I did it!!! I did it!!! I don’t think I’ve been this excited to finish a race since my very first 5K as an adult. It was pre-blog days, but lets just say I was, ahem, a little larger…and VERY out of shape.
I was pretty nervous about this race. I trained…but not nearly as long or hard as I did for my first 10K (pre-blog) and half-marathon, both of which felt pretty brutal both during and after the races. After the half, I didn’t even stop by any of the tents for all the free swag and concerts (it was the Rock and Roll Marathon so there was a HUGE post-race party that I completely bypassed in favor of getting home for a looooong nap…see the recap here).
The end of this triathlon was totally different. But lets start from the beginning.
We got to the race an hour and a half ahead of time. I set up my stuff in the transition area and waited with my family before I needed to head to the start. I’m so lucky to have a family that really supports me in my crazy endeavors. We weren’t the most health-conscious family as a kid and even though they don’t “get” the whole racing thing, they would never hesitate to come support me. Even at 7:30am on a holiday weekend. That’s love, folks.
I’m actually 27 for 7 more months, but they had me listed as 28 years old for some reason. It was the same age bracket regardless, so I wrote 28 on my calf and rolled with it (and asked my sis to tat me up with a little smiley, too).
It was very overcast and windy. A stark contrast to the last couple of days that have just been hot as hell with the sun just beating down. It was good & bad….I was glad to have a bit of a break from the heat (it was 95 degrees rather than 105), but the wind made everything a bit tougher. I started with a 750 meter open-water swim. The water was disgusting…there was little point in even wearing goggles. I had to keep my head above water a lot more than I would have liked just to be able to navigate. In the first half people were passing me like crazy, but by the second half I guess they’d worn themselves out and it was my turn to pass people by. I started passing people from the groups ahead of mine too (I could tell because we had different colored race caps) – it made me feel good and that I was off to a strong start.
I ran out of the water, stripped off my wetsuit, and transitioned pretty quickly into my bike attire. I’d worn my bike shorts and a sports bra under my suit, so all I had to do was pull on my shirt, socks and shoes, and a helmet and I was off.
The biking was definitely the hardest part of the triathlon for me. I’m NOT a cyclist…I’d never taken a spin class prior to training and it’s definitely not my favorite thing. But add in some hills + high gusts of wind = pretty challenging for a novice, like me! I made it through….but there was very little passing going on. This leg also took me the longest of the whole triathlon. About 50 minutes just to go 13 miles!
The transition from bike to run took me a little longer. I was pretty tired by this point. And THIRSTY! I’d run out of water on the bike ride and had none waiting in the transition area (Big FAIL!). I changed shoes and socks and slipped on some knee sleeves for the 5K. I was able to see my family just outside the transition area before the run began and I savored about 60 seconds of stretching next to them before I took off. Oh – and they had water for me!!! Thank Goodness!!!
The 5K went quicker than I thought it would. It was challenging simply because I was tired from the previous two events, but I felt like I could have easily run longer (maybe more/longer triathlons in my future??) Here I am running up to the finish line.
And this picture is pretty hideous (forgive the red face and drenched shirt), but I was SOOOO proud to have that finisher’s medal around my neck!!!
And the best part is that after it was done, I didn’t feel like I was dying!!! I mean, it was definitely a challenge, but I felt 100% better than I did when I had finished the half-marathon! I was able to enjoy some of the finish line events, free swag, etc. I was able to chat and visit with the people who came out to support me and even went to lunch afterword (sorry to the people at Thundercloud Subs who had to smell me…I was pretty “ripe”!)
I’ve already been on the internet scouting out my next race!
Have you ever participated in any kinds of races?
Did you grow up in a health-conscious family?