Sunday, August 20, 2006


Yikes! After all the training & preparation, sometimes the event is actually anti-climactic.... this most definitely was NOT the case! Plus, we had an AWESOME party after the race, which will be a later post - stay tuned! (pics would not upload - see next post for pictures)

I decided on a last minute wardrobe change the night before to swim in my sports bra & shorts under my bathing suit. My BRILLIANT husband pointed out that the shorts were not really meant for the water & that they would probably fall down if left outside the swimsuit... which was an EXCELLENT point! So, I packed up my stuff (after 3 gear checks) & finally got to bed.

At 3 am, I was awakened by a terrific storm; which immediately FREAKED me out. I kept thinking, I hope it stops, I hope it stops... I didn't want the tri to be cancelled! But, by 6, the rain stopped & I got ready to go. Shawna stopped by at 6:50 & we put my bike on her rack....erm, we tried to put it on her rack. My bike has a slanted bar (whatchamacallit top bar) & would not fit on her rack! I immediately got pissy...I'm going to be late! We're not going to make it on time! But all is well, we pulled the kid's car seats out of the Endeavor & put the back seat down & we had plenty of room for my bike! We were on our way to Eagle Creek - which is 5 minutes away from my house (OK, maybe I freaked out a little too quickly?)

We get there, park & I hop on the bike & ride to the transition area. Set up - no problem! Walk around, find Shawna & Susan, & listen to the rules. No Problem! Get to the starting line in the water & wait our turn. Getting a little nervous, but mentally visualizing myself doing great - nice even strokes. Breathing on every other right stroke (unilaterally, I know....I know). Rounding the last buoy & smooth sailing the whole way. This was not how it went... they tell us to start & I yell Go Susan! Mostly to pump her up, but kinda because she was in my way. :) So I take 2 steps & cram my foot into this underwater concrete block thing....HOLY CRAP THAT HURTS! But, I'm a champ & start swimming. I'm like Dory - just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! Round the 1st buoy, damn getting tired...just keep swimming! Then the green hats (men/teams) catch up to problem, he'll go around. NOT! He pulls me under! (Chad thinks he did it on purpose. I like to give him the benefit of the doubt.) I completely freak & panic & swallow 80 gallons of (NASTY) lakewater. I am not near a buoy to hold onto & feel like I am going to drown & cannot calm down. So, embarassingly enough, they have to f-ing rescue me. :(

The lady on the boat tells me I can keep going. So, I do. I figured that I would be DQ, but they won't stop me from doing the other 2 events. But the results don't have me DQ! The only guy that was DQ was the guy that rode away from the transition area without a helmet after the race!

Anyway, I transition out of the wet bathing suit & put on my t-shirt. (Another part of the great master clothing plan - I can get out of my soaking suit!!) I'm off on the bike - I was feeling a little dejected because I didn't complete the swim, which I knew that I could do! But, I was trying to look forward to the rest of the race. Then, my CHAIN JAMS!!! WTF!!! Can ANYTHING ELSE GO WRONG!?!?! Two extremely helpful people stop to help me put the chain back on. I'm trucking...really moving! I'm going out of Eagle Creek & going up the never-ending hill on Lafayette Rd. I see this woman straddling her bike - she looks like she is going to DIE. As I'm pedalling up to her, I say "You can do it! Keep going!!" She looks back, shakes her head & says, "I can't." I tell her that she's almost there (really she was), and that the way back is way easier...she can't stop now! (even though I was pondering quitting when my chain got stuck - how can I be cheerleader now? hypocrite - maybe...) So, she starts pedalling again! Yay! Then on the way back, I hear this CRASH!! I am bracing for a tree to fall on me - nope, just half of one! It falls less than 10 feet from me on the side of the road!

I get back in - weaving in & out of spectators leaving (with participants, damn speedies!), & runners coming in. (Why the hell aren't they running on the running side of the street?!) I run/walk the run. I really give it my all, and put my hydration plan into action...glad I have one! :) It wasn't my best run, but I did my best! Plus, the socks I put on during T1 started sliding down on my ankle & my shoes were rubbing me!

To sum up injuries: (badly) cracked big toenail, jammed & scraped middle toe (from concrete in lake), bruised ego, scraped shin (from almost falling off my bike when the chain jammed), abrasions on the back of each ankle, (possible) infection due to swallowing horrible diseased *ugh* lakewater (hey I have a sore throat!).

I am definitely going to do this again. Next year... after alot more swim training. Maybe even a class in the open water (if I can find one). I was really disappointed in myself after everything was said and done. But, Chad really lifted my spirits with this pep talk. He told me that God had a plan for me today - I wasn't there to kick that triathlon's ass. I was there to help that woman that would've quit when she was so close to her goals. I was meant to have an enormous struggle to prove to myself that I had the strength & willpower to overcome the obstacles that are in my way. In a way, what else could possibly have gone wrong? I usually don't get too spiritual, but somehow, it rings true to me. I think the next race I do, I can be more prepared for the possibility that the man behind me might drag me under. All I have to do is just keep swimming. I know now that I DEFINITELY need to take some sort of bicycle maintenance course to know how to get my chain unjammed & put back on my bike, if that happens again (plus, I need to know how to fix a flat!)

The next tri better watch out because I am ready for revenge! Thank you to everyone that came to cheer me on - Chad, Leah, Jason, Mom, Ed, Suitcase, Cheryl, Rob, and Art (the volunteer - you rock!)


Chris said...

You rock!!! Congrats on your first tri.

Dave said...

Very nice job on the tri. Congrats on persevering over the obstacles that where thrown in your way and providing inspiration to another athlete. It's great to see how excited you are to do it again... You've inspired me to give it a try.

Bob said...

Great job! Those things are tough I gained new respect for Tri's when I tried that sprint Tri, especially the swimming part.

Now that you have one under your belt I agree, watch out.

Brooke said...

WAY TO GO!! I am inspired by your hard work and honesty... can't wait to "tri" one myself!

Joe said...

Way to go. You get huge points just for having the courage to show up. Imagine how many people just sat on their butts and watched golf on TV. Your first race is a dress rehearsal for future events.