It is finished. I completed the triathlon and did better than I had even hoped to do. It has been a long, exhausting, but very fun morning. First, let’s back up.
I did drink a ton of water yesterday, I did a little “carbo-load” last night for dinner, and I went to bed fairly early (10pm) – so check, check and check. Although, I didn’t get a ton of sleep since little Addie decided she needed to “see me” every few hours last night, I woke up at 5:45am, feeling pretty pumped and definitely ready.
I hopped in the shower, got the rest of my stuff together, and had a protein bar which then proceeded to sit like a rock in my stomach. Oh, and the butterflies kicked in, too. I haven’t felt that nervous anxiousness in a very long time. When Michelle got to our house, she took this photo as a trial-run with my camera.
There is a smile of sorts there, but I really did feel like I was going to throw up.
Nonetheless, got in the car and tried not to speed over to the RoseBowl. Talked with J. (who is in Austin this weekend) and then this Good Charlotte song came on the radio. This song is one of the songs we use in spin class, so I cranked it up really loud. It felt a little like a sign – it is a pretty sweet song to cycle to, and it got me pretty pumped up. It was also a great song to have “stuck” in my head for the rest of the day.
Once I got to the race, I set all of my gear up and ended up meeting a lot of people were also “tri virgins.” So we kind of all acted like we knew what we were doing, as we watched the veterans slyly out of the corner of our eyes. And then it was time to start.
There were 600 people racing, and most of them had their “people” with them, so I figured I wouldn’t be able to find Michelle and the girls, but as I crossed the start line, I saw this –
They were on the other side of the street, so they couldn’t see me, but I saw the signs and got all emotional and teary-eyed. It definitely got me around the first lap for the run, knowing they were there waiting for me. Adorable little cheerleaders complete with kickin’ cool signs – just for me!
The run part was a little rough for the first mile or so, until I found my stride. By the time I got halfway around and to mile marker 2, I felt pretty good. I think my run split was right around 30:00. Yeah, I’ve become a pretty slow runner in my old age. But I more than made up for it on my ride.
My. Bike. Is. Awesome.
And I really did feel invincible. Last week I did the course in just over 40 minutes. Today I think my split was more like 34:30. The entire time I could hear Sam our cycle instructor yelling, “Come on! Don’t quit! You’re not done until I tell you that you are done!” I was flying, and passing a lot of people (take that, thinking you are all cool and passing me while we were running!). They write your age on your calf, so it was entertaining to pass some of the 20-year olds. A little less entertaining to be passed by 50-year olds. Man, I can only hope to be in half as good of shape when I am 55. But I did pass a guy who was riding a bike similar to this. Yes, it was a guy – and it was pink – and I did pass him. So I had that going for me.
My transitions (when you are picking up your bike/dropping off your bike/picking up swim gear) were decent, I think. I really didn’t use my watch optimally to get all of my splits, I didn’t want to be too focused on time. I was going for finishing here.
The swim, thank God, was very short. I don’t think I was at all prepared for how you feel once you jump into the water. My jello-legs didn’t work. My arms seemed to have been left on the bike. And it felt like you were swimming through peanut butter. But I knew if could just get to the other side, I could possibly beat the time that I was hoping for. (Yeah, yeah, I know I said that we were not focused on time, but I wanted to do it in less than 1:30.)
And I did.
Check it. 1:17. And I think I forgot to officially stop it when I hit the ramp. It may have even been under 1:17. But I will take it. The official results will be up later this afternoon. Based on last year’s times, in my age group, I was middle of the pack. A very, comfortable and nice place to be.
Seriously could not have done this without my little posse of people cheering me on. Thank you so, so, so much Michelle (and Eric, too!) for allowing me to not have to worry about the girls for a second, and for getting them there to see the race, and for taking great photos, and for the amazing signs, and getting Em to dance class in the middle of all of it, and….the list goes on. You both really rocked today and made my race day great.
Thanks to J. and the girls for my bike (see above for it’s awesomeness!) and for tolerating my training for months and months.
And to Sam! So thankful that he kicked our butts in spin class everyday and gave lots of encouragement and advice at all the best times. I really did hear his voice on the course telling me that I am tougher than I think I am.
And to you, my loyal readers. I knew that I had to come back and blog about the experience. Don’t think that didn’t get me through the tough parts. I did not want to have to write, “I did not finish.” I would have been so disappointed.
I also really wanted my girls to see the race. I want them to learn that it is important to be healthy and challenge ourselves. Take it out of the comfort zone. Set a goal, work towards it. Finish it.
When I finally met back up with the girls, the first thing Em asked was “Mama? Did you win the race?”
I told her “I did win, Emma. I might not have been first, but I finished the race, and that is a win to me.” She told me “Well I’m proud of you, Mama.”
See? I really did win. Hearing that is better than a medal any day.