By the numbers:
Swim: .5 miles
Times I wanted to quit the race during the swim: 7
Times I wanted to heave in Cherry Creek Reservoir: 3
Bike ride: 11.4 miles
Times I cried on the bike ride: 2 (thinking of dear friends)
Times I cried on Cherry Creek dam: 1 (thinking about positive change in the air)
Times I uttered my mantra “And this:” 112
Calories ingested after the race: too many to count
I signed up for this Tri in May thinking that two friends were going to join me. I found out a few weeks earlier that they wouldn’t be able to do the race, so I decided then to bail on it as well. The Sunday before the race while celebrating my dad’s birthday I found out that my cousin’s wife was in the Tri in a relay team. I’m a believer in Signs From The Universe, so I decided that I’d better follow through and show up bright and early August 3. I stayed at her place Saturday night so we could drive to the race together, which was great. I may have bailed at the last minute.
The swim was way more grueling than I had remembered. I did every stroke except the butterfly for that half-mile. (I don’t know how to to the butterfly or I may have!) I seriously didn’t want to finish the swim. My calf cramped. I choked down way too much lake water. I was nauseated. The swim finish seemed farther and farther away with every gasp. Not great, Bob. The end of the swim did obviously happen. I’m not sure how I swam faster than last time! I did zero training this summer.
The bike ride was beautiful. I’m not sure how I added to my time (I love the symmetry in my bike times, though). Again, I didn’t train for the race intentionally so I’m not exactly sure what I expected.
The walk time was much-improved. I walk a lot and work on bettering my time, so I expected to “race” faster here. Also improved this time was my overall endurance. In 2009 I felt like I was suffering from heat stroke half-way through the 5k. This time I felt hydrated and energetic and it shows in my time.
Now, the transitions were not great at all. I dinked around big time here. I took music this time and futzed with my headphones between the swim and bike legs. A volunteer told me that I wasn’t allowed to listen to anything (but I did with one earbud out). On the transition between the bike and walk, I left my music at my station since I try to follow the rules. When I was almost to the walk start, I saw many other women with earbuds in. So I doubled back to get my music knowing a) it would add to my transition time and b) I would walk faster with music. So, even though my overall time was slower, my actual race time improved.
I’ve committed to the race again next summer. My aunt was at the race cheering for us and actually jumped in and ran with me for the last 20 yards or so (the only time I’ve run in two years, ha). She’s super psyched to join me next summer to complete her first tri. It’s a gratifying and empowering experience in all.