Sunday, September 11, 2011

One for the Books

I don't really know where to start with today, so I'll start from the beginning.

4:25am. I was out of bed. I toasted waffles and turned on the coffee maker. I dressed myself and woke up Johnny. By 5am I'd eaten said waffles with peanut butter, put my coffee in a to-go cup and headed out the door.

We got to the race REALLY early. Before 6am, for a race that didn't start until 8am. I was nervous and it was COLD outside (and still dark!) I picked up packet, put all my numbers on (I was 517) and set-up my transition area.  As the sun came up, the lake was SO beautiful.

Having arrived so early, we had a lot of time to kill before the start of the race, so Johnny and I walked around a bit and took some pictures.

this is my nervous face

ohhh shoot. What's a girl to do?
more nervous face
I took a warm-up swim (the water temp was about 72 degrees...and seeing as it was only about 55 out, it felt super nice), and before I knew it, it was time to line up. I was basically shaking as I stood with my swim wave. Partly I was freezing, and partly I was TERRIFIED. The day had come and I was about to start my first tri. All I kept thinking was "HOLY SHIT."

I was the 6th wave of swimmers, so I didn't start until 8:25. Johnny played race photog and he did an awesome job. Here's my wave of swimmers.

The swim was not so bad. I had never done the distance in a straight line before...only back and forth in the pool, so I didn't really know how well I would do. I think I started a little slowly, but I got into my groove. I got tired by the end, but not enough to stop or float, I was close enough to the end to just push through. I came out of the water and Johnny and my aunt, my cousin, and her daughter were there to cheer me on.

My first transition was a little long. I had to change shirts and put socks on, so I didn't get in and out all that quickly, but I remembered my helmet and my Shot Bloks, so I was good. Right out of the gate there was a hill. IT SUCKED. My cheering squad (which now also included my mom and my sister) were on the hill, so I smiled for the camera.

But let me tell you, that was the only time I smiled on the bike. It was SO hilly. Hills like I've never seen before. It was so much up hill I thought I'd never make it. I had to get off my bike and walk one time, and the down hills and flats just did not come often enough. I took a lot longer on the bike that I had expected to and it wore my legs out. I was SERIOUSLY under-trained on hills.

Second transition was much fast...I just had to ditch my helmet, put on a headband, and choke down a lemon-lime Gu.

I took off on the run and had to go back up the SAME bitch of hill that started the bike. Once again my cheering squad was on the hill, so it helped me push through the first part, but I had to walk up the second half. My legs were MUSH. I honestly don't know what my time was on the run, or even was my pace was because my Garmin was in multi-sport mode and just stayed on "Other" the whole time. I felt pretty slow, but I pushed through. I had cheering squad and water at mile 1, and water again just after mile 2. I took three walk breaks before mile 2, and walked half of the hill, until I could power through until the end. I run actually went by MUCH more quickly than I thought it would. The finish line was in my sights and I started to get emotional.

don't be jealous of my form.
I was about to finish a triathlon. I thought about how far I've come, and how I was seriously doing this. A few years ago I couldn't run for 1 minute on the treadmill, and here I am about to cross the finish line. I saw my cheering squad and couldn't keep it inside anymore.

I did it. As I crossed the finish line, my mom was right there waiting for me. I hugged her and burst into tears. It seems cheesy, but what I did today was a HUGE accomplishment for me. I have gone through so much to get where I am, and I'm just extremely proud of myself.

AND, most importantly, I could not have done it without my AWESOME support team. Not only did I have my cheering squad, and my hot husband, but the BFF too! No, she couldn't be there, but she was always encouraging me and giving me tons of tips. Thanks to her tri-loving fiance, she knew some ins and outs that really helped. It pays to have such great people in your life! :)

I've been on a high all day and I kind of want to brag about how awesome I am. Luckily, my mom was in town to hang out after the race and was willing to listen to it. So now that it's done, I'm SUPER sore in the quads, and I'm tired (if I make it to 8:30pm tonight), but I'm so happy.



  1. you are AWESOME!!! so proud of you :) you'll have to tell me more next time we catch up!

  2. Crazy day!! Congrats! You did awesome!!! :):)