|just google it....|
I'm here to tell you that it is exciting, challenging, and grueling! The Fun Trifecta! Just like running, you say? Yes. I'll agree. BUT it is exciting, challenging, and grueling THREE different times, in one race!
Not convinced? Not your thing? That's ok, it's cool....We can still associate, mingle, even be friends! I wont hold it against you but I will forever think you are missing out on at least one thing that would serve an excellent purpose on your Life's Bucket List.
So, how does one get the courage to show up to their first triathlon? Honestly, I have no idea. My first tri was in September of 2008. It was hard for me, literally. On the way out of the parking garage, in the dark, I slipped on a wet spot on the sidewalk and landed on my rear. I thought it was a sign I should turn around and go home. But I didn't.
|Parking garage and notice everything bagel there....bad idea.|
The thing with tris is that you start in waves. Depending on the size of the race there are usually a lot of waves. In my first race my wave was about 30 minutes after the first wave. So I stood. And stood. And stood. And got more and more nervous as the time ticked by....One woman must have smelled my fear and offered advice, "Don't kick during the swim. Save your legs for the bike." Ok. WORST ADVICE I HAVE EVER, EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE ABOUT ANYTHING. Clearly, she was not a strong swimmer. Frankly, I wish I could go back just to watch her swim the 750 yards with her arms only.....Priceless.
|Me and LB pre-race...swim caps are so flattering.|
In the water up to my belly button, my friend AN the RB and I looked at each other, near tears, we could turn and walk away, right now.....who cares? Then BAM! They said go!
|In that sea of arms and legs....somewhere.|
We didn't have a chance to back out. AN the RB, the collegiate All American swimmer, was long gone....out of the water in barely 10 minutes. I on the other hand took about 21 minutes to complete the 750 yards. I came out of the water as proud as momma bear with three healthy cubs.
|Yeah, this is me proud AND exhausted...|
Then it was time for the bike. The bike has always been my weakness. I was so scared I took 7 min and 50 seconds in transition 1. My Official Race Crew (OFC) and Paparazzi: Jessica, snapped some utterly embarrassing pics of me dancing out of my shorty wet suit, drying off, sitting down, taking my time and shimmying into my running tights. This was WAY before I had any official Tri apparel.
|Putting on Capri tights is HARD when you are wet...|
|Finishing the bike. I'm kind of waving. I couldn't ride with one hand...|
I rolled in to T2 (transition 2) and parked my bike. I was thankful to be alive. Off for the run....
It was not as easy as I had imagined. My legs were so dead! I was dying, I knew it. Not to mention my choice of Everything Bagel for breakfast was a bad one. I had been tasting that thing for an hour and a half. The run was an out and back. If memory serves me it was a mile and a half up a hill, turn around and a mile and a half down. People were walking left and right. I felt good about the fact that I was running. Yes, I got passed by a snail but still, I was running.
Nearing the finish, I was so stinking happy! I waved at my OFC with the biggest grin across my face. It was awful and amazing at the same time.
|Look at this cheese!!!|
So, the moral of the story is this: I did not win this triathlon. Nor did I really do good, at all. I finished in 2 hours 12 seconds. I wasn't afraid to try, or at least too afraid to try, and I wasn't afraid to fail. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. Here I am today, still not an expert. Still making mistakes and learning from them. But I have stuck my neck out there so many times and that, my friends, is fun to me. The excitement of the race, the pain, the butterflies, the thrill of the open water, the arms flailing, the kicks, the wind in my eyes flying down a hill, the heaviness of my legs....the pain, the way I cant wait to be out of the water on my bike, I can't wait to be off my bike and on my feet, I can't wait to cross the line so it's all over.....the way I CAN'T WAIT until the next tri...it's a crazy cycle that I can't get out of my head!
And this is The Dark Side......
|My FIRST tri medal!|
Are you ready????