Wednesday, May 26, 2010

tri #3, aka Women of Steel, aka Actually a Duathlon

Does anyone sleep the night before their race?

Friday's rain was a welcome cadence on my roof, but I had to make a solid effort to make my body rest enough to go to sleep. My alarm set for 5, I woke up promptly at 4:30, but not before enduring a thorough dream about being late and missing the entire race.

I arrived at the venue at 6:am, just as planned, and got the In on a great place to park. Packet picket up, I was number 227 (like the old TV show, the one featuring Olivia from Sesame Street, which, now that I think of it is funny because the stairs on the set of 227 looks so similar to the stairs on the set of Sesame Street.). (Anyone?) (*crickets*) I got my body marked and my time chip and strained to listen to the whispers about the swim being cancelled, which was disappointing to me: Swimming's my strongest part of the race! I went to my van to listen to the radio and nibble on a peanut butter samwich, and at 7:am the official announcement was made: no swim. Instead, we would do a duathlon - run, bike, run. Groan.

As soon as the announcement was made, the rain slowed to a stop (of course it did), but due to ridiculous temperatures, hypothermia was a legitimate concern, so on we went. I set up my transition station and found where my friends were set up. Some stretches and other last-minute prep, and then I found myself lining up with other women in my 200-300 number range, ready to begin. I kept my long-sleeved shirt and pants on over my tri suit for that first mile, of which I ran about half, and then removed the pants (bike shorts on still) for the biking portion. Helmet buckled, I set out on the course. Almost immediately I regretted not having dried my bike rims with a towel (sharp turns and all). The first portion of the bike loop is uphill, and I didn't get off to walk at all, just changed gears (see? I know how to use a bike, just not fix one). When we approached an intersection which was blocked off for the race, I heard a woman who was . . . well, she was whining. She had gotten out of her car and was yelling at the volunteers, "You can't just stop traffic like this! You can't!" This made me laugh pretty hard as I called out a huge, "THANK YOU!" to the volunteers. During the ride I was hoping for Kalli to hop out from behind a tree or something, but reasoned that anyone who could should be staying indoors that day, at least until the sun peeked out from behind the clouds.

The second half of the bike course is fast -- downhill, flying down the Alpine Highway. What a rush. I passed many people during this portion, I don't mind saying (especially since they likely passed me before AND after I passed them). Since the bike course was two loops, I took a small break on the uphill battle on my second loop (at which time I began to see people running -- people are so hardcore) to have a Clif Gel. Blurg, I had forgotten that consuming that crap is like trying to swallow a sponge. I cringed and looked at the package: Strawberry. The last thing that stuff tasted like is Strawberry. I hopped back on my bike and finished the second loop, feeling pretty great about myself. Dismounting, I had a feeling I had never, not in all my days, felt: that My Legs Are Jello feeling. I honestly didn't know if I was going to fall over or not. Just the same, it was pretty cool. You know, in the way that feeling sore is cool -- you feel your body and know it's working.

I found my transistion station (it is like a maze in there!), racked my bike, removed my helmet, regrettably got a Katy Perry song stuck in my head, and evaluated the temperature: still chilly, occassional sunshine: decision made, keep the long-sleeved shirt on. I walked most of the run (I have yet to run a 5K without stopping -- when will I ever learn to stop sprinting and pace myself?), and met a girl named Tiberon (shark) (I'm not kidding, that's not an insult, it's seriously the Spanish word for shark). On the last stretch I decided to run, despite some significant discomfort in my calves. I got into a joggy-groove and crossed the finish line in stride.

Swag bag included a cool necklace, I got my shirt (which I may actually wear), grabbed a water bottle, an apple, and a banana; wanted to grab a cookie and didn't. I knew my friend Coral had crossed the finish line because I saw her cheer for me as I came in. I couldn't find Dalene, and guessed that she was still racing. Back at the transition area, I gathered my things and got a couple of pictures with Coral and her kids:




Coral and I were roommates a million years ago at The Glenwood. She's married to Lawrance, whom I've known since I was about nine years old. I love that family.

After putting my bike back in my van, I went to look for Dalene, who had already crossed the finish line. I had wanted to be there to cheer her on as she crossed (friend FAIL on my part), but it was so awesome to see Dalene: she was beaming. She did it. She started training with me last year and was timid about signing up for this race, and she has been diligent in training and preparing. She did it.



Beautiful Melody was there, too:



Look at this cool family:



There are some pictures out there of me actually racing, but I'm not going to pay for them. I think it's of note that I shaved off about 25 minutes from my previous triathlon. I'm confident that had the swim been first instead of a mile-long run, my time would have been even more of an improvement.
And then I went home and felt sore. Which is great.

26 comments:

wendysue said...

Rockstar! (Total bummer about the swim. . .I probably would've made that a great excuse to go home.)

Gerb said...

You rock, sister. What an inspiration you are!

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Wow - congrats! I'm completely in awe of your accomplishment, you must be so proud!

Amy R. Nelson said...

Awesome job!

Christi said...

25 MINUTES!?!?!? Wow! That is about the best race improvement I have ever heard. You are awesome! Congrats on a great race!

Mrs. Organic said...

So inspiring! You both look like you have that on top of the world feeling.Way to go!

Kalli Ko said...

I don't fit behind trees anymore. Sadly. I look like that fat person behind a tree.

You rock my world, I'm sad I never found you. You were too fast, too fast!

{natalie} said...

i thought of you as i woke up to rain. i'm glad for safety they cancelled the swim but too bad you had to run twice, that would have bummed me out.

you are so awesome for doing TRI's. i love it. way to go. maybe i'll do a 5k this year and try not to die.

Camille said...

YES! I have had dreams like that before as well! I think it's wishful thinking. But I've never competed in a triathalon (duathalon). I wouldn't be able to hack it. Kudos to you!! 25 minutes shaved off is amazing :)

tiburon said...

Okay so my friend Corrie directed me over this a way. She put two and two together the other day when I posted about the race and figured we walked together.

Just wanted to say hi :)

You really helped get me through that 5k and I appreciate it!

Thanks again :)

AzĂșcar said...

227. I remember the theme song.

Yay!

Melissa said...

Good job !! I am SO impressed ! Is there anything you can't do ??!!

Steph said...

You are pretty much my new idol!

Nicole said...

Yeah!!! That's awesome! I wish I had motivation to do a triathlon. That's inspiring!

Danielle Christiansen said...

you rock!

Lisa said...

You ROCk!!!

Queen Scarlett said...

Holla! BRILLIANT.

Gina said...

Yeah! Great job!

c-dub said...

i'm with kalli--too fast! too fast!

p.s. word verification: woott!

Naomi Miles said...

You're fabulous!

Emily said...

I heard it was a duathlon--that would kill me! CONGRATS on what sounds like a new PR! I'm still clueless on the transition thing and have yet to get on my road bike though it IS finally fitted. *sigh* I'm going to be a hazard to the other riders. Dang this crappy weather!

Melody said...

Love this post. Love reading the details. Loved being there between two women of steel. I'm not worthy.

Thanks for being amazing. Seriously.

b. said...

Your dedication and commitment is SO inspiring and I am SO proud.
Running this race is just one of the many reasons the two of you are women of great strength!

Carolyn said...

Way to go! You are amazing!

Tara said...

What a fun race! I love the imagery of you flying down the alpine highway with the wind in your face. Made me want to get on my bike. (and come to Utah!)
Rusty said he met you at CBC and that you are just as awesome IRL as on your blog!

Adria said...

Reading your account makes me REALLY wish I had done this. Except I can't swim. So I could have done it! ;-)

I've been holding off on committing to anything because I'm slow and old and out of shape. But your story is inspiring.

Awesome, you!