Since I wasn’t blogging back then, and because I couldn’t think of another topic, I thought I’d tell a little tale about my first Triathlon experience. Here goes:
In 2009, I completed my first two big racing events. I completed a half marathon in Lincoln, NE and one in Kansas City, MO. I LOVED the racing experience. I was totally hooked. I also realized, I wasn’t so hooked on the actual “running” thing. Unlike my husband Jim, I didn’t live to run, I ran because I wanted to enjoy the race experience. So, I started toying with the idea of triathlon because it wasn’t just running. I wish I could say I was a strong biker or swimmer, so it just seemed natural, but that wasn’t the case. I owned a hybrid bike, but the tires were literally dry rotted. I hadn’t even sat my butt on it in probably 10 years. I absolutely loved the water, but I had never actually been a swimmer – no lessons or understanding of technique. But what the heck, why couldn't I bike, swim and run? I started doing some Internet research and found a decent size Women’s Sprint Triathlon in the area and I went to their website from time to time and just “thought” about doing it.
For Christmas in 2009, Jim bought me “Triathlon Training for Dummies”. I thought it was great. I read it cover to cover. I kept thinking to myself, I can do this. A sprint will probably take me under 2 hours, and a half marathon took me almost 3 hours – so from an endurance perspective I know I can do this. So, I signed up – now I was committed. I took a beginner’s orientation clinic which was a big help. They talked about transition, and biking form, we even got to get in the pool and have our stroke (or lack thereof) analyzed. At that clinic I won an entrance into another triathlon in the fall. What?? I haven’t even done 1 triathlon, now I’m signed up for two! After that class I went and purchased a new road bike – an introductory level bike. I was SCARED to death on the bike. I would ride around my neighborhood a few miles and just knew I was going to crash and die. I finally ventured out to a little local trail, but I hated to ride to it because I had to ride on a real road, and cross a real street with a traffic light. I was literally petrified every second on the bike.
In the summer, I ran across a Triathlon 101 class. It was an all women’s class. You got to swim (in a lake), bike, and run in almost every class – as a group. My confidence on the bike improved tremendously. I was finally feeling more comfortable in open water – although my swim stroke was still completely awful. I also realized, I am truly the world’s slowest runner – generally finishing last in class on the run portions of our workouts. The class was awesome. I met some awesome women and fellow triathletes. I didn't feel so all alone anymore.
The triathlon finally arrived. I had a goal time of 1 hour and 45 minutes. I arrived in the wee hours of the morning – around 5:00 am. The triathlon was an hour from my house, so this meant getting up at around 2:45 am and leaving by 4:00 am. It was a very, very early morning indeed. On the drive there I was certain that the car was on fire. I kept smelling something weird and asking Jim over and over – do you smell that – what is that – is the car of fire? I think he seriously wanted to kill me. I was just a bundle of nerves, the smallest thing a distraction.
I arrived and got my transition area set up. The swim started in waves based on your anticipated swim time. I was one of the later groups to go. Standing in line waiting for the race to start was brutal. I was so nervous I thought I might throw up. Finally the whistle blew and it was my turn to jump in the water. With each stroke the nerves went away. The swim was hard; it was only 500 meters, but it took a lot out of me. I don’t even remember all the details now. It was kind of blur after it started. I somehow managed to get out of the water and on my bike. The bike portion went pretty well. I even passed some people – wahoo – go me. I came back for the final leg. I was TIRED, but I was ready to get the run completed. I ran out of the transition area, and literally was stopped in my tracks. My left calf cramped up so bad I couldn’t run, heck I couldn’t walk. I had to stop and stretch it out. I ended up having to walk/run the 3.1 mile run portion of the triathlon and my calf would continue to give me pain for the rest of the summer. But in the end, I finished with a smile on my face and my official time was 1:37:38. I beat my goal time by several minutes and I was officially a TRIATHLETE. I still finished pretty low in the "leader board", but that was ok. It was a great experience. Later that summer I completed two more Sprint Triathlons. Not too bad for a beginner. This year in September I will complete my first Olympic Distance Triathlon and I can’t wait!
Swim - 500 Meters - 14:51
Bike - 10 Miles - 38:23
Run - 3.1 (5K) - 40:06
Total Time: 1:37:38
|Arriving bright and early - but all smiles!|
|A friend I met in Tri 101|
|Looking nervous preparing for the swim|
|Really looking nervous - waiting to get in the lake|
|T1 - I made it out of the water alive|
|Done!! So relieved and happy!|
|First Tri complete - still all smiles!|