Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm a triathlete

To get a full picture of my first triathlon we must first rewind to June 22, 2010. I decide I'm going to do a triathlon. I've been swimming 12 whole times in the last, 15 years and it was all done within the last two months. I figured, hey I can finally swim non-stop for 5 whole mins. Why not do a triathlon? Which one to pick was easy for a two fold reason:

1. A few of my friends were doing the girlfriends and dudes triathlon.

2. I love any event Sherri owner of NW personal Training puts on. Since they were putting on the triathlon I was sold.

At this point I tell my friends I'm going to do it. Another one of my friends lends me his really nice Lemond road bike, complete with clip in pedals. My first question about the bike was how much does it cost? You know for when I crash I know how much of my savings is going to disappear. I'm practical that way. He told me how much and I said, "Holy moly, Can I borrow your less expensive mt. bike instead?" To which he laughed and said no, you have to use this one. OK, but will we still be friends after it comes back all dinged up? I wonder in my head. So a week or two pass and I pick up his bike from his house and meet my friend who has been teaching me how to swim for a ride. A few points about biking must be observed here:

1. It's best to have the owner of the bike teach you how to use his clip in pedals.

2. Learning how to unclip is (I think) the most important thing you must first learn how to do. Especially if you are a person with control issues (not that I know anything about being a control freak or anything. I've read about it. Yep, just did some research about it. What?)

3. Shifting makes hills a breeze. Also something you must have an experienced rider teach you.

4. "Those" sensitive areas will hate you after your first and second ride, no matter how thick or good your bike shorts are.

5. Get a bike that fits you, otherwise you will have cramps in hips and arms from some freakishly long legs that you inherited.

6. You are going to forget to upclip and fall. Just smile and laugh. I fell twice. Both while stopped. Both in front of lots of people. I laughed both times. Luckily only my pride was hurt.

7. If you borrow a friends really cool spendy bike, you will be ruined and want one as good (or better).

8. If you really want to do a fast time on the bike leg, you must practice riding more than 5 times. Sal-ave

My thoughts on the running part was, easy. I know how to run. This will just be the icing on the cake. No need to get any runs in. No need to practice the transition from bike to running. Really how hard can that be? (sure my mom's voice rang in my own head about you might want to practice this before the race but I shushed it with a quip about when will I find any extra time to do that?)

So the day before the race goes a little something like this: Get to bed at 12:30 am. Wake up at 2:30 because Ayden peed his bed. Wake up at 3:12am because Zander wants a sip of water and get into the room in time to hear Ayden say "Zander it's OK, mom's coming. Are you OK honey? Hush, sweetie mom's on her way" (cute huh?) Wake up again at 5:12 am because Zander is awake. Get some packing and work done on our house we are moving into (did I forget to mention I'm remodeling a house and moving into it this month? Oh not just a small remodel, a let's add a bathroom and another bedroom remodel. We can do it ourselves and save lots of money.yeah, that's smart.) Feed all kids, kiss husband and make a quick dash to Frenchman's bar to do a practice swim with about 50 other people and NWPT. Come back. Run errands all day and work on house some more. Take kids to my mom's house to stay the night (because I fool myself that I'm going to get to bed early tonight) Go back to house work, realize it's getting late and head home to an empty house. My husband has a gig in Klicktat and won't be home until 2am. It far too quiet for me to sleep. Finally at 11:30 sleep takes over and I'm up at 4:30 because I don't know what to do with that much sleep.

Day of the race. Once up, I get on the computer and waste far too much time reading and then my friend shows up and we load her car up. Then we pick up our other friend and were off to our first triathlon. Once we arrived at Frenchman's bar we sprayed each other down with mosquito spray and sunscreen. Off to get marked (something I tell my kids never to do and knew I'd get an earful from them when I got home). From there we set up our transition area (to which I just looked at everyone else's set up and just copied) Here is where having friends with you makes it fun. We giggled, took pictures and just kept each other busy. I played the part of mom and help with my friends shorts (the string decided to disappear), made sure everyone peed, and had sunscreen on.

It was time and Sherri, did some announcements that sounded more like a comedy bit than boring announcements. She is one funny gal. We did our 1/2 mile walk (a warm up Sherri said) to the swim start. The charity wave went first and then it was my turn to get in the water. Once in I turned to all the gals around me and said, "This is just a blanket apology right now. I'm going to bump into you during the swim and I'm sorry." We all chatted and laughed. Then we were off. Here are a few things I learned on the swim:

1. You are going to get swam over. Don't panic. Stop and let them go.

2. Get over it and put your head in the water. Don't think about the fish pee and poop (or worse) in the water. If you don't it's going to take a long time to finish your swim.

3. When you finally do get your head in the water look up often. You are more than likely going the wrong way.

4. Waves suck. And if you are facing the wrong way on a wave you will suck in water.

5. If you are going to use a wetsuit, use one that fits. I borrowed one from a friend and it was a bit big.

I was so happy when the I saw the chute at the end of the swim. Off like a flash I was on my way to my first transistion area. I decided to heck with being shy about my stretch marks it was hot. I'm biking in just my skirt and sports bra. I down a gu (because I ate at 4:45am I was hungry) drank some water and was out to bike. At this point I felt great. I pedaled my little heart out, but slowed to a crawl on the 180 turns and upcliped my left leg just because I was scared to fall and lose time (Yes, I'm a bit competitive) So I'm cruising along and passing a lot of people I was passed by one gal who was Tracy with Max Muscle in Vancouver. She rode beside me and shouted some encouragement and then was gone. That did help me pick up my pace. On to the next transition.

Now this one was hard. I wasn't tired from the bike, my legs just didn't work. My hubby had made it down to encourage me and ended up running the last leg with me. He must of seen the 'What the ???' look on my face when I dismounted the bike and knew I need some distraction. This was my favorite and worst part of the tri. My favorite because my husband and I were able to spend some time together sans kids. Favorite because my husband supported me and distracted me. Worse because I ran a really slow 5k (for me) and it hurt. Favorite because you get to do an out and back so I was able to cheer on people and my friends on the way back. That was cool.

I sprinted when I saw that finish chute. And when I crossed that line, I was freaking proud and couldn't wait to do it next year. When you cross that line they hand you an ice cold bottle of water and your necklace that is better than a medal (In my never humble opinion). The volunteers were so nice, the course was pretty, the participants were encouraging, and the staff of NWPT were so positive. If you ever want to do a Triathlon for the first time, I recommend doing this one. Join me next year as I try again only with more training. My little girls said I had to win first place next year. I guess 2nd in my age group and 12th women overall is just not good enough. And that's ok. I'm ready to come back next year and do it again. How about you?

Laugh and run/bike/swim on, my friends!

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