I drove over the night before and stayed fairly close to the event. I was by myself on this adventure which seems like a reoccurring thread as i do more and more events. I'm 370lbs and people look at me crazy when i tell them i've done Full Centuries or Metric centuries. I mention Triathlons and people think i'mcommitting suicide and are ready to stage an intervention. So there i am in the hotel room watching the start of the Olympics and its pretty much making me fantasize about being a TOP athlete. I often surprise people with what i'm able to do but this Triathlon is gonna be something different. I'm no swimmer, I'm no Runner ... sooooobasically i can ride a bike pretty good. hahah . That night my thoughts drifted like my writing does.
I awoke early and headed to the event.. i'm full of butterflies as i see all the fit and skinny people loading up, stretching, you know doing things real athletes do. I park get my gear and head to the transition area, i find a spot after nervously pacing. I then head to get my ink and timer anklet. Talking with the volunteers then all seemed pretty encouraging and amazing that i was going for it. I stretch by my bike and meet a few other beginners, they cracked jokes about dying and drowning which soothed my nerves because it let me see they were nervous also.
Side note - (WomensTri gear is nippy! i'm not complaining and its neither here nor there but i'm a fan of women athletes in any sport)
Anywaaaays... after a brief announcement we head to the shore for the start, men first, women and teams second (3 mins later). i get into the water.. i feel like i'm about to fall over, the water is warm. i dunk my head and relize hold up.. i only swam a total of 2 times before this event in "training" if by training i mean "chris's no structure do whatever in the pool training" then yes i trained. GO! i'm off but its so crowded i bump into someone.. i hold up a second and start off.. my freestyle was AWFUL.. i was going NOWHERE so i start alternating back stroke and some side wadding.. from the start! halfway thrui'mexhausted and thinking about grabbing a lifeguard. this older man slowly but surely passes me as i wade and look up... oh come on! i think to myself, Go GO GO GO GO i muscle thru the swim and my legs feel like jello.. they are GONE.. nuthing left! i find some energy to jog to my bike in the transition area. i finished the 1/2 mile swim - i'm wobbly.. i eat a GU and put on my shoes and jersey and i'm off ... i do a standing attack from the start and past the crowd, get around the corner and just about collapsehaha, my goal was to keep a 18-20 mph pace.. OUT THE FREAKING WINDOW... so there i am approaching this little hill and i cant get my legs to spin.. were are you legs?? oh yeah in the water with the fishes! so i actually walk this little hill.. i was agitated and about to call it a day. a guy behind me says come on man! your so close (so close? we just started dont feed me that mental medicine!) it worked.. i hoped on and picked up the pace. 13-15 i remember seeing often with some miserable 8- 10. halfway thru i got my legs back and started seeing the top guys heading back ..and this is were my energy got a mega dose! these guys that are actually racing for the top spot actually were yelling "looking good" "keep it up" .. i'm hooked .. these are my people.. haha i finish the 18 mile bike ride
The run ... the cheers are going as i'm starting the run.. others are finishing, I'm starting and getting high fives,etc.. again it was a boost. I take off jogging and have to do some walking of course but trying to keep the jogging up. i'm half way thru the run and meet this volunteer that decides to run with me on the way back to the finsh line.. its maybe a 1/2 mile away. I start jogging and she does too.. we're chatting abit ..wellllll... she's chatting i'm trying not to blow a gasket ..oh and by the way.... she's in flip flops! in flip flops! .... well i see the finish line she drops off and i say bye... i pick it up a little .. can't stop now.. people can see you for sure now! they all cheering and it feels amazing!!!! i finish my first TRI! it will NOT be my last! first things first swimming lessons!!!!!!!