Number 5: Complete a Triathlon

OK so I only did a mini-triathlon, which is swimming 10 laps (500 yards), biking 9 miles, and then running 3.1. I did this through our local Y so everything was indoors. This was a blessing because it meant no hills and controlling the speed of biking and running.

When I first signed up I was a little worried I would be the last one to complete each of the three events. Swimming is fun, but usually when I swim I am just hanging out in the water with a beer not doing any laps. In fact I had a hard time remembering the last time I even swam a lap. Luckily I did have a several weeks to train, so I was able to get in a little pool time. To make me more official I even bought a pair of goggles. But I could not bring myself to put on the swim cap.

As the event got closer and I had more time swimming and biking and  my nerves did ease up a bit. I found that I could swim the ten laps in under 15 minutes. This was a huge relief because the rules stated that you were allotted 25 min to finish the swimming. I thought for sure I would hit the 25 min and be kicked out of the pool.

When race day arrived I felt ready but still nervous. I am healthy and somewhat athletic but I was worried about the athletic levels of my competitors. Were there people that signed up that weren’t super athletes like me?? Were there first time tri-athaloners like me? We had to arrive about 30 minutes before our heat to register and get our bike set up. When I arrived they wrote my competitor number on my arm and calf- and I was number 19 just like the great Tom Pagnozzi! These two factors help kick my adrenaline up a notch. Also the other 5 people in my heat were first timers and roughly my age and athletic level.

After getting my bike all set up (you have to raise the seat to your hip level) and setting out my socks and tennis shoes I proceeded to the pool. Since the pool is not that large there were 2 of us to a lane. When I was training I was swimming at 5am so I usually had a lane to myself. I was praying I didn’t take out the person next me. They sounded the horn and we were off! I was able to get ahead of the other person in my lane so that we both had enough room to swim like we wanted. They signaled your last lap by putting a red board in the water. When I saw that red board I was amazed at how fast the swimming went, I was trying not to count my laps and focus on other things. After  you touch the wall the time stops so you can move to your next event. Total swim time 12 minutes 17 sec

I left my suit on for biking and just put shorts and a t-shirt on over my suit. We did have the option to change but I wanted to keep my momentum going. The bike was the one event that I was really dreading. 9 miles on a bike! Yikes, I usually avoid the bike when working out. As soon as you begin to pedal your time begins again. I had people on both sides of me which helped keep me pedaling pretty quickly – again I didn’t want to be the last one! The few times that I did get on the bike during training I never did the whole 9 miles so I didn’t know how long it would take me. Since I didn’t put on any resistance I was able to pedal pretty quickly. My legs were starting to feel the burn about halfway through and I could feel the fatigue coming on. The Y staff was great; they were constantly cheering us on or talking to us to distract us if we seemed to be getting tired. I was able to complete 9 miles on the stationary bike in 19 min 52 sec.

The last and final event was the running. We had to run 3.1 on the treadmill. As I walked from the biking station to the treadmill, my heart was racing and my legs were jelly. But I told myself this is nothing just a 5K away from being done!!! I hopped on the treadmill and began to run. This is where I was most proud of myself, I ran the whole 3.1, I didn’t stop and walk for a bit I just ran and even at a little higher pace that usual. It was very helpful that the person before had turned on the TV attached to the treadmill and left it on channel 5 who was doing a Sunday Cardinals special. When I got on the treadmill they were showing World Series highlights. I don’t know what would have been a bigger motivator. Especially when Freese hits the homerun in game 6, it helped me make that final push to finish. There were lots of happy thoughts going through my mind and I paid more attention the celebrating team than the millage. The only thing about running on the treadmill is that it takes me longer that if I ran outside. I can usually do 3.1 outside in about 35min (depending on the traffic lights) but on the treadmill it took me 38 min and 39 sec.

When I stepped off the treadmill there was a part of me that could not believe I had completed everything in an hour and 14 minutes! I had thought it was going to take me much longer and that I would be completely drained. This was not the case- I felt amazing.  I was definitely ready for a shower and nap but very energized and ready to take on the day.

This event took me out of my comfort zone. When I run 5K’s am running them because I enjoy running and the shirt is cute – I am not going for a win. But this event brought in more a competive aspect, I didn’t sign up thinking I was going to win but the competitors are a lot closer to you and you are constantly tryng to out do them and get to the next event.  Running for me is a soliarty event but a triathalon changes my mind set. I am no longer just out for a run I am out for blood to finish!!

While I won’t be signing up for an real tri-athalons I could see myself doing another mini in the future.

Onto number 4!

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