So, this is now over a week after, and I simply haven’t gotten around to it. I wanted to make a pretty post with lots of pictures, but somehow I seem to be so busy these days, and I don’t like it. I like my life easy, and I like to make plans quickly and spontaneously instead of having to plan around other things.
The date: July 2nd, 2011.
The location: Rockford, Michigan.
The event: Bostwick Lake Triathlon.
Yeah, I did it. I did a triathlon! I had three goals for this event, which I all met:
- don’t die
- don’t be last
- finish under 2 hours
This was the most amazing thing. I was pumped from start to finish. I had a wonderful cheering team consisting of Chuck, my sisters in law – one of which lives by the lake, nieces and nephews and random other people who were just in great spirit and ready to have a great day!
It started out with a 0.4 mile swim. Not much, right? I know but I can really only do a decent breast stroke, and when everyone else is swimming freestyle, the breast stroke leaves you far in the back. We swam in two heats, first the men and 1 minute later the women. Good thing: I wasn’t last, but in all fairness, out of 103 participants there were only three finishing the swim after me. I knew swimming would be the suck. I love the water, I love to be in the water but I never really go out and swim. When we go out to the lake, I dive, I do flips, I am just having a good time in the water but I certainly don’t do laps. And this was equal to 13 laps in an Olympic size pool. OK, swimming done in about 18 minutes, now to my next discipline, the bike ride.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I like to ride the bike. All my life (well, mostly my German life) riding the bike was my transportation. It got me to school from when I was very little, it took me shopping and doesn’t require a parking space, and it takes you to bars where even though you could get a DUI, you really have to be drop dead drunk to get caught. So, this was where I had gotten my hopes up. You may have read my previous post and seen my old Schwinn cruiser and the bike I borrowed from my sister in law. But it got better. Much better. MUCH MUCH better. My father, who is a passionate, avid cyclist decided I should really have my own bike. He asked how much a decent bike is, and then told me to get the money and buy myself a bike. And I did! And my bike and I lived happily ever after. The END. No, just kidding, but I am madly in love with my bike.
Back to the Tri. The transition from swim to bike was slow. I was doing the whole triathlon in the same clothes. A tank top, my triathlon shorts (part bike shorts, part running shorts) and my running bra. All I had to do is dry off my feet, have my GU Energy Gel, put on socks, shoes, bike helmet and race belt (with my starting number) – it still took me around 5 minutes I guess. For the 14 mile bike leg of the triathlon, I managed to pick up a lot of speed. Once I came from the swim, the road was empty. There was nobody there and I was getting really bummed out. I did not expect to be that far behind, but nevertheless I started to kick and kick and kick! After a while I saw another bike at the far horizon – finally. It is so much easier to speed up if you have a visible goal, and so my race began. I passed that guy, next I passed a couple, then I passed a group of three, then another couple, then a kid. I was on a role, average speed was almost 18mph! The ride was 7 miles out and then back, and once I came around, I knew why I was so fast…I had full wind in the back. Now it was blowing right at me and my speed dropped tremendously – boohoo! First I was frustrated thinking that everyone will pass me again, until I realized that everyone else would struggle with the same. I just kept kicking hard and more people started to appear on the horizon, and I passed and passed and passed! If I am doing the math right, I must have passed 12 to 15 people on the bike and it took me about 50-55 minutes. BOOYA!
Once I rolled my bike into the transition area to go to the run, I knew this would be a bitch! So hard, so very hard. Seems like bike legs and running legs are not the same at all. I started to run the 2.88 miles, but I felt like Pinocchio stumbling around on wooden pegs.
I tried to stay focused thinking “Just run, even if you are slow”. This transition is the one most athletes have problems with and it is what every triathlete practices the most. Anyway, I just got started and sure enough, after a while it was OK. Don’t get me wrong, my legs just wanted to crash by the side of the road, after all they had just swum 0.4 miles and biked 14 miles. I tried to focus on the fact that it’ll be all over soon and on the fact that I can have all the food I want after this since this should burn a huge amount of calories. Around the lake, a lot of people were just sitting in their drive way watching the runners and cheering us on, kids were handing out water cups, people had set up sprinklers to run through – it was wonderful. It took me a little over 30 minutes.
I finished the whole event in 1 hour and 49 minutes. I made it and I am here to tell the story.
Yes, I can do it. And yes, you can do it. So do it! It will be the most exhilarating thing in your whole life!