Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I TRIed and SUCCEEDED! (in reverse!)

Apple Valley Fall Festival Reverse Sprint Triathlon
When I started getting healthier, I started realizing I could do more than I thought.  After discussing it with some friends I realized I wanted to attempt a triathlon.  BUT, I had some rules:
1.       It had to be a sprint…this means it’s a 5K, 14ish mile bike ride and short swim
2.       It had to be a pool swim- I wasn’t ready or willing to train in open water yet
3.       It had to be reverse. For my first time I wanted to swim last since I wasn’t accustomed to running and biking soaking wet.
Lo and behold what should come across my email but a Schwaggle coupon for a Reverse Sprint Triathlon, about an hour away from my home, for $27.
Sold!  I signed up with some friends and training commenced….kind of.
The running was no problem. I run all the time.  I do half marathons.  A 5K is an easy run…BOOM!
The swimming was a little bit iffier.  I bought a more structured swimsuit. One that would hold everything in that needed to be held.  I started doing laps at my gym, realizing as I was doing it that I needed a swim cap, goggles and ear plugs.  This summer I was at the pool a couple times a week practicing my strokes.
ALAS, the bike.  OHHH, the bike.  Let’s start with this, I own a bike.  It’s a mountain bike I won in a contest for something when I was a server at Applebee’s in 1999.  Yes, you read that right. My bike is over 10 years old…OH and I’ve ridden it approximately 10 miles since then.
It was gathering dust in my folk’s garage. I got it out and my friend made sure there was air in the tires, the gears and chain were good and brought it to my house.  The first time I rode it I was like a monkey in the circus. The seat was a little low and I was literally hitting my own chin with my knee…not so good.
In the meantime I took a bunch of spin classes, often doing it sandwiched between a run and a swim.  I was confident I could PHYSICALLY, but I was terrified and kept putting it off….I’ve had some bad bike luck.
AGE 12: Riding my 10 speed in my neighborhood. Lose my breaks going down a hill and crash land on some grass. Literally bite THROUGH my lip.  12 stitches…plus I’m pretty sure my hymen was no longer in tact.  I still have a scar

AGE 15:  Riding bike to local shopping center with best friend,  going past a driveway.  A cute guy in a mustang clips my back tire. (we both stopped for one another and then went…) He’s dreamy, I ride away…I still have a scar

AGE 21:  I go on a bike ride with a friend. I borrow his mom’s bike.  We share a pitcher of margaritas.  On the way home he goes over the paseo bridge and I choose the path under.  I never come out.  Oops, I hit the planter…broke the wheel of the bike.  Did I mention I DO NOT condone drinking and riding?  $100 and some pride later…
NOW, I have to ride a bike 14 miles.  How am I gonna do this and not fall on my face?  I buy a helmet, my roommates boyfriend generously raises my seat and tunes up my bike.
I go on my FIRST and ONLY training ride one week before. I manage 12.5 miles.  I’m feeling good…but still a bit terrified!

Sooooo the day arrives.  I have packed my transition bag, arranged to carpool with my two friends who are TRI-ing with me and get ready to go.
We are running a bit late. The lines for the bathroom are long, it’s a crazy morning. We barely get our bikes in the transition area before the gun for the 5K run goes off…
But we make it.
I ran at below a 12 minute mile, which is slow for me in a 5K, but not when I have to bike and swim after.  By mile 3, I’m feeling confident and I start picking off people in front of me.   Guy in black shirt,  girl in green tank top, girl in mud run shirt,  guy in white shirt…..
I did the race with my friends Cody and Marcy.  Cody was fastest.   We knew he’d be on his own in the front.  But Marcy and I pretty much planned to hang together.  She’s a faster runner, but kept looking behind her to see how far back I was.  When I got to the transition after a short 5K (my garmin only clocked it at 2.96 miles) Marcy was still there transitioning, so I went as fast as I could and started the ride with her.
(The winner was coming in from his bike ride as we were leaving!!!!)
Marcy rides her bike a lot. She gave birth to adorable twin boys in January and hasn’t ridden much, but she knows what’s up with gears and how to maneuver hills and flats, etc.  She stayed with me giving me pointers throughout the ride.  She pulled ahead a little bit at the hills but let me catch up to her and we finished the bike ride together (it was longer than advertised…over 15 miles).  It was scary because we were on the open road with cars and SEMIs flying by us….
The transition for the swim was confusing.  Change at the bikes, run around the building in bare feet go to pool, and run about 100 yards to the finish.
We were both feeling weird about running in our bathing suits… I took off my shirt and said, “I’ll swim in my running shorts, let’s just go” We grabbed all of our stuff…not knowing this was a bad idea and ran.
We got to the pool and adrenaline took over.  I said, “Screw it, I’m just going like this!” Marcy said, “Don’t you want goggles?” I turned around, grabbed my goggles and her and I ran to the start of the swim.
I am a stronger swimmer and dove into the pool ready to go.  The swim was 150 yards or 6 laps across.  They had us to the laps staggered so you start at one end and finish at the other end of the pool. Up one lane, down the next.  I couldn’t get my breath in the first lane, but remembered by the second and was passing people.  Breathe out under water, deep breath in every 3 strokes.  I got to the end, jumped out and there was Marcy about one lane behind me.  She came up for air and looked at me and I yelled, “You got this Marcy, I’m waiting for you, we finish together!”
She finished and we ran to the finish line.  2:01:33 and 2:01:34….
I can’t believe I did it!  And you know what I would do it again.  Funnily enough on the car ride home all three of us would start sentences with , “Next time we do this, we will….” 
So I guess there will be a next time. =D

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