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There Was No Quitting Today

Sunday, June 08, 2014

I did it! I completed my first triathlon this morning. I am a triathlete!

The swim was dreadful, but, true to form, I figured something out. Almost from the git-go, I was dead last. I started off doing the crawl and I was doing just fine, but I cannot manage to do full-leg kicks and use my arms and breathe all at the same time. I backstroked 90% of the swim portion. I'd roll over now and then, sight the buoy, crawl a bit, then end up on my back when I realized I was doing these little flutter kicks. I've figured out what I need to do to address this; more on that later, if you're interested.

I was the last person coming out of the water. I got lapped by a couple of the Aquaman du swimmers who started thirty minutes after me. Yeah, I was that slow. The Hubs says I swam about 30% more distance than I need to because I'd get so far off course backstroking.

This event wasn't chip timed, and my HRM watch doesn't have a lap function (but it works for swimming), so I have no idea what my individual event or transition times were. I know I was in the water for about 40 minutes.

I had a quick and easy to fix mechanical on the bike ride. I passed a couple of people on the ride, but I also got lapped by one of the PumiceMan participants (they started a half-hour earlier than me, and did two back-to-back sprints). I passed on runner and got passed by several.

My legs were pretty wiped during the ride, and I walked most of the 5K. I have my own energy gel (homemade), and it made a big difference. As I write this, my foot hurts (I think I'm developing plantar facitis), but I'm not feeling any muscle aches. I am pretty tired, though, and I expect I will be pretty creaky tomorrow.

One of the people I passed on the bike looked miserable. I'd seen her walking before my mechanical. She was walking when I passed her. She's pretty heavy - I'd guess 100 pounds heavier than me - and, based on her attire, I'm certain she was part of a team and she did not swim. A man on her team - I'm guessing her husband - finished well ahead of me. As I was approaching the finish, I saw him, walking with her, as she went out on the 5K course. Folks, you're both rock stars in my book. Ma'am, you did not quit. You pushed through, fought back, didn't do the easy thing, and kept going. And you, sir? You are a prince. You just finished a triathlon, and instead of heading to the party tent, you went for a 5K walk on an 80F morning to encourage someone. You mom should be proud.

So, the thing I learned? I am really uncoordinated. I cannot control what my legs do and what my arms do and what my head does all at the same time. I decided it's time to buy a snorkel, and just practice good form. I think I've made enough progress in breathing that I can focus on form. If I can swim right, I can add in the breathing.

I think I'm having issues with the wetsuit compressing my chest. I was coughing through most of the ride. The wetsuit fits okay; I'm hopeful this is an adaptation issue. And I shall adapt.

I may have looked miserable coming out of the water, but I was elated. I never considered quitting. I knew it might take me what seemed like forever, but I knew I could do it. And I did.
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