Race day, it was finally here. Britney had first suggested doing this triathlon in January, at the time I thought “yeah let’s do that, it sounds fun” but Saturday morning all I could think was “what was I thinking?! I’m not in shape for this! Do they seriously think I can swim that far without drowning?!” There was no turning back at that point though. I had kinda sorta started training in February; I had done the bod pod in January when I was back in Colorado and basically it told me I was fat, so I was pretty motivated to get back into working out. I started out running here and there and every once in a while threw in a workout on the bike. Once it got nicer outside I started running more and biking a little more often. I felt pretty good on the bike (I love biking) and even though I still kinda hate running I knew I could handle the distance. I swam 4 times I think before race day so I was pretty confident that I would drown in the first stage and be done there. But anyway back to the race. The swim was first and when the put out the buoy I seriously went “you’re kidding right? There’s no way” But we still started and I was not at all prepared for how much water was coming at me, it was wavy already and with the added waves from the people around me it freaked me out a bit. I just kept going though. I thought I was never going to make it back to shore but I finally did and as tired as I was it was great to be back on my feet. Even though it felt like forever I was only in the water for 22:59 (203 of 244), which was great because my best time in practice was about 28 minutes. I got to the transition area as fast as I could (which was actually really slow) and got ready to get on my bike. Since I had to get my shoes on and throw on some clothes my transition was a bit slow (the major fatigue probably didn’t help much either) and I took 3:19 (134 out of 244) to get out of the transition I was happy to be on my bike since this is the only part of the tri that I really enjoy. I was so tired from the swim that I didn’t feel like I was really recovered from it until I was about 8 miles into my 18 mile ride. One of my friends had taken off right as I was coming in so my first goal was to catch up to her which I finally did. We saw each other a couple times but I eventually ended up a bit ahead. The course had a lot of hills which means I was going slow and it was also on the road so watching out for cars made it interesting. Training so much on hills really seemed to pay off because this was actually where I could pass people. I think I ended up averaging about 16 mph which was a little slower than I wanted but I was finished in 1:08:41 (208 of 244) so not too terrible considering how bad I felt after the swim. Since I was all I had to do back in the transition area was take off my helmet, put up my bike, and grab my watch my 2nd transition time was pretty fast, just 52 seconds here (45 out of 244). Getting out of the transition area was running up a hill in the grass, I was barely moving! And even though I felt like I didn’t drink much water on the bike my tummy was sloshing like the whole lake was in there. Not a fun start to the run but I was moving. I knew it was gonna be slow cause I was burned out by this point. A couple of my friends passed me on their way back in, my goal is to someday be as good as they are! The run is really the only part that I was disappointed by. I walked a couple of the hills and I know that I could have run them. At this point I was physically tired but the game was all mental for me on the run and I just couldn’t quite stand up to it. I think I just about had a break down around mile 3 but I just kept going. Regardless I still finished the 4.5 miles in 53:19 (222 of 244). None of us were quite sure of the run distance because they had originally said 5.5 miles but I had my GPS going on my watch and it was 4.5 but I was definitely ok with running 1 less mile. I got to the finish and had my friends cheering me on (one of the good parts of them beating me) and I was psyched that I had finished, my first triathlon was complete in 2:29:09 (213 of 244) and I had gotten in under my goal of 2.5 hours. And I wasn’t even last in my gender/age division! It was a great although difficult (physically and mentally) experience but I’m so happy I did it and really proud of myself. The great thing that I noticed during the race was how nice and encouraging people were. There were people out cheering on parts of the course and other races would even say things like “good job” and “keep it up” when they’re passing you. At the finish line the say your name and city and people cheered for you by name and it’s just such a good feeling! Stuff like that definitely made getting through the race more fun. My body wasn’t super happy with my afterwards and I was so worn out. We all took about a 3 hour nap that afternoon and it felt amazing to just relax. I’m already looking into planning for my next one and I know triathlons are definitely something I want to keep doing and improving at. I think I might be hooked now and I’m even ready to get back to training. Crazy right?
This song reminds me of how I felt during the race. Just kept telling myself “my body was made for so much more than this”