Alarm goes off at 4:15 am (yes, you read that correctly). A quick alarm reset for 4:18 am. Every minute of sleep counts. Alarm goes off again. Okay, I’ll get up. Eat, get dressed, brush teeth, wake up V and it’s time to go. We literally woke her up and put her in the car with a quick bathroom pit stop. We are on our way and it is completely pitch black out. A good 50 minute drive with some song singing for entertainment. As we arrive, the nerves start to kick in.
First things first, get my timing chip and get body marked.
Now to find my spot in the transition area.
a tired little girl
I don’t know what the exact temperature of the water was but I know it was in the 60’s. A wetsuit was highly recommended and I sure am glad I had one for the day.
a little warm up
wave 2: can you see me? in the middle waving at the camera
I knew it would be difficult with the crowd of people around me; I had my fair share of run-ins. However, I have to say I struggled more than I anticipated. It was hard to get into a good breathing rhythm. A few minutes into my swim I had to swim with my head above water for a little bit to catch my breathe. I admit it, the thought crossed my mind to turn around and go back, however I knew that wasn’t possible. I had to push through and keep going. Instead of my regular breathing pattern, I had to breath every stroke. I made it to the first turn, where everyone crams into the turn. I told myself I’m almost halfway. I felt like I was the slowest person in the water, that everyone was passing me by. Breathing was still difficult but I was able to get into somewhat of a rhythm. The second turn never seemed to get any closer but I kept pushing through. When it did actually appear closer, the hatred towards my first tri had subsided. I was beginning to get comfortable and soon made the second turn. I was on the last leg of the swim. All is good now. I had begun singing in my head and was soon into my regular breathing pattern of every few strokes. Of course there was one last run in when someone stopped suddenly in front of me, however I made it back to the beach.
swim: 14 minutes and 39 seconds
A bit of a run up the beach towards the transition area. Time to get the wet suite off and helmet and shoes on. Have you ever tried taking a wet suite off? Having you ever tried taking a wet suite off after swimming .6 of a mile? All I know is it took everything in me not to fall over while taking it off. Talk about a dizzy head.
transition 1: 3 minutes and 35 seconds
Overall the bike was uneventful. It was a rolling hills course with a few sharp turns. Thankfully some of my training took place on hilly courses and in insane spin instructor classes! I didn’t have the expectation to keep up with all these other bikers on their hard-core, super cool bikes. Of the three disciplines, bike is probably my weakest. I really have only consistently biked when I started my training for this tri. I kept finding myself at points where the burn was in full force. However I didn’t let it slow me down but used it to push me forward. Overall, I felt good coming up on the last few miles of the bike and knew I only had one thing left: to run.
Coming in from my bike. I have no bike pictures on the course till the official pictures are posted.
bike: 47 minutes and 2 seconds
Just a quick drop off of the bike and helmet and off to run 3.3 miles.
grabbing my fuel belt, gotta make sure I’ve got some aqua
If you know me well, you know that I am not overly fond of running. It’s a bit of a love/hate relationship. I love to be healthy and the feeling after a run, I hate running. I know last year I ran my first half marathon (read about it here) however, that does not mean I kept up with my running. I was really starting from scratch when starting the training for this tri. It’s interesting to transition from a bike to a run. Your body (my body) goes through a process of adjusting to using different muscles and being in a different position. More so than one would realize. There was a lot of different pains coming up throughout my body in the first mile or so. In training, a lot of the pain I would experience was in my back, knees and shin splints. For the first time today, I had some in my hips. Thankfully it didn’t last long.
The course was mainly flat except for one hill before mile 2. That hill did not help my good mood and I thought many times about walking. There’s something to know about me though, I am not the most competitive person, nor a very fast person, however I am a determined person who can push herself. Though I hurt and wanted to walk, I convinced myself to make it to mile 1, then the water station, then mile 2. By that time, I had finally adjusted to running and felt good. No more thoughts of how the running is from the devil. It was great to come into the last stretch feeling strong. Hearing the crowd a half mile away let me know I was almost there and that I was about to complete my very first sprint triathlon. Though I had struggles at points, I pushed through and here I was almost done feeling good.
run: 42 minutes and 37 seconds
total time: 1 hour, 48 minutes and 57 seconds
So there you have it, my first sprint triathlon. Though there were the mind games of never wanting to do this again, I have to say I am so glad that I did. It’s an accomplishment I am proud of and thankful for. Through this whole process, I have come out feeling stronger, healthier and more energetic. I want to be an active me and I want my daughter to see what healthy looks like. That it doesn’t come in a perfect package but one with bumps and curves. That it is about the choices I make, not how much I weigh. Though I do want to rejoice that as of Monday morning, I am now in the 170’s. Haven’t seen that since I was pregnant with V.
Well, that’s about it. This tri is over and the huzband and I are now talking about new goals. I know that I want to do an Olympic tri next summer and perhaps something else, but for now, it’s the mind-set of being active during winter that is the challenge ahead. One I am ready to take on!