I am a triathlete!!!
Wow! I can't believe I really did it.
On Sunday I participated in the Iron Girl Triathlon. We headed out early (4:30 AM) for the race. Parking was at a totally different location so we had to park and then take a shuttle to the course. At 5:45 we arrive the course.
I set up my transition stuff. Thankfully there were a bunch of other ladies around that we able to help me know how to set everything out. Next was porta potty time.
Now the waiting.... I thought my heat was at 6:45, but it was actually at 7:15. I waited...I updated my status....I waited.....we took pictures....more status updates.
At 7:10 we were allowed to get into the water. I had *intended* to do an open water swim before the event, but never quite go it done. At the last second another athlete mentioned that if I start to feel like I can't breathe that I should go onto my back. The water felt good. They announced that it was 73 degrees. I started to swim and instantly started to freak out. I tried to put my head under water and could not do it. It's hard to explain, but there was this pressure on my chest that made it impossible to breathe. I remembered what that lady had said and on to my back I went. Now what? I was just starting! There were 3 buoys. I just had to make it to the first buoy. I started doing breast stroke with a crawl stroke kick. It was totally ineffective, but I was moving. THEN it hit me! I can do backstroke. DUH! I only practiced crawl stroke, but have a strong backstroke. The only problem with backstroke was that clouds don't make a great line to follow. Thankfully there were kayaks in the water that kept me headed the right direction. I ended up doing 20 strokes backstroke and then a bit of my crawl/breast hybrid and made it to the 2nd buoy. I asked a kayaker if I was at least 1/2 way. Thankfully she told me that I was close to 3/4s done. SWEEEEET! I finished up the 1/2 mile swim in 25:56. This was great for me since most of my pool swims were right around 25 minutes.
Transition 1- Out of the water, across the street and in to transition. This took me forever (9 minutes!). I could definitely do this better next time.
The bike portion was really uneventful (thankfully!) The only exciting thing was when the lady in front of my dropped her water bottle going down a steep hill. Thankfully I saw it or I would have totally met the pavement. I swerved and avoided the bottle. 12 miles= 53:35 minutes. I was expecting close to an hour, so I was delighted with 53 minutes.
Transition 2- Off the bike, ate 1/4 of a cliff bar and I was off to the run. Much faster! 2:59. Ironically, my best "overall" placement was in T2. More on that in a bit....
I started off walking. My legs were jello. I missed my music. I was getting TIRED! I can do this. I thought about so many friends that I knew were cheering me on. I thought about the medal at the end. I thought about how far I've come. I didn't have music, but I did have cones. There were cones placed down the middle of the run course every few feet. I decided to run 10 cones and walk 10 cones. This helped me to pace myself and distract me while running. I counted and counted and counted. Finally the finish line was approaching. I rounded the corner and there was the husband. He was my champion today. Out of the water, back from the bike, and ending the run- he was there! It was nice to see a friendly face. Normally I run a 37-38 minute 5K. Today I ran a 41:16 and that is just find with me.
Overall I finished with a time of 2:13:31! I am ecstatic!!!! My goal was 2 hours 30 minutes. I met or exceeded my goal for every single part of the triathlon (except that first transiton- WOW). My "overalls" aren't very impressive. 149/174 in my division and 959/1144 overall. Here's the thing- I'm not fast. I am determined. I finished strong. I am proud.
I am a triathlete!
Thank you to everyone that sent messages of encouragement to me over the past few days. They meant the world to me and pushed me through some difficult spots during the race. We did it! :)