Well, I hesitate to say that. I participated in a triathlon. I'm still figuring out how to race this sport, how to give my all to each discipline and not hold back. That's tough for an endurance athlete; I'm accustomed to saving some for the end. But in a sprint distance, there should be no saving anything.
I managed to not drown during the swim, so I consider that a win. I'm just not a fast swimmer. And because I seed myself so low, I'm fighting for space among the other panicked, slower swimmers. Elaine jumped in right behind me and several times we had to tread water because of the log jam of people. And I might have kicked Elaine one and she might have punched me once but we're still friends so it's cool. Lotsa bodies in a small space! No worries, though, I'm not in the swim for any other goal than to finish.
G once told me that triathlon is the perfect sport for ADD athletes and she's right. As I pulled myself out of the water and ripped off my goggles, I thought, "I get to ride my bike now!" Oh, and how I do love to ride my bike! This was my first time racing my new ride and I was really looking forward to it! The bike course was two, six mile loops. Two, very curvy, u-turn filled loops. While I loved throwing it into my big gear and passing people, I did not enjoy being told by race officials to "Slow down." I kid you not. I was told not once, not twice, but three times to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n. Um, this is a race folks, no slowing down! I also had one car dart out in front of me as I approached the end of the course. Please note that this car had a bike on the back. A cyclist! Sheesh. C'mon y'all, it's a race course please, pretty please don't squoosh me! I don't know what my total bike time was off the top of my head but I do know that I managed to meet my mph average goal and that makes me happy.
New ride, ready to go.
Then the run. My strong leg. Whoo hoo - I love running fast! My legs felt great coming off that spiffy new tri bike, no jelly at all. Love. But as I headed out on the very sunny course, everyone was walking. Not cool, y'all! I need some inspiration! So, I tried to pick up the pace and encourage those I passed. It was a very hot day and since I was one of the last people in the water, those still on the course must have really been struggling with the heat. On the bike and on the run, when I was tempted to slow down, I kept telling myself to "PUSH." And yes, I said it out loud. But I was so far back, there usually wasn't anyone around me to hear it. Not that I cared if they did. So push, I did. And before I knew it, I spotted my friends, whooping and hollering, DK the very loudest, for me to RUN. Coming up to the 3 mile sign, a volunteer told me, "Just a quarter mile to go!" And then I got very confused. This was supposed to be a 5K. There should only be a tenth of a mile to go! So I didn't know if they course was longer than I expected or he was just bad at maps and math in general. Uh oh. I spotted a woman in a purple tri top and decided that my only goal right now was to pass her. Yep, that's how I race, pick people off and take 'em down.
And take her down I did, although she never knew it. A tri group was gathered together to have a group photo taken, the photog on one side of the course, the athletes on the other. I sprinted past their set up and they all roared for me as I flew by. I love the tri community! Rounding the corner I gave it my all to cross the finish. That's my finish line motto, all the way.
Mama C, her triumphant return to triathlon - read her tri story here.
Meh. I had a decent for me time. I'd still like to get closer to my actual 5K time. (and while we are wishing, I'd like to finally get my 5K time where I want it to be) I'm still learning how to gauge racing this distance and I have a lot to learn. So this week I'm signing up for a few more sprints before the summer winds down and Austin's 70.3 is staring me in the face.
My tri-bestie, and partner in racing crime, Heidi came to cheer.
I'm really surprised at how much I dearly love triathlon. Racing is fun again - entirely fun! And I'm enjoying the challenge of being a total noob and figuring it all out. And I will figure it out.
And by my side, each time, will be my crazy fun friends, with yellow shirts visible from space. Such an encouragement to have this crew cheering!
The Divine Miss M!
What is your favorite distance to race?