So before I start this post - I have to explain something here that those people who know me closely know, but I never mentioned on my blog. After I ran the Parkway half I had a serious lack of motivation to train - and then about the time I was getting it back I got sick. I wouldn't have minded a nice little cold to make me appreciate not being sick or maybe something else mild that I still could have worked out with, but that wasn't my choice - what I got was an upper respiratory infection that kicked my butt for two weeks! I spent three days straight in bed doing nothing while my wonderful hubby made sure I had what I needed and took great care of me. It has been a long time since I had been that sick - even after my body felt better my lungs took a while to bounce back (I also have asthma) and all training for the tri stopped. I did a one mile run on the Wednesday before the tri to make sure my tri shirt and shorts were not going to rub anywhere and than went well, but I was nervous about the fact that I had trained up to the mileages I was doing in the tri, but it had been sometime since I had done anything active and I was hoping my lungs were 100% - It turns out they were not.
Here I am on the beach of the lake ready to start - the pink cap was given to me by the race organizers - each wave had their own color and I was in the last wave that started at 8:25 (Women 40 and up and the Athena Athletes) I stood on the beach and looked at the bouys and they seemed so far out there and so far apart! I will admit my nerves kicked in and my tummy hurt! My dad was taking pictures of my and I wanted him to stop - that is why I look grumpy... Here I am 33 minutes after my start - my swim took longer than expected because once I got into the water there were several things happening that I didn't expect since I did all my swim training in a pool - first 50+ people starting to swim at the same time causes a wake and tosses you around quite a bit. Secondly - the lake is very green and it is very hard to see where you are going. Thirdly - my lungs ended up not being 100% and I struggled to catch my breath from early on. I spent some time holding on the the kyacks catching my breath and was so happy to have those guys out there - they are so encouraging! What you can't see in the picture is just how much the swim had taken out of me, I was so tired already and knew I still had 16 miles on the bike and a 3 mile run ahead of me. My arms were sore and my lungs hurt and I was just plain tired... (notice there are only a handful of people still in the water behind me...) This is me in my transition area. I got out of my wetsuit and sat down to put my shoes and socks on to get on the bike. The transitions both went well, I don't think I really spent too much time fussing with things and everything went smoothly (well except for knocking the rack over when I took my bike out, but some guy coming in did the same thing right after I did so I don't feel so bad..) Oh yeah, that was a weird feeling - I was getting ready for my bike ride and there were people who had already finished their swim and bike ride! Again the volunteers here in the transition area were amazing and encouraging - this series had something like 200 first time triathletes! I actually felt pretty strong leaving there on the bike, but that quickly faded and I decided that slow and steady would have to do... The bike course was on a pretty busy two lane highway with no bike lane and it was not closed to traffic. I had cars very close to me zipping by at 55 mile per hour. Something else I hadn't really trained for was riding around traffic. I had a death grip on my bike and when I came in my arms, hands and shoulders were very sore and the rest of the energy I had was pretty much gone. And here I am going out for the last 3 miles of the tri! I ran for a little bit, but most of it was walking for me. The few of out there still on the course were talking and encouraging each other and we were still having fun despite being very tired! And here I am running in for the big finish! There were only about 5 people behind me at this point but still a HUGE crowd at the finish line! Again so encouraging and enthusiastic! So would I do it again - heck yeah! I would train differently since I know what to expect now and I would try really hard not to get sick right before! LOL!! Do I have any regrets? Heck no! I can now be called a triathlete and like I once told someone - I may not be fast but I'm determined and I get the job done and I'm out there!