I plan to "TRI" harder! (LOTS of PICTURES!)

Monday, August 08, 2011

I have finally found my passion. It's triathlons. I had such an amazing experience yesterday.... From start to finish!

I woke up at 4am (1 hour earlier than I was planning) with a very nervous stomach. So after several trips to the bathroom - I figured it was time to get dressed and eat some breakfast. Had a slice of toast and half of banana with peanut butter, with some water.

We left our house at 5:15am... and got to the beach at 5:30am (yes I live very close to the beach). My friend Ivona and I were so excited - since it was both of our first triathlons! I have known Ivona for 25 years - -we met in freshman year of high school - and she married a guy that I actually have gone to school with since kindergarten.... we both work for the same company and got hired on the same day.... and 21 years later we are still both at same company and now accomplishing more FIRSTS TOGETHER!!

Here is a picture of us when we arrived:

Here is a picture of us setting up our gear:

We were all ready to go with an hour to spare. The weather was iffy... they were calling for thunderstorms and rain all day and I was hoping for the best. Luckily...I have friends in the weather department and the day turned out wonderful....

The ocean water was extremely rough.... there was talk that they were going to cancel and make us do a beach run instead...but in the end, our toes starting hitting the water - wave by wave. Our group went in at 7:08am... There was hundreds of swim angels on the beach and in the water helping us... they actually shortened the course from 300 to 220 yards for our safety... A swim angel held me back as I was about to run into the water and made me wait until about 4 big waves passed and then sent me in (I unfortunately think that made my swim time a minute or so longer than it might have been...) Once I was in the water, I was swallowing it left and right - I couldn't get over the crazy huge waves. The current was super strong too - it was not a freestyle swim kind of race - it was a "paddle for your life" kind of moment for me. I finally made my way around the buoy - -there was a lot of crowding and swam back to shore - with many swim angels nearby and making sure we were all ok. When I finally saw the swim angels standing - I knew I almost made it. A guy grabbed my hand and literally pulled me toward him - and then said "wait a minute" and held me up while another wave came crashing over us - and then he pushed me out to shore.... I left the beach feeling beat up - but psyched! I was a third of the way through the triathlon...I was DOING IT!!

My heart was racing, so I walked back to the transition area (could have saved some time there)... and was all smiles as I saw my husband on the sidelines rooting for me:

I quickly got into my gear and out for the bike portion:

That was my strongest part....10.5 miles....and I passed a lot of riders and felt really good... I struggled with trying to eat a cliff bar while riding -and ended up tossing it... thank goodness for the gatorade! It was a nice mostly flat ride and I finished in 40 minutes (was hoping for 35)...

And then off to the run! 3.1 miles....That is my weakest part - -and I know I didn't train enough for the run. I took my time leaving the transition area again... and then off I went.... I did walk several times for about 10-15 seconds to catch my breath.... but there were so many spectators and other runnings cheering me on- saying "don't walk you are almost there" that it kept me motivated to keep going. I had a strong finish -and ran the last mile pretty strong! I finished in 35 minutes. Considering my fastest 5K ever was 33 minutes - I was pretty happy with that time!!

I finished the triathlon in 1 hour 27 minutes!! I was hoping to be under 2 hours - and I did it!!!

I had such a sense of accomplishment and was on a complete high all day even today - feeling so proud! I can't wait to do another one... I am officially HOOKED and found an event that will keep me motivated to train and TRI harder!! My husband even said he wants to do one with me - he loved the excitement and the various stages too! And even my daughter is hoping to enter a kids one next year (she is turning 10 this Saturday!)... I am so happy to be inspiring others to do something healthy for themselves!!

Thanks to all my spark friends for motivating me and cheering me on!!! It was an amazing moment in my life!!

Official numbers:
Swim 220 yards - 6 min 47s
Transition #1 - 3min 10 s
Bike 10.5 miles- 40 min 45s
Transition #2 - 1min 47s
Run 3.1 miles - 35min 25s

total: 1 hour 27 minutes - - placed 625 out of 1,492
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