I haven't really talked too terribly much about the triathlon I have been training for. The triathlon that I completed this past Sunday.
I chose to do the Danskin Triathlon because:
1. I like that it helps to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
2. It is a super friendly first-timer triathlon.
3. It's something I could train for and do together with my sister.
4. The training required was easy enough to manage throughout the week...for the most part. Illness and little one(s) to care for can factor in some creative timing/scheduling.
I started training with my sister back in February. I was NOT a strong swimmer. I liked biking enough....I am NOT a strong runner.
Through the weeks of training, I became a stronger swimmer. I learned that I LOVE riding my bike, even for longer distances and up hills. I am still not a strong runner, but I can accept that it is just not my strongest event. Something to work on I suppose....
At first, the thought of swimming 1/2 mile did not seem too terrible. Then, I counted how many laps that was in the pool....wha?!?! I could not imagine doing 10 laps, much less 17. Then, before I knew it...18, 20, 25 laps.....I was doing more than I needed and wanted to do more!
My first bike ride past 2 miles was quite tiring! There are some great trails close by and we would go on those. They are both paved and crushed granite. Yeah, trails not paved are much harder work, but worth it for the strengthening! It's kinda like running on the beach as opposed to just road. Maybe not as bad, but close.
Running, well, as my running instructor had told me months before when I said I was determined to run the whole 5K part of it....."Don't pressure yourself too much. It's OK to walk it. A lot of people do. Just take it all in and enjoy it". She was right and I am glad I listened. I did walk...almost ALL of it! And it gave me the time I needed to just soak it all in.....and before I knew it I was a mile from becoming a triathlete! Now, that is not to say I will not work on attempting to run more of it the next time....oh yes, there will be a next time!
The Day before the race there was an Expo along with packet pick up. They had a course and race day overview and I am glad I attended that part of it because the day before?! I had a serious case of the nerves....I suddenly was wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into! Swim, Bike AND Run (for me walk)...all back to back?! But mainly, it was the transitions that made me nervous. However, after going for packet pickup, my nerves were calmed and I was excited! If you are a first timer and they have such a thing, I recommend attending it.
Then, I got emotional. Why?! Because this race was about more than just doing a triathlon. There were some amazing women involved. And several of these women? They are cancer survivors. This is just a quick pic I took at the race day overview, when they asked all the cancer survivors sitting in the audience to come up on stage. This is just a handful of these women. Wow, talk about putting it all in perspective:
I got teary-eyed. Here I was sweating about T1 and T2 and these women had survived the biggest battle of their lives!
I can do this.
After that, we had to go to the transition area and "rack our bikes". I had NO clue what I was doing, but thankfully they had covered a little of that during the course/race day overview.
I found the location for where I was to rack my bike. I counted the rows to and from and put a little marker to make it easier to find my bike in the masses. Basically it was a bright colored bandana that I tied to my bike and the pole...just enough of something that was familiar to catch my eye. Some people tied balloons, others swim noodles all spiffied up. My little bright colored bandana worked just fine for me.
Here is it, all racked up for race day:
Oh! And here is the lake I was going to get to swim in...
And don't be fooled by this pic....it makes the water look more blue, but it was gross and green.
Then, my sis and I drove back to our homes. It was time to relax, and for me? Obsess and triple check all my gear. Cause, ya know, that's what I do. And I did.
Then? I REALLY needed to get some sleep because it was gonna be an early morning! As in, we needed to be there at 5:30....