Remember that time when I was trapped in a cloud of doubt? I wanted to do something bigger, something more, but triathlon scared me. I couldn’t swim worth beans, I could complete less than one lap before giving up, putting that little thought aside, and hopping out of the pool. To add insult to injury, I also hated riding bikes, and I didn’t even own one! A crash when I was 8, which has left me still proudly scarred to this day on my left knee, made me avoid things with two wheels from then on.
So…what changed? I’m really not sure. I went from never ever to signed up in less than two weeks. When I get an idea in my head, there is little that I, or anyone else, can do do stop the progression. It’s not so much the work that scares me, it’s more the thought of not being able to be good enough, strong enough, smart enough to complete whatever I’m training, studying, trying for. That’s rarely the case though, if ever…usually if I get an idea in my head and consistantly believe in myself and tell myself that I can, I can! It’s really a pretty great concept if you just can wrap your head around it. I’m so thankful I’ve found it at this age…it’s changed me, changed my life and made me understand hard work, embrace it even, and made me believe I can do anything I set my mind to.
I got up at 3am. That is god awful! No one should wake up that friggen early…seriously. I ate my oatmeal and flipped through the absurd amount of infomercials and settled with I Love Lucy. I had to occupy my brain…3 in the morning I usually am sleeping soundly, not noshing oatmeal on the couch preparing to do something I’ve never done before. I was thinking about my time goals and such, and decided on less than two hours. I didn’t know what a good time was, but that seemed pretty good to me.
Before I knew it we were there and it was 5:30. I set up my little space and took in the cloudy, pale blue and purples sky over the resovoir. The water was so calm it looked like glass. I was thankful for that and the cool weather. It was around 65 for the whole race and the water wasn’t freezing like I was expecting. The time was passing quickly. I got body marked and I got my timing ankle strap, and then I was pulling my wetsuit on and walking down to the ‘beach.’ Yikes!!
The swim was horrible, but yet not bad at all. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done for the first time, and yet I sort of enjoyed the experience. It felt like it took forever, but it also felt like it was done in the blink of an eye.
Honestly, I hated it. I felt really constricted and trapped in my wetsuit, I’ve never swam in it before, but I was thankful for it because when I had my moment of panic about 300 yards out in a lake it didn’t let me sink! NO drowning! If you are claustrophobic at all, which I’m not really, you will be in an open water swim! With the wetsuit around you, the moment you put your face in the water you can’t see anything! It’s just green haze…I couldn’t see the bottom, I couldn’t see what was in the water, nothing! AND to top it off, apparently my goggles suck butt…I need anti-fog spray stat because I couldn’t see under the water and I couldn’t see well above water. I felt soooooo trapped in that lake! UGH. HOWEVER the good part was that I finished! I only had one moment of real panic…a moment when I questioned my ability to make it around the orange buoys and through the finish flags on the sand. Because of my impaired vision, I feel my form, effort, and time were pretty compromised. I did freestyle for a while and tried to sight, but the dumb fog made it take longer, so then I’d swim breast stroke. It was just a mess…but I’m soooooo glad I just kept pushing forward and made it. I was smiling soooo big when I came out of that water I know it! Another super thing that added to my time was a nice slog up probably .3 mile hill that was pokey grass. That was annoying, but I digress.
I was surprised at how fast my transitions were..I thought they took longer. I was dizzy coming out of the water and getting my shoes and stuff on. Wobble wobble! The bike was pretty good. It was more hilly than I expected…I pushed it pretty hard, just because I’m competative with myself and others, and my time was slower than I thought. Darn those hills! That will be something I have to control for the 56. I can’t be too crazy and zap all my energy like that. It will kill me in the long run! I know I’ll suffer, but I have to control my tricks! :) By the time I started the run I was really excited that I was about to finish my first tri! My legs felt like wooden stilts for the first mile, but then I loosened up and ran better. During the last mile of the run I just enjoyed it! I ran along and told those who looked like they were having a hard time that they looked great and that they were doing an awesome job. One lady, kind of heavy set, older, ran by as I was coming in and her poor knees were all scraped up, but she had a huge smile on her face! What an amazing accomplishment for her, and to fall off the bike and still be smiling so big on the run. I wanted to turn back around and run with her, but I didn’t, I kept running and soon I crossed that finish line. My first tri done…that medal draped around my neck and a huge smile on my grimy face. I did it. I tri’d…and it felt really great.
.5 mile swim, 10.7 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
22:16 swim, 3:13 T1, 42:26 bike, 1:47 T2, 33:57 run