saturday, april 21st, 2012 i participated in the hardest thing i have ever done in my whole life, a triathlon. now most of you have been avid readers for awhile but if you havent catch up on the back story here. i have been preparing and training for weeks but the day seemed to come all too quickly. wednesday i went to sport chalet to rent my wetsuit, thursday i dropped off the bike at the bike shop for a tune up, friday i took off from work to get some extra sleep and pick up my packet. i figured that the whole event would take right about 4 hours based off my dress rehersal a few weeks ago. my family, richard, a few friends, and i had worked out timing details plus what everyone was bringing, everything was ready.
after picking up my packet i started to get really nervous! i ran into 1 of the girls that runs in our group but hadnt seen in awhile since she was running on the other side of town now. i was so super excited to run into someone i knew that was equally as nervous! as i got home that night for my last minute packing and laundry the butterflies in my stomach were getting bigger and bigger, so much that i almost wanted to throw up so they would go away. i finally calmed myself down enough for a few hours of good sleep and a few more of not so good before the 415a alarm.
|now its really for real.|
|they aged me a year!|
richard and i were on the road to boulder beach right on time saturday morning. he had only gotten about 2 hours of sleep but was right there with me asking how i was and making sure we had everything. we got there in plenty of time to set up my transition area and wait for my family a little while later. i made the bathroom stop and watched the half triathlon people start their swim. soon everyone started arriving and i needed to get in the wetsuit and head into the water. it was now or never, i couldnt be anymore ready it was time to go. i was super nervous again and getting really warm, it was planning to get close to 95* that day. i hugged my family and ellen who had arrived then and went in the water to get ready plus listen to the course.
|set up and ready to go!|
|my mom employed her kids to help her make signs!|
the gun went off not soon after and i hung in the back to let all the fasties go 1st. there was another girl who seemed to be in the same position so we swam together for a bit. for some reason i just could not get my form together. couldnt put my face in the water successfully and breathe right. soon the wave after us was coming and i needed to speed up or move. luckily they were the last wave so once they passed i was open. very quickly though i realized i was in the back, not where i was hoping for. i saw a girl out of the corner of my eye swimming backstroke and figured that had to be easier, turns out it was! the guys in kayak came over to check on me once or twice and 1 ended up sticking with me to direct me all the way in. it was the longest swim of my whole life and i could not wait to get it over with. the guys kept telling me i was doing great and i asked them just to let me finish, he told me i was doing fine and i would if i just kept going. i have never been so excited to see a boat ramp in my whole life after i rounded that last buoy! i could hear and see my family and friends waiting for me and i tried to shuffle out of the water as fast as possible.
|holy crap, i actually made it!|
my dad got to me 1st to check on me and i think there might have even been a tear underneath those sunglasses that i was finished:) sandy had arrived and told me i did great and she would see me later that night. richard was right behind me too giving me perfect encouragement! i got into the transition area to head up a huge hill to my bike. richard was right outside the gate directing me, telling me to follow him because he knew exactly where i needed to go. he led me right to everything and i changed as fast as possible. my family kept checking on me and made sure i was feeling ok. i was so excited to get out of the wetsuit and into regular clothes i just wanted to go.
|he was there every step of the way :)|
soon i was off, up the hill and onto the bike course. there were people who were literally already finished with the whole race and i was just starting the bike. i knew i would be toward the end, but just didnt think i would be that far. i was the 2nd to last person out of the water after all. the bike started out with fairly rolling hills plus i was able to see everyone coming back. i even passed my running partner derrick! i got close to the turnaround point and actually had to get off and walk for a few minutes. it was soooo hot out there with no shade, i had to push myself reasonably. as i was headed up the hill a car passed me and yelled out "quitter" as i was walking. i tried to not let it get to me since i was just under halfway! i saw the turnaround point and they marked me off the list after making sure i was feeling ok. there were a few ambulances circling the course and an official race vehicle out there to make sure all the athletes were safe. i headed back to the start line determined! i did have 1 point where i needed to walk again because the hills out there were kicking my butt. soon i got to the 5 miles left mark and knew there was a water station i could rehydrate. my water bottle was getting low and i knew i needed at least a little bit of gatorade to replenish. just when i was about to leave another girl on the half course came behind me and asked what time it was. the girls told us 1125a and i was in total shock! i thought it would take about 2 hours, but we were getting close to the cutoff. i climbed back on the bike and tried to zoom those last 5 miles as fast as possible.
i turned down the corner heading into the transition area to be greeted by my family! it was sooo what i needed at that point and they followed next to me as i dismounted and hung up my bike. apparently i had freaked them all out quite a bit in taking much longer than i thought. richard guided me right back to my area and i ran into derrick again! my family got to meet him and i knew all i had left was the run. it was a loop and then an out and back, plus there were water stations every mile so i just needed to count them off. my family checked on me again as i put on my running skirt to take off. i felt good and was sooo excited to just run. my head was totally all for it, my body was a bit more rebellious. it was tired and hot, and i know it just wanted to be done.
|finally, my true love!|
i started out strong and knew my limits right away. i went around the first loop, through the water station when the inside of my knee got so tight i almost cried. so i walked for a few minutes and stretched it out, luckily it felt better quickly. as i headed up the hill i saw my dad and richard waiting for me! they were cheering and even caught my inhaler when i ran by pumping my arms. my mom and cousin bethany were just a ways up the hill and my mom walked with me for a few minutes. she did the mom thing and checked on me to make sure i wasnt pushing too hard. i felt good and passed the sprint course turnaround, i knew that meant i was only 1.5 miles till my turnaround. the sun was blazing at this point and i walked whenever my body wanted. i stopped at every water station and the volunteers were so nice!
as i hit the turnaround i knew i only had 3 more miles, i could do this. as i headed away from the sun and a little bit downhill my body and i started making deals. like i would never do this again to it. and we could eat as much food as we wanted if i could just cross the finish line. and i would promise to go stand in the lake before i left if i could just get across the line. soon i was rounding the corner and saw my family again! my mom jogged a bit with me and richard and my dad where there cheering the whole way. i kept pushing that last mile and thinking this is the longest mile i have ever seen in my whole life. i even had to walk just a little bit more as i rounded the last corner to the finish line.
|im so close to done! is it over?|
|richards sooo cute sign :)|
|I MADE IT!!|
let me tell you that crossing the line never tasted sooo good! i had made it:) i was immediately engulfed in a tent with cold water/gatorade/food, my finishers medal, and a sopping wet cold towel to drape on my neck. my family was standing at the end of the tent cheering with signs and huge grins waiting for me! they hugged and we all cheered together:) it was a moment i will never forget! i grabbed some more water and we headed straight to the lake. they had been out there forever so i knew they were roasting just as much as i was. it felt sooooo good to be in the cold water after the hot, hot heat. we all just stood there for a minute recounting the day. when we had enough we headed up the hill to grab my stuff and get the heck out of there.
|my amazing cheering squad!!|
we went to one of my favorite places for breakfast after, the cracked egg. i was sooo hungry i didnt even have time to take a picture of my food or the group, ha! it was so great to tell them all about the race and to know i was done. and a triathlete! my parents even brought in a gift from the car, the most coveted running device ever...a garmin!!! i had my eyes on one for months now but had too many expenses come my way to just break down and do it. it was a huge surprise!! they were so proud, it was the best :)
|i swam 1500 meters|
i biked 24.8 miles
i ran 6.2 miles
the shower i took soon after felt fantastic and i noticed the beginnings of a few sunburns. the nap i took after that though, felt even better. seriously, post-race naps are the best thing ever! that night i went to dinner with a few friends at the firefly that had just opened near us the day before. it was small, fun, and exactly the kind of celebration i was looking for, with those that supported me the most next to my family:)
i woke up sunday morning expecting to be so much more sore than i actually was. except for the sunburn. holy crap it had really set in on my back in the outline of my racerback tank and on the tops of my hands. i laid there for a few minutes almost in disbelief it had all really happened the day before. i found out my times before i went to bed and came in at 5:14:31. not the time i was quite looking for, but i had finished. and in one piece! it was almost an unreal feeling. thank you to everyone for the support! i truly found out the ones who believe in me through this process and am so grateful for every kind and encouraging word they gave:)
|im a triathlete!|