Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I did it!!

I did it! I completed my first triathlon!!

We arrived at Deer Creek Lake in Ohio Friday night around 9PM.

We went to bed and my husband got up around 6am to go run 8 miles since we are doing a fall half marathon together.

Deer Creek Lake

After he got back, we headed over to registration. Sally Edwards, a legendary triathlete, and Maggie Sullivan, who is the director of Trek's Women Triathlon series, gave our group (Mighty Tri Girls) a private "pep" talk. I picked up my numbers, chip, and race packet, bought myself a nice 1/4 zip pullover that said Trek Women's Triathlon Series and had everything I needed. I was very overwhelmed because when I do a running race, I just pick up my race packet and have a number and chip and that's it. With the triathlon, I had a number for my helmet, for my bike, for my spibelt, etc. I got a navy blue swim cap to determine the "wave" of swimmers I was in according to my age group.

Saturday night meeting

My family had a nice relaxing afternoon at the pool and a small dinner. I headed over to a short Mighty Tri Girl meeting to get some last minute advice from Sue.

We were in bed by 8:30PM because I had an early wake up! At 4am, my alarm went off. I got ready (without waking my family) and headed to the lobby to get "numbered."

I rode with 2 members of my team, Jen and Theresa, over to the lake. We arrived at 5am. It was pitch black. Thank god for Jana and her "miner's cap" that had a light. I set up my transition area, got my tires pumped, and was ready.

We still had some time and it was freezing. The wind from the lake made it a cold 55 degrees. I sat in a car wrapped in a blanket until about 6:15am. Then I did some last minute things and got my wetsuit on.

The start was delayed so about 7:23am, my wave was about to begin. It was very choppy water, but a vert warm 70 degrees. I got a noseful of water at one point and had to doggy paddle a bit. There were "angels" set up in the water, which were ladies with noodles if anyone needed to take a break and rest. I was determined not to use one. I made it the full 1/2 mile with no help and ran out and up the steps to the transition area!

I was ready for the part that was my biggest fear.......the bike! After just learning how to ride a bike 7 months ago, I doubted myself many times. I got on the bike with confidence and began my 12 mile ride. It was very flat and windy the first several miles. There were a few hills at the end, which made me realize that I have to get some more leg strength.

I rode my bike back into the transition area and could hear Sue's voice cheering me on! I saw her smiling face and was so proud of myself. I heard her say, "This is your time to shine! Go get 'em!" on my way to begin my run.

The support of all the women was amazing. I knew I was in the bottom portion of finishers because of my slow bike time, but the women I passed coming back into finish all had smiles, high fives, and encouraging words for me! Seeing all of the members of my team (there were about 30 Mighty Tri Girls there) cheering me on was such a great feeling.

I crossed over the dam, got to the turn-around, and ran back the remaining of the course. As I heard the cheers as I turned the corner to the finish line, I couldn't help but get emotional! I saw my husband, who was so supportive of my training, and my three kids' smiling faces on the left. On the right were all the Mighty Tri Girls and their husbands cheering for me! I grabbed the hands of my two oldest kids and crossed the finish line with them squeaking it in just under 2 hours (1 hour 59 min!)

I am so thankful for my husband for being so supportive and encouraging. My mom and dad were so helpful with encouraging words and emails as well. My mom and husband helped by watching the kids while I trained. All of my friends and family were so wonderful in supporting my goal.

I know that if I can do a triathlon, anyone can!

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