Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Could I TRI?

I had finished a marathon, but my Iron Man goal still haunted me!!!

Later that year, I received a book that sharpened my focus on my goal: Slow, Fat, Triathlete, by Jayne Williams. Here was a book that told me I could achieve my athletic dreams in the chubby body I had today! I read it, re-read it, and signed up for my first race: The Ice Breaker. (I should have been scared off by the name, but I thought, I'll be swimming in an indoor pool.  What ice will there be to break?)

I had a huffy mountain bike I rode around the neighborhood with my kids. No big deal, right. I can go 12 miles on that, I thought to myself. Boy was I wrong. On my first training ride, (2 times around a 5 mile loop) I stopped at about 4 miles and started crying. My legs hurt, I couldn't go any further. Luckily I was only a mile from home. I got off the bike, dried my eyes and walked home. An angel friend let me borrow her bike (one with working gears!!!) to train and race with, and before I knew it race day had arrived.
 Here is the race review I wrote the March 28, 2008

Saturday Morning

5am I roll over. No not time yet, go back to sleep.

5:40 not yet

6:30 alarm goes off. Yes I can finally get out of bed. Butterflies are multiplying in my stomach. I'm not going to be sick!

6:45 breakfast has replaced butterflies in the stomach. I recheck the gear I packed last night. Bright orange towel, check. Swim gear, check. Shot blocks, check. Anything else?????? Just go!

7:15 I arrive at the pool and begin setting up in the transition area. Man it's cold.. frost on the ground. and I am going to swim, bike and run in this weather? Bright yellow towel goes on top of the bike so I can find it later. Time for body marking.
Now I'm not one for tattoos, but for the event I understand. Bib number goes on the right arm and age on the right calf. Boy I am glad I don't have to mark my weight. across my chest. Timing chip on my left ankle and I am good to go.

7:45 I've "warmed up." The sun still hasn't broken over Mt. Timp, so I am still cold. I have how long to wait till start? I find Anita. She checks my transition set up and tells me I am ready. I wander the transition area. Wow almost everyone has a road bike. Hopefully my mountain bike won't slow me down too much.

8:45 time to strip down to the suit and run inside to the pool. Hurry up...then wait for my time to start. Where do I put my glasses.. no, really I am as blind as a bat with out them....

9:00 I line up near some girls who have similar swim times. Then they start. The fast guys are cruising in the pool. I get excited. Bells are ringing to mark the start of each competitor. Every 5 seconds one jumps into lane one. Will it ever be my turn?

9:35 Here we go! The water is a warm 84 degrees. Very pleasant. Strong stroke, good breathing. 25 meters in I catch up with the person ahead of me. Ahhh road block (lane block) Three people abreast in the same lane all going the same speed and I can't pass them. We get to the wall. I try to turn, but get caught in the people. FINE I start sprinting to get ahead of them only to find more slow people. I start feeling stress and panic. Breath AIR, NOT WATER. Either I am faster than I anticipated or these people are turtles. Flip 2 I am in more open water. Doh Old man doing the breast stroke. I can't get around him during the next two turns so I resort to side stroke. Last 25 meters is shallow water, so I run through the water to the ladder. Anita and crew are cheering! Bright orange towel is visible, volunteer hands me my glasses and I run!

Transition 1 Yellow towel? There is my bike. Pull on pants and shirt. Socks and sneakers. Helmet on. EAT shot blocks. How's my time? I'm at 0:00:00. Boy am I fast or I forgot to start my watch. Running out of transition area, mount the bike and I go.

WOW guys doing their second lap of the course zip past me. Big hill. Can I shift any lower? No? OK then I will smile and think happy thoughts. Mile 3 ahhhh down hill at last. I cruise and actually pass a person. On to lap 2.

By now some people have finished the race, and I am passing some runners on the course. Here comes the hill, and the runners begin to pass me. A guy in red short says it hurts him like it hurts me. I laugh as he passes me. The grade decreases and I shift up. OK time to pass the runners who passed me. I watch in envy as they turn for the 5k loop. Maybe I can meet them at the other side.

The course is pretty empty now. Just me and the cows and the cars. Then a girl passes me. She is riding a mountain bike like me. I'll see you on the down hill, I think. And I do. I zip past her and then start dodging runners. On your left. Boy am I jealous; they have less than half a mile left and I still get to run. I skid to a stop and enter the transition area. My legs feel like jello. Anita tells me to run the fastest 3 miles ever. I laugh and think one foot in front of the other. Excuse me I yell to the boys loafing where I am supposed to rack my bike. Yes I am just running now!

My legs are now weighted jello and I can't feel my hands. The girl I passed on the bike pases me going up the hill. I start feeling good and begin to loosen up my stride, wow I'm on the down hill slope already? Now the kids start passing me. Yes there was a kids race and they speed by on their bikes. As I enter the field and run toward the finish I hear people cheering. Wah Hoo! I did it! Time for water, cookies and oranges.

Life feels good. I lay in the sun and eat my cookies.

So the cookies were for the kids race, but there was no fruit left and the volunteers took pity on me.  Later that week, I looked at the results and learned that I placed 2nd in the Athena division.  (2nd out of 2 athletes)  Oh Yeah!

I was hooked on Triathlon!

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