdle down. It was now our turn. The countdown ended with us running and diving in the lake in a massive heard which was a tad bit unruly. I got tossed around a bit and learned that next time I need to stick to the outside to avoid the crowd! I managed to finish in a slow but acceptable time and ran to my transition station, which went quickly. On to the bike. This is what I considered to be my strongest leg. While I didn’t really practice much on the road bike, years of riding as a child and the massive soccer legs gave me the confidence that I needed to start off strong. I thought I was booking it, but looking at the results in retrospect, I was really middle of the pack- but I felt great nonetheless! The ride was only 13 miles, but gave me enough time to catch back up to those that flew by me in the swim. By the time I made it back into the transition station, I had a second wind and flew out of the gates into the run. Unfortunately, that second wind was short lived as I blew by the first turn only to see a massive hill that immediately warned me of impending doom. A good many of those in front of me decided to walk the hill, which I decided was a good choice since my legs still wanted to move in the circular pedaling motion. I lunged up the hill stretching out my quads and hamstrings and at the top decided to really push myself and run the remainder of the route. I was pretty successful in that challenge; minus the moments I had to walk while taking a drink of water. Turns out I am not very coordinated and running while drinking resulted in a wet shirt opposed to hydration.
I finished the race as strong as I could, leaving everything on the course. My mom said I was pretty green running through the gate, but I regained color within a few minutes and felt good about the last push to the finish. I found out that I finished in 1 hour and 38 minutes, well below the 2 hour mark! While this honestly is pretty middle of the pack, I was ecstatic, as this was my first experience and I had not drowned, crashed, or passed out! It was a Success! In fact, Katie had an incredibly strong finish and the other girls that we had trained with/met at the event all seemed so satisfied with their accomplishments as well! It was such a great event and we are already planning on other triathlons to train for. I want to thank all of those who supported me and especially my Good Measure family who helped with pre race nutrition and advice on making the most of my nutritional intake and post race recovery!
Now I am on to my next challenge… any suggestions? I was thinking maybe rock climbing, kayaking, or some sort of dance class. If you are interested in taking up a new fitness challenge, let me know and just maybe you’ll see me training with you! Here’s to being active and always having fun!