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    SHRINKINGLULU   12,447
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Go Pink! (w/pics)

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

I did it!!!
On Sunday morning my alarm went off at a time I generally associate with the most raucous of my drunken evenings, I rolled excitedly out of bed, and put on the ugliest thing I've ever owned.

Or at least bought for myself to wear. I was a child of the 80's and 90's and I'm sure there were uglier things, but there were also adults to blame them on.

My partially floral one-piece triathlon suit was allllll me.
You know you're jealous.

I had a light breakfast, checked that I had everything I needed for the 47th time, and drove off into the darkness surprisingly calm. During the hour long drive to my race destination the edges of the sky began to lighten, and just as I pulled up to the water of the reservoir the sun broke over the surrounding hills.
I knew it was going to be a great morning!!!

I felt pretty out of place with my bookbag full of gear and my street bike with the nifty thing on the back for carrying stuff, but everyone was smiling and positive and looked just as sleepy eyed and almost as confused as I felt.

I found a place for my bike on what I thought was a rack near the back, spread all of my goodies out on my towel, and commenced the excellent people watching of pre-race rituals.

I got over-excited and put on my wetsuit about half an hour too soon, and then took it half way off because I felt silly and it touched my throat, and then pulled it back on only 20 minutes too early, and then felt tired of standing around and marched down to the water.
Well gingerly picked my way over all the rocks and twigs and things to the edge of the water, made some general "ewww" faces at the squoogey mud at the edge of the water getting between my toes, and then some really happy faces as I realized the water was a balmy 71 degrees.

The racers were divided by age and gender into different start "waves," and the waves were distinguished by different colored caps. I sort of clumped together with my fellow bright pink cap wearers (my current favorite color, which I took as a further sign that everything was going to be awesome). And was relieved to find out that everyone else seemed just as confused and nervous and excited and unsure of themselves as I did.

And then time magically sped up and slowed down all at once.
It was time to swim, so I swam!
Swimming was the only part of all of this that I have any previous experience with, so I was able to settle into a comfortable pace right away. I stuck to the outside edge of the pack, and looked up to get my bearings every 5-6 strokes or so.
Some super fast people from the waves behind me passed, and I passed some slower swimmers from my packs and others. All the different colors of swim caps were mixed together in no time, and I just stopped worrying about it and kept swimming.
Just as I turned the corner around the buoy I was guestimating as half way through my 0.75 mile swim, I caught sight of the finish!!
I couldn't believe it!!!

I climbed up the slippery boat ramp to the transition area surrounded by smiling strangers shouting encouragement. It was a little overwhelming, and I couldn't pick out my personal "cheering section" of dad and boyfriend from the crowd, but it was encouraging and made me smile in return.

I hurried over to my little transition spot and was able to get ready for the bike ride with a lot less stress than I'd expected. Just peel off the wetsuit, wipe off a little with my shammy, throw on the tank top I brought to cover the hideous tri suit and hold my number, sit down shamelessly to put on socks and shoes (just 'cause other people around me can do all this standing up in 3 seconds doesn't mean I should tip over and hurt myself trying), shoved on my helmet and sunglasses, and I was off!!
Kind of.
You can't get on your bike in the transition area, and the little "mounting" line was pretty crowded with people trying to hurry out onto the bike course, but it all sorted itself out pretty quickly and THEN I was off!!

I was literally one of 2 people out of the 700 participants on a street bike (with big fat tires and handle bars that have you sitting almost straight up) instead of a fancy road bike (With skinny little tires and handle bars that have you lean way down - they are easier to pedal faster. I walked around and checked), so I wasn't off very FAST, at least not compared to the road bikes, but I didn't mind as much as I thought I would.
People were very polite about letting you know they'd be passing, and as the miles wound on, and more and more and more people were coming up behind me, my thoughts weren't so much that they were passing me, they were more that I was doing AWESOME.
If people on super fancy road bikes, who couldn't have started the swim more than 20 minutes after I did (when the last wave started), took until miles 12, 14, even 16 to catch up and pass me, I was doing really well!!! That means I had to be ahead of all of those people on the swim for them to pass me later. They had the advantage of superior equipment and were only barely faster than me at the bike, obviously I was winning at my made-up newbies with lamer equipment division.

About half the people out on the course even seemed to comment that I was doing amazingly well "on that bike" or "those tires" and shouted "go pink!!" as they passed.

All that training out on the local rec trail paid off. I was even able to bike all the way up the horrible steep awful mile long hill at mile 11 that had about half of those fancy bikes being walked up it!!
Sure, I was in first gear, but I was pedaling, and the coast down the other side made it seem totally worth it!

According to my dad and boyfriend I managed to finish the bike leg before a good 40-50 people who were on those fancy bikes, which to me is pretty darn awesome!

I felt surprisingly energetic as I pulled into the transition area... and then I got off of my bike.
My legs were like twitchy gelatain!
I had about 5 seconds of panicking that I wasn't going to be able to complete the race, but as I walked my bike back to my little stall, and took off my helmet, and chugged down some water and sports drink, I started to feel just fine.

Everything was going to be okay, that bike ride was just hard!
I was pretty sure I had to be forgetting something, since the transition from bike to run was basically getting off my bike and ditching my helmet since I didn't use fancy bike shoes or anything like that, but I walked quickly out of the transition area smiling and excited.
The run portion went 2.5 miles up the road and then just turned around and came right back down it, so there were runners going the opposite direction the whole time. Everyone was totally positive and encouraging. We all shouted encouragement back and forth. "Almost done!" "The turn-around is just past those trees!" "Keep it up, doing awesome!" It was great! I felt encouraged and had fun encouraging others.

I reminded myself over and over of my goal for the run (to run at least half of it) and repeated my running mantra when I was flagging. If I'm not going to actually die, pass out, or injure myself, I can keep running.

There were water stations at each mile marker, which made it easier to gauge the distance, and I ran about half of each mile, just as I'd hoped!

I even got stung by a bee and kept going!
(I'm not allergic or anything, so this isn't technically an important part of the racing experience, but for whatever reason it stands out to me as proof of how bad ass I am at triathloning)

When I crossed that finish line I was running, and I was happy, and I knew that I really did it.

Finishing 614 out of 700 may not sound very impressive, but I did it, and I did it in the amount of time I set a goal to finish in, so as far as I'm concerned that 614 is just code for 1st place.

Go Pink!

If you want to share this or any of my blogs outside of sparkpeople, I'm honored! But, please do it from my blogger page. I put some fairly personal things here on my sparkpage, and it's a little weird to think of non-sparkers reading it, but this has just the funny stuff!


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
LADYJAJA 7/31/2013 7:04PM

  I'm behind on everything since being away awhile, so just read your blog post and have to tell you, as a voice among many, how proud I am of you! I could just imagine you out there, giving it your all, staying positive, and being so brave. Great blog post and an inspiration! Congrats on all your accomplishments over the past year! emoticon

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NANHBH 6/21/2012 5:01PM

    Congratulations, Lulu!

I'm training for my first triathlon. I got sideline for awhile with a knee injury, but hoping to do one in August. Any tips for another "Noob?"
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBK0923 6/14/2012 2:47PM

    awesome blog, great job

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GEORGIAPAM 6/12/2012 9:17PM

    I just love your style! LOVE the running graph! you are so great! emoticon

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GODIVADSG 6/11/2012 5:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I especially love the bike part of your Tri! The last tri I did I was so inspired by this fellow on a similar bike... and he had 2 ironman reflectors on it!! Way to go! You did great!!

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AUSSIEFLOSS 6/10/2012 7:33PM

    Oh my. Ah, tears. Laughing. I loved the 'I make this padded crotch look hawt'. Can I borrow you or your humour whenever I feel like crap about myself? Great! Thanks! I'm going to follow you around like a fan follows a celebrity. No, I'm not like weird or scary or anything. Just a lost soul, who recently has been betrayed like in the worst way ever by the man who was supposed to love her,cherish her till death do us part. Whatever man. So I'm looking to boost my self esteem that was pretty much not only trampled on but thrown to the 'dawgs'. Well, I can say that he's not MY problem anymore. Someone else can take his crap now. Not going to be me.
Sorry. Well, you inspire me to care for myself, and be positive!!

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AROCHFORD 6/9/2012 12:14PM

    Congrats. I absolutely loved the legs are for wimps pic!

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CATDUG19 6/8/2012 10:14AM

    I was teared up at your running picture of the happy pink girl. Good for you and continue your blog I love it

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IVYLEE31 6/7/2012 7:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AHAPPYLIFE 6/7/2012 1:52PM

    SUPER blog! Thanks - loved it!!

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KIMCOLLINGS 6/7/2012 12:08PM

    Way to go!!! What a terrific accomplishment! Love your blogs!

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PLYNSN316 6/7/2012 11:38AM

    GO PINK!!!! So amazingly inspired by you! What an awesome accomplishment!

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MOSTMOM1 6/7/2012 8:24AM

    Go Pink!!!!! Fly your Noob flag, fly it high! WOOHOO!
Love your blogs.

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SAFETYSUE 6/6/2012 10:59PM

    Go Pink! My favorite color, you rock my friend! You did it with courage and grace!
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ELPHYY 6/6/2012 6:39PM

I love your blogs and you are an inspiration!
Congratulations on your HUGE achievement!

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FLY0NTHEWAL1 6/6/2012 4:16PM

    totally bad ass. : )

really enjoying the blog posts that I've read too!

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ANIMAL_L0VER 6/6/2012 2:37PM

    Lulu, this is amazing and hugely inspiring! Congratulations on a tremendous job well done and for always seeing the bright side of things! How awesome!

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SODZILLA 6/6/2012 2:34PM

    emoticon emoticon That is SO awesome! Way to go. I'm totally impressed. You should be very proud. emoticon emoticon

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DABLUECAT 6/6/2012 1:10PM


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FEISTYOWL 6/4/2012 12:28PM

    What a great blog!! (well, obviously as it's a popular one too!).

I really enjoyed reading about your experience - it was like I was right there with you! I hope to do one of these someday, so it was great to read a Noob's story!!

Way to go!! You totally rocked it!

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CHRISTIE6625 6/1/2012 2:57PM

  You're amazing.

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HEALTHYME229 6/1/2012 9:02AM

    Sweet! I love how you were able to see how successful you were when it would be so easy to see otherwise. What an inspiring tale!!
Go pink!!

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CERULEANSIN516 5/31/2012 7:18PM

    I always enjoy reading your blogs, they make me laugh and inspire me!

Awesome job with completing this Triathlon!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ERLYWA 5/30/2012 9:55PM

    I loved this blog! And you did super great!! :)

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YIWEN39 5/30/2012 9:21PM

    Congratulations :-) Sounds like you had so much fun and your attitude is just fantastic! emoticon and emoticon one more time!

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XXEDRA 5/30/2012 5:21PM


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KAREN_NY 5/30/2012 4:56PM

    THAT is how you smack it down -- WOW!!!!!!!!!!

And bonus! One of your very best blogs. Love it -thanks for sharing!!

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BMCKEOW1 5/30/2012 2:27PM

    It is code for 1st place. That is awesome it sounds like you had such a good time. Whoo. You are a rock star

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COLEE82 5/30/2012 2:02PM


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THESCORPIO2 5/30/2012 11:47AM

    emoticon emoticon

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    great Job....

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ABILUCHA 5/29/2012 6:20PM

    So inspiring! Yay!

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    YAY!!! GO PINK!! Awesome blog - I hope to try a triathlon one day - thanks for the newbie perspective!!

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ROOKSMOM2 5/29/2012 4:04PM


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PIXIEMOM13 5/29/2012 2:08PM

    That is so awesome! I'd love to try a "tri" one day..but I'd need to get a bike and learn how to swim. (LOL)

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MRS_EVA_K 5/29/2012 9:21AM

    You did awesome Lulu and 614 is pretty good for your first outing. Go Pink!

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MEA6785 5/29/2012 7:23AM


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TMOORE073 5/28/2012 10:45PM

    Wow! I am so inspired by your story! I so want to do a Triathalon myself! I'm almost 50! Little scared about the swim. Not a very good swimmer. Been running for almost 29 years! I still have knees believe it or not. Ha ha Good for you for getting out there & trying something new! Wish me luck! emoticon

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MYADOG1 5/28/2012 10:38PM

    Go Pink!

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PHOTOFIT 5/28/2012 7:46PM


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SHAYWEE 5/28/2012 8:13AM

    Great Job!! :D

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SBNORMAL 5/28/2012 3:47AM

  Go Pink!!

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NYARAMULA 5/28/2012 2:46AM


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LAURIETAIT 5/27/2012 11:37PM

    Great job! Go Pink!

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COUPONS0216 5/27/2012 11:09PM

    Your story was AWESOME, as always! Way to go "Pink."
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MBGUYER 5/27/2012 8:54PM

  way to go! Go PINK!

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_BACK2BASICS_ 5/27/2012 4:58PM

    emoticon Really enjoyed reading about your TRI!! Way to go, and since it was your first, it was a PR for you! What's next? emoticon emoticon emoticon

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XMAS2012 5/27/2012 4:28PM


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IBECCA 5/27/2012 4:24PM

    right on

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