Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My First Triathlon

Its official. I finished my first, and possibly only, triathlon.

And I just want to say it was waaaaayyyy harder than I thought it was going to be.

The weekend started with Friday off, remember how Mark and I were both off work? We decided, well I decided, it would be a good weekend to do some painting so Friday we went and picked out paint for our bathroom and master bedroom. I figured we'd have it done by the end of the night but boy was I wrong! The project went downhill quickly as we discovered the whole plaster in our bathroom needed to be scraped and sanded before we could repaint it... Anyways, long story short, I left Mark to finish the project that I wanted to do while I traipsed off to Williamsburg, VA first on Saturday for the race expo and checking in of the bikes and then again early Sunday morning for the race itself.

He worked non-stop all weekend to give me the bathroom that I wanted while I was off finishing a bucket list race. He's a keeper for sure. : )

So what about the Triathlon???

Well, for starters I thought I was going to die. Literally.

The race started out with a 1 mile swim in the James River. The water was pretty warm but the temperature was still low enough to wear a wet suit. (I had rented a wetsuit the day before at the expo.) As soon as we got down to the beach to await our wave start I began to feel sick to my stomach. The large buoy's sitting out in the water that lined our course seemed much much further than I had ever swam before.

I started to get really anxious but tried to feign confidence the best that I could. Thankfully Missy was there to help encourage me! It was a beach start, so as they sounded the gun for our age group we headed into the water with the large crowd of blue swim capped females. As we got waist deep in the water I looked over, waved goodbye to Missy, knowing it would probably be the last time I saw her until the finish line, and started into my swim. Within seconds I knew I was in trouble. The water was choppy and the current was strong. Every time I lifted my head to breath I got a mouthful of water. People were all around me kicking and splashing past me. Suddenly my wet suit felt like it was constricting my chest and not allowing my lungs to take in air. Every 2 strokes I had to lift my head to try to breath. Unfortunately things continued to go downhill very fast those first 10 minutes. Before I even made it to the first buoy turn I had to stop at one of rescue paddle boarders to figure things out. I unzipped the top of my wetsuit which helped me breath a little easier and as I looked at the rest of course still left to swim I seriously considered my options. I couldn't believe I was actually thinking about quitting. I've never thought quitting to be an option, but in the middle of the James River, as I struggled to breathe, I was afraid quitting was exactly what was going to end up happening. In fact all around me quite a few people were being pulled out of the water into emergency boats. (I found out after the race that the water made the swim extremely difficult for even the professional athletes out on the course.) After saying a quick prayer I decided to just keep swimming. I wouldn't quit. I might drown lol but I wasn't going to quit! I eventually made it out of the water after 40 minutes (which actually wasn't as bad as I was expecting, Missy swam hers in 36 minutes, only 4 minutes faster than me which I was happy about!) But she was much quicker during her transitions so I never caught up to her.

The next leg of the race was the Bike.

24 miles of biking up and down hills. My quads were on FIRE! Not to mention other unmentionable places started getting very sore... haha this was definitely my slowest leg of the race... it took me about 1 hour and 32 minutes. I hated the uphills but just kept thanking God for the down hills. I was so so happy to make it to the second transition but as soon as I got off my bike my legs forgot how to walk/run normally lol. I'm pretty sure I waddled my way to my bikes rack spot. I switched my helmet for my visor and then I was off to finish the last leg of the race!

Only 6.2 miles to run, no big deal right? I mean after all I've completed 1/2 and full marathons. 6 miles is easy peasy. HA! The first 2 miles were the weirdest run ever!!! I just couldn't get my legs moving in a good rhythm, really I couldn't get them moving normally haha. My right calf and medial quad/knee were feeling pretty tight and painful. I stopped to stretch them out which helped a lot and by mile 3 I was feeling better and keeping up a better pace. I did run in to Missy as she was looping back to finish the run, she was happy to see that I hadn't given up yet ; )

As I came up to the end of the run it was exciting to see Missy there cheering me on. She got some pictures of me too so I was happy about that! They had a pretty sweet finisher chute where you pretty much finished all by yourself as the announcer called out your name. We get a free finisher photo too, but it hasn't come in yet! They had quite a lot of "professionals" racing the half iron man course and because they pretty much just ran the olympic course twice they were running/biking along side of me  passing me with ridiculous speed all day. But it was cool that I was on the same course as they were!

After we finished we sat in these compressive sleeves that are supposed to help with muscle recovery. It was free and felt goooood. Although, getting back up after sitting down in the low chair was a bit of a challenge haha

I'm glad I finished it. It was definitely challenging but totally worth it. Its nice to see it checked off of my race bucket list, but its probably the only race I've ever done where I've crossed the finish line and thought "I don't think I really want to do this again!" Normally the excitement of the finish, the medal and the feeling of accomplishment pump me up and make me feel like I could do it all over again the next weekend. But not so much this time. I mean now that its a few days later and the fear of drowning from the swim is a fading memory I can kinda sort of see myself maaayyybbeee doing another one. Maybe. But I don't know. I'm definitely done with it for now. :)

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