800m, 12 mi, 3.1 mi. 4:00 am, wave 13, race number 1431. These numbers meant very little to me 3 months ago. 12 miles was a distance heretofore considered a distance only to be covered by motorized vehicle. 3.1 miles meant basically the same, for that matter! I had never heard of or considered Transition times but quickly learned about these vital periods, centered around a towel with strategically placed helmet, power gels, lucky socks (thank you, KT!), water and shoes, in which I was to prepare to go from one sport to the next as quickly as possible.

So today is the day that the fear of which has motivated me to learn to swim, bike and run. Danskin. I've got Awesome Friends and Family who kept me going when I really wanted to say "Maybe we should shoot for next year", kept me calm these last few days (relatively calm, anyway), and cheered me on.

I woke at 4 am with a horrible cramp I've had for days in one calf that no amount of massage or Advil would fix. Packed up my stuff, so carefully laid out and packed the night before and headed out in the dead of night with the certain knowledge that I had forgotten something critical, like water, my bike helmet, or lip balm. Turned out Forgotten Item was Advil and I knew my leg would be screaming if I didn't get an ibuprofen fix, and fast. I was luckily able to score some and managed to make it through.

The swim went better than I expected, although my time was slower than I wanted, I was happy that I didn't panic when multiple people thought it would be easier for them to swim over me rather than go around and was able to actually swim freestyle the entire way...no sidestroke this time. I got WAAAAYY off course toward the end and I'm sure spectators must've been looking at me with either pity or humor at how far off I had gotten. Poor sucker in the green cap swimming to nowhere. That was me.

The bike part was fine although there were what I would consider largish hills. East Austin is supposed to be FLAT! I never had to get off and walk my bike like many people did but did manage to let my mind wander enough to come up with a few very colorful names for a couple of the hills. And how is it that there are more uphills than downhills? It seems mathematically impossible, but I SWEAR that was the case.

The run hurt. It took me a good mile and a half to get any kind of running rhythm going, and since I'm always honest here, I needed a potty break. The bushes were looking very inviting, but I plodded on.

I was happy to see friends and family cheering me on at every transition and waiting at the finish although it made me nervous, for some reason. Lots of love in this triathlon business. Lots of "You go, girl!", "Go biker!", "Go runner!", "You're almost there!", "Attack this hill!", "You look awesome!", "Stay Strong!", etc....I have to applaud anyone who had the energy to be that full of encouragement for others, but I definitely had to save that applause for AFTER the event. So double applause for them. Applause for SJ (middle chica in the photo below) for getting us all started on this and convincing us We Could Do It back when the race was still a distant spot on the horizon and for cheering for me during the run when I was sure I must be dragging small trolls tied to my feet.

The Best Quote of the Day goes to CCC (blue shirt below) when on the loooong walk back to the Expo center in the heat, with the kids, walking our bikes, she says "This is like delivering the placenta". So true.

I've got to admit we look pretty strong in this post-race pic. So, now I think I'll do another one. Gotta improve those numbers.


KT said...

It's GREAT to read of your experience and your SUCCESS!! I WOULD say, "YOU GO GIRLFRIEND!" but I won't. :)

Anonymous said...

YOU DID IT! What an accomplishment. I am so proud to know you! TJ