Finished the triathlon!

20 Jun

Well, this certainly was an eventful Father’s Day this year!  We began our morning at about 4am.  It was storming outside, but I had a feeling the storms would pass by the time the triathlon began.  Yes, that’s right, I participated in a triathlon this past Sunday!  My girlfriend, Leslie, and I had been training for it last couple of months.  Neither of us have done one before so it was certainly nerve-wracking!

My husband, Brett, dropped me off at Leslie’s condo at 5am.  At that point, it was only lightly raining, so we knew the race would go on.  We loaded up our bikes on her rack and headed to the St. Peters Rec-Plex, who was hosting the event.  Well, when we got there, we noticed that Leslie’s bike rack busted on the way there.  Whoops!  Not exactly a great start, but the bikes survived and so did her car…just need to fix the rack so not too bad. 

The area wasn’t marked the best for where to go, but we were able to follow others and eventually found the transition area and where to go to get our bodies marked.  It was beginning to feel more real by this time!  Everything was soaking wet, but fortunately, Leslie had some plastic bags for us to put our shoes in, and I had an extra towel to lay on the ground and a bucket to cover our other stuff. 

The race was a 500 meter swim, 21 mile bike ride, and 5 mile run.  However, due to flooding, they had to reduce the bike ride to only 16 miles.  We were set and ready to go by 5:50am and the race started at 6am, but because the swim was in a 50 meter length pool, they were individually starting people every 15 seconds.  Leslie’s start time was 6:25:30am and mine was 6:28:45am.  It was nice because we had time to watch the other participants start their swims.  I felt better because I could easily see I was a stronger swimmer than some of the other folks. 

And so the race began….  I wanted to get a quick start, but the first two lanes were divided in half to make 4 lanes (very narrow) so that the pool could have 10 lanes across.  There was no room to pass anyone.  Finally, when I was in my 250 meter length, I was able to start passing.  I think I passed 5 people total, which isn’t bad since everyone of those people before me!  I had one guy pass me.  Here is a photo of me in my first 50 meters (I’m the swimmer at the bottom of the picture with the black and green suit):

I finished the swim strong, now that it’s all over, I know I could have pushed it harder.  I was so worried about being able to finish the run at the end though that I didn’t want to overdo it on the swim or bike. 

Leslie was waiting for me at the bikes so we quickly put on our shorts, helmet, and tennis shoes.  I popped an energy bite and off we went.  The bike ride wasn’t too bad.  There were hills for the first couple of miles, but then, mostly flat.  Of course, we had to tackle the same hills at the end of the ride too.  Still, it was overall not bad.

Then came the run!  Yikes!  I was nervous about this leg of the race the entire morning.  Thankfully, Leslie stuck by my side the entire time and wouldn’t let me quit.  We weren’t allowed to wear any sort of headphones so Leslie talked to me almost the entire run to keep me distracted from feeling so tired!  At about the 2.39 mile mark (I have a GPS watch so am able to keep track), I thought I was going to die.  Had she not been there, I would have slowed down to a crawl!  She kept pushing me though, which I am so thankful for, that’s for sure. 

Fast forward to the end…I knew I had started my watch a little late, but I guess I hadn’t realized how late because I thought we still had another quarter mile left when the next thing I know we rounded a bend and there was the finish line.  I still had some left in me so I was bummed that I didn’t finish a little stronger, but hey, I finished!  AND IT FELT AMAZING!  Overall, it took me 2 hours, 1 minute, and some seconds, but I don’t remember how many. 

Next time, and yes, there will be a next time… I plan on shedding a minute from my swim time, shooting for several minutes off the bike ride, and several minutes off our transition times.  For the run, I’ll be happy to shed 20 seconds off of my per mile pace, but we’ll see!

Special thanks go out to my parents, Brett, and our friend, Sean who all came out that morning to watch the entire race.  Thank you all!  It meant so much to me!  And thank you to all my other family and friends that showed your continued support throughout my training period.  I couldn’t have done it without your motivation!

Wish I had more photos, but that was the one thing Brett forgot to do!  Oh well…NEXT TIME!

If you’re interested in competing in the fall triathlon, visit:  http://www.stpetersmo.net/rec-plex-triathlons.aspx

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2 Responses to “Finished the triathlon!”

  1. bombboyben June 30, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    Congrats. This is Awesome I had no clue you that you were interested in tri’s. I’m looking to do iron man new Zeldand next year. If you don’t know who this is as Heather.

    • heather June 30, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

      Ha! It’s Christine. You can tell by the headers at the top or by the author. It’s a joint blog.

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