Sunday I participated in my first triathlon of the season! It was a very impromptu sort of race. I decided only a month ago that I was going to do it and I am so glad I did. I wasn't that glad when I got to the race. I was by myself and freaking out. So I called my dad and he calmed me down. (Thanks, Dad!) I don't know what freaks me out the most about my races. Is it that I'm not confident in my abilities? Is it that it was my first time at the race? Was it that I was by myself for the first time? Was it the fact that I knew nothing about how the swim in a pool would work? I just don't know (though it is a little daunting knowing I'll be in non-stop intense physical activity for the better part of two hours no matter how hard I trained.) I'll have a better idea in July when I do the Pinebush race for the second time. I'll let you know about the butterflies then.
So I'm lining up to get in the pool studying how the people are flipping and sharing lanes and swimming and stuff when I look up and see Lynette, Carrie and Emily waving excitedly at me. I am so grateful they made it and my heartbeat slows down. Then we make it opposite the door leading outside and I see Mike waving and smiling at me. I didn't know if he would be there for the start. We each had stag parties the night before and I didn't want him to hold back on the fun for my race but I knew he would make it for the end. And I was totally okay with that. But when I saw him before my start I begin to cry. The friendly woman next to me asks if I'm okay and I explain about Mike. She tells me I have to be extra great at the race now. I think, he thinks I'm extra great already.
The race helper tells me I can jump into the pool when I'm ready and I walk over the timing mats and jump in, ready to go! Except I forgot to put my goggles over my eyes. I pull them on once I'm in the water but I can barely make out the lines at the bottom of the pool. What the eff was I going to do if I lost the lenses? My glasses were in the locker room! At the end of each lane I pause to make sure I'm on the right side of the rope. I don't get to do good flips and I'm freaking out that I lost my contacts in the water but as soon as I get out of the pool I take off the goggles and I can see!! Emily asks if my goggles pulled a Michael Phelps. Um, yes. I'm bummed that my swim wasn't my best but I get over it.
Onward to my bike. Mike and my friends cheer me off and here I go! I'm always scared I'll get lost at these races and Mike always assures me that I'm not going to be alone. Well. This is a small race. I'm alone ALMOST THE ENTIRE RIDE. I worried only at one turn. But it was fairly well marked and there were volunteers at every intersection. They were all so cool and supportive!
By the time I get back to transition my hands are immobile due to the cold air and wind and I fumble to put on my running gear. Carrie directs me to the run because I don't know where it starts. Mike asks how I feel and I'm like, AWESOME! But my legs feel like lead and it takes me a good mile for my legs to feel normal again. Every person who passed me was like, looking great- finish strong! I know they are being supportive of a fellow racer but it sucks being passed. I just wish I passed one person. Once. In any portion of the race.
But you know what? I made it. I finished. And I cried. My friends had to remind me how to open a cut banana but once I had my bearings back I felt great. I am really proud of what I accomplished yesterday. I may be slow but it is great fun and so gratifying. I can't wait to do it again.