Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Triathlon Done

As usual I am running around the house getting everything ready the night before.  

Swim Cap.
Ect, ect, ect.
Previously in the evening I got all my packet info out and discovered I had signed myself as a male.  It sent me into panic.  I called my mom and dad.  I had been with my parents the whole week preparing for this day.  I have to say it was fun and comforting to have them by my side.  They calmed me down.  They were concerned.  We tried calling but no one was picking up on the Sea Fair line.  So I called my competition.  (That deserves a LOL and giggle.)  She wasn't my competition, but my friend.  She got a good chuckle that I was racing with males.  I had gone over the rules that listed more than 12 reasons you can be disqualified from the race.  It was stressful.  But she put me at ease.  She said the rules are there but are geared more towards the people going for first place.
Top: Coming in from the first leg.
Middle:  Trying to convince the triathlon people I am in fact female.
Bottom: Crossing the finish line.

My Favorite

My favorite part was the body marking.  At the expo the night before they put my age of the back of my right calf.  My race number on the side of my left calf.  When else can you get away with drawing on yourself.  My other favorite was joking around and laughing with my Dad.  It helped my nerves and his as well.  My mom did an excellent job of capturing some really awesome shots of the event.  I was glad they were there.  Another favorite was I bought some new compression shorts that rock!  I love them.  They suck around my thighs so they don't ride up.   I also got some really great swim goggles and a new running belt with attached water bottles.  Oh yeah, all the serious gear!  : )  Gotta love anniversary presents from my sweetie!

Break It Down

The night before I read that if the lake was below a certain temperature that they require wet suits.  If it was above, then they are not allowed.  Great, another panic blow.  Well not really but it takes away my ability to relax.  I scrambled to get hold off a wet suit.  My Dad had 2 and my VBF (very best friend) dropped one off instantly.  I was nervous because I had not tried to swim in one of those.  But at that point, it is what it is, so go.  It was pretty chilli the morning of!  I put on the shortie while racking my bike and it kept me warm just waiting.  It hurts to be cold and nervous at the same time.  My Dad advised to put the full body skin on, so I did.  I put it on over the shortie.  It may have been over kill, but I was warmer.  The bike corral was about to close.  Time to go stand at the edge of the lake.  Mom and Dad found there spot right across from at the finish line.  I was glad they did because I was able to hand off my wedding rings to my Mom at the last second.  Thank you to the race photographer for taking them and handing them over to her, we were out of reach.   The heats starting loading up into the water.  (I feel nervous just typing this LOL).  The elite mens was first.  They were amazingly fast!  We had not even started swimming and they were already getting on there bikes.  The distance of the swim seemed a lot farther then I trained for.  I had not idea what level my ability was in swimming as I had not swam with anyone else to compare. Our heat, womens 35-40, was time to get in the water.  I stepped down off the step.  The water was not as cold as I thought.  It actually felt warmer than the air.  We stood in the water for about 20 minutes behind the heats going in front of us.  (These groups of people should not be called heats, but colds, ba da bump).  I exchanged glances with the woman around me.  Each had a wet suit on.  One or two didn't.  I was glad to have my wet suit on but when it comes down to it, the moment you hit the water swimming, it matters not.  I desperately searched the crowd for my friend and her hubby.  No luck.  On my own.  I just wanted a wave.   We had a ten second countdown.  The swim began just as it was described.  Chaos, confusion, feet, arms, legs, splash, move, kicking.  I struggled to get up and going.  Next time get into the back, front or side.  Do not start in the middle.  It took a good 4 minutes before we began spreading out.  There were not weeds or milfoil has described.  When my arms would go up for a stroke, it had no where to come down.  Finally we thinned out and my arms began to burn.  I was a breathing!  I slide to the outside.  I little too far : / .  I looked up at the turn.  The buoy was too far.  Which meant I was swimming farther then I had to.  Oh well.  Go. go. go.  I was annoyed because I could here the announcer at the start announcing the other heats.  I kept think the lifeguards along the course we trying to talk to me.  I tried to block his voice out.  It left we with an unsettle feeling.  What if they are trying to tell me I am doing something wrong.   I just keep swimming.  I soon realized just need to ignore and go.  My next realization was I was getting smoked.  LOL  That answers my question about how fast I am.  I couldn't let that get me.  Next came a bigger blow.  I saw a few guys from the heat that started in front of me.  Suddenly, went under and felt I blow of an elbow and a knee.  After my stroke was interrupted and I returned to the surface, there he was.  I guy from the heat that started behind me.  Uggghhh.  I was just lapped LOL.  I was angry when I came up.  He was doing a strong back stroke.  He did not care who he hit or who was in front of him.  He just swam like he was alone.  I slapped at the water to speed up with him, just to send a little message that wasn't nice.  Butt Head.   Soon after I was coming up to shallow.  It was time to stand and run.  There were my parents, I yelled, "I was lapped!!"   My Dad said I was doing great.  They were very insistent that I stepped on the top of this hill that was at the finish line.  I looked at them strangely.  I did it.  I stepped on the little hill.  I later learned that several racers and tripped and nearly face planted on it.  Thank goodness.  You can see my Dad's finger pointing in the picture as I was coming out the water.  Swim done.  I have some work to do in this area : )

I was excited to bike.  My Mom's friend, Rachel, enthusiastically lent me her very very nice bike for the race.  It is awesome.  I was so happy to have it.  I passed many a mountain bikers on this bike.  She flew like the wind.  It didn't make me the best but I was able to pass a few here and there.  The course was the very same course we ran the Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon on, so pleasantly, I was familiar with it.  Miles 5 and 6, I wasn't familiar with. The I-90 floating bridge.  I was stoked to be able to ride out on it.  The view was amazing.  Rough ride but amazing.  At the end of the bridge was the tunnel.  It was warm!  I was able to pick up some speed in there.  The turn around went smooth.  I was a little slow on hills because I didn't down shift properly.  It was extra work for me.  Thats ok though.  Just go.  My motto for biking is "until your thighs burst".  Now you know it would take a whole lot for that to happen so you have to work it hard.  My time for biking was expected.  I usually do 12 miles in about 45 minutes.  So 42 minutes was just fine.  I enjoyed telling people who passed me on there much faster "selfs" that I could see there butts.  Yes.  I did.  I have a immaturity about me sometimes.  Well you could.  Some peoples shorts were a little to see thru.  After the swim it just made it very see thru.  If they passed me without saying "on your left", I would say, "on my left??".  It's the rules.  If I decided I needed to catch my balance and steer into my left to regain or even gain momentum, what do you suppose happens?  Not knowing they are there, we would crash.  So not once did I pass someone without saying, "on your left" then you announce there race number written on there leg.  It was code for, "I am about to pass you, don't swing over and crash into me".    I know some of the serious people must not care but I do ;)....... I don't want to crash.  That would hurt. 

As I dismounted my bike, there they were.  My family.  Clapping and hooting and hollering.  The Saas Family, and The Luddingtons, my sisters families.  It is so good to have family. (I miss my brother but got to talk to him on the phone after the race ; ) )  Blessed through and through.  I quickly got to my stuff, racked my bike and was off.  It felt like bricks were in my body.  Evenly stacked up in each leg.  My family yelled my name.  I grabbed a water at the start threw it at my face hoping to get some in my mouth.  The run was fun.  I immediately heard a strange noise.  Highly labored breathing.  Almost asthma sounding.  Oh my goodness,    it was me!  LOL  I have never run without my ipod.  I never had actually heard myself.    I am loud!   LOL.   I began to giggle.  I apologized to the lady running beside me and said, "I didn't realize I was so loud. I always run with my ipod."   She kind of laughed but wanted to be in front of me.  Her leg said that she was 40.   She had an usual  stride.  It was a kind of run/walkie thing.  She got in front of me.  I start out slow when coming off my bike.  I knew this from training.  But as soon as the first mile is done, I am able to pick up pace.  But the Triathlon put a present in for us at mile 2.5.  A hill.   A bastard of a hill too.  Up and up and up.  It was very difficult because a majority of runners went into a walk.  Thankfully, lady with weird stride and 40 on the back of her leg, did not stop running.  So neither did I.  It was slow run, but we didn't walk.  I was very glad to see the top.  It was one of those hills that you think you are done with but the sight distance isn't available so to my unpleasant surprise it kept going up.   Finally we turned around at the top.  I enjoyed the recovery on the run down.  The hard part of this was that it now was almost over.  So recovery was short lived because it was time to turn it on.  I finally passed her.  I was going to take advantage of the down hill and try recover some time.  Now wasn't the time to back off with the finish line approaching.  A side ache kicked in but I ran thru it.  I got a little serge from hearing the crowd cheering people on at the finish line so I knew it was quickly approaching.  Time to pick it up.  There was my Dad and husband cheering me on right before the finish.  My mom and sisters were at the finish.  I ran threw as hard as I could.  You can't finish any race with breath.  Always finish with no breath. Then you know you did your best or at least gave full effort.

Sum it Up
That was fun.  It was not fun getting there.  My nerves are just so bothersome.  But when you are done, it is all worth it.   I love having my family there to celebrate with and talk about everything.  There are so many happy joy joy feelings that come with it.  A sense of accomplishment.  It brings my family together.  Not that we have trouble with that or anything.  We celebrated by going to grab breakfast at McDonalds LOL.  That hot latte never tasted so good.  We also got together for dinner that night as well.  I was a little chilled all day.  Nothing a hot shower, and a glass wine didn't take care of though.  When I am with my family like this, I often have these experiences.  I start to wonder if I died, and this is heaven.  Just a fraction of God's love encircling you like that can be wonderfully overwhelming.  It is so healthy to feel that.  I hope everyone gets to feel this love at one point or another.  It is a gift like no other.  The love of your family.

Best picture of my entire life!

Me being worried.  My Mom kept trying to take pictures with me smiling.  But every picture I look worried.

Me and my sweetie celebrating our 12th anniversary the night before.

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