Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Am A Triathlete

I completed my first triathlon on September 7th, 2013, and I'm excited to do more!

Let me tell you how I got here.  After my daughter was born things took a while to go back into place.  I had to hold my belly when I walked for about a week.  I wish someone had told me about some kind of belly support back then.  There are bands sold for just that purpose or a sheet or a wrap baby carrier would work too.

A while later, I was looking for something to do for exercise that I could do with a baby.  I wasn't into running and I wasn't good at running before.  Running sounded like something I could do without too much trouble or added expense: put baby in stroller and go.  I quickly discovered that I needed a jogging stroller as regular strollers have crappy plastic wheels.

When I first started running, I couldn't run to the end of the block.  I set small goals, each time I ran I'd try to run farther than the last, even it was just one driveway farther.  It felt like a long time while I was doing it, but soon I could run a half mile and then a mile.  My brothers in law and husband were talking about a 5K race.  That sounded like something I could do.  I trained for it and felt ready, but that race was hard!  I had horrible blisters on my feet.  I got new shoes right after that, and running socks not long after that.

The next spring I was still running and picked a longer race, a 10K.  I did it and felt better afterwards than after my first 5K.  I signed up for that same 5K again, and beat my time by 2 minutes!

I was looking for more races and saw a triathlon mixed in with the runs.  The distances didn't sound that bad.  Swim .5 miles, I'd swam farther than that before, although not this decade.  Bike 17.2, I'd biked 70 miles in a day before, but again not in a long time, and run 4.9, that was less than the 10K (6.2 miles) I'd done that spring.  I added biking and attempted swimming workouts.  I got one really good swim in.  A boater freaked me out by heading straight for me, turns out, he thought I was drowning.  I know I was going slow, but I'm just going to go with he doesn't see people training for triathlons that often.

Race day: I got up at 5:30 in the morning!  Who schedules races where you have to have your stuff there by 6:30!?  All the athletes were ready, but then there was lightning, so we had to wait an hour.  Then it was time to go.  I was in the second heat (by age group).  I really didn't want to get run over so I started towards the back and outside of my group.  It was great swimming with the women there, they seemed more aware of their surroundings.  Three minutes later the next heat started.  Soon men were passing me.  I did get bumped into and kicked a few times, but it wasn't like I had feared.  My swim time was 24:37!

I had trouble tying my shoes, but soon was on my bike.  People passed me constantly and many said stuff like "keep it up", "nice job on the mountain bike", "last big hill", etc.  My chain fell off 3 times.  Ugh.  I had taken the bike in to get that fixed, but nope, the chain fell off during the race, repeatedly.  My bike time was 1:17:28, which is about what I was doing in practice.  I was starting to think everyone had passed me, and was happy to get to the run.

I got to transition and the people around me had put their bikes too close together.  It took me a long time to get my bike on the rack.

Then I was running.  I was a bit tired and still damp.  My shoes were still damp from the rain.  I was glad I thought ahead to put anti-chafe stuff on my feet, sooo worth the 5 seconds it took.  I actually passed some people in the run!  I averaged just under an 11 minute mile with a time of 53:32.  That was faster running than my 10K earlier that year!

My final time was 2:41:12!  Now to pick out my next race...

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