Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Trying my first Tri

As a group of sisters and nieces we signed up for a triathlon months ago. It has become somewhat of a tradition in my family, but this would be my first year participating.

After some spotty training, and a debate on whether or not to even go, I end up out of state ready for my first Sprint Triathlon. Late night giggles with the girls aren't exactly helping the energy levels, but we're off

It was wall to wall tires and bikes in my van.

We arrive with bikes and find our transition areas. Some sweet competitor helped me by moving her bike and making me space on the set up area. God bless you, whomever you are.

The swim leg was first, we had to swim 1/4 a mile in the fresh water.
We splashed and swam before hand to get used to the water and clam our nerves
(not sure if helped, but it was fun)

I was super jittery and super scared. I love to swim, but the warnings of flying limbs and splashing waters had me slightly terrified.
I was going to start with a sister, but seeing the way the time chips worked (age groups noted by swim cap color) I started on my own for an accurate time.

The swimming was chaotic, and I just kept thinking to myself "just get out of the clump"
which I did. My goggles fogged up, and I almost swam into a volunteers rescue canoe,
but other than that no problem. I could barely walk when I got out of the water.

I heeded my sister's advice and did not let myself sit down as I slipped on my shoes and grabbed my bike from the transition area. I ran out, hopping on my bike, thinking,
"just get going..." I was shaky and tired already. 10 miles of this???

After a few miles on the bike I started to deflate.
My body was jello and the sun was so hot, and my bike felt like it weighed a ton.
I could barely pedal. I actually started to cry- why didn't I train better? Why did I sign up for this stupid thing? I am terrible on a bike! I am riding a hybrid- it is so slow!!!! I wanted to stop.
I will confess, I muttered a few cuss words at this point.
After a few more minutes I remembered my Sports Beans (thank you caffeine boost) and dumped the bag in my mouth.

A well trained biker slowed by side and said- "Hey, you're doing good".
I snorted and asked, "how far are we???" She told me we were half way- 5 more miles, but warned me, "there are some big hills coming up, so hang in there. They say it's a flat course..." as she pedaled off she finished over her shoulder "But they lie...!"

At least I was warned.
I finished it out and got my head back together, hopping off the bike and setting off for the run.

Let's get these 3 miles done.
What's this??? Everyone is walking. They are tired too!
Their legs are marked with their age on their calf, and I start counting the ages as I shuffle past them. The run feels so comforting, all my half marathon training kicking into gear.
36. 24. 44. I pass all ages.
A few women in their 50's whiz past me. I keep going.

Finally I finish, strong and happy. (surprisingly it was 2nd best time ever for 3 miles)

We start taking photos and my sister surprises us with hand stamped necklaces she made.
I am hungry, I didn't eat much before the race...I start to falter. When times are posted I burst into tears. I am not sure what time would have made me happy in that exhausted state, but what I had wasn't enough (1 hour 30 minutes).

I actually cried the whole way to the restaurant.
I was so embarrassed and even more worn out. (Should have had chocolate and Coke at the finish line).

(Nothing like a loving sister close by with her iPhone to snap a picture,
reassuring me I would want it later)

The restaurant almost made it worse by not serving any Diet Coke...

But, as the chips and salsa (and Cherry Diet Pepsi) hit my system a miracle happened.
I start to feel euphoric.
I start to feel relief. I start to feel giddy.

I am a 40 year old non-athlete who just did her first triathlon, surrounded by sisters and a niece who all pushed themselves, too.


When can I do my next one?


Kristina P. said...

You are simply awesome.

Arianne said...

Ramona, you are so amazing! I love you!!! You make me want to try a tri :))

SBB said...

Way to go, Ramona! I love triathlons, but I haven't been brave enough to swim outdoors yet. You're awesome!

Shannon said...

:') happily crying

That was so fun.
And crazy. I love your post because it really captures everything.
BTW -- you did awesome. We are not total idiots.

The Mecham Family said...

I love it!! Your experience on the bike is exactly how I felt about 2 years ago when i was 6 miles into a half marathon...I have not done it again... haha.
I don't know how you do the swim portion- swimming kills me! In the USS tri i did this year, we only swam a few hundred yards and it seriously killed me.
Your sisters are awesome to do this all together!

ramsam said...

Well, I just go the pic of my crying, so if you missed that and need a laugh, re-read the post....

but to one and all reading this. If I can do it YOU can do it.

ramsam said...

oopsy- just *got* the pic of my crying (and added it to the post)

Jeanna said...

seriously brought me to tears. you are amazing because you try so many different things... you are not afraid to do ANYTHING!
Now you know you can... and can go on to even bigger and better next time!

Lynnae said...

So awesome! I love the truthfulness of your post. I feel like I was there myself, and hope someday I will be. It makes me more determined to conquer some of my physical drawbacks and get going again!
And I am so glad you put up the crying picture. I say finish line food is a must and I'm surprised they didn't have a little something!

CarrieAnn said...

I love your fearless attitude. The boyfriend and I are going to train for a 5k together when I am up and at 'em again. You are such an inspiration to me!

Pedaling said...

love the little believe sign post at the end...You did it! Doesn't it just feel awesome?! Lake swimming is hard...kinda makes a person dizzy!
Way to go!
Looking forward to your report on the next one!