First let me say, I can’t believe my last post was in May. Geez, I’m a super slacker and it showed even more when I attempted this sprint triathlon with NO training. So, about that triathlon………..
I traveled to Lake Lanier on Saturday so I could pick up my packet, experience the expo and rack my bike. I picked up my stuff which included the packet, a pretty awesome pink shirt, a nice bag and an adorable AFLAC duck wearing an Iron Girl t-shirt and medal. The expo only had a couple businesses so I was in and out quickly. Final thing to do is to rack my bike, which took a minute to find the transition area. There were hundreds upon hundreds of bikes and I didn’t see a single mountain bike…………….yeah! this should be fun :-/ Next on the agenda: check into hotel, grab dinner and make it to bed in a decent hour. In order to get up, I scheduled a wake up call at 4:20am. 4:20???!!!!????!!!! Am I crazy??? If you know me at all, you know I’m not a morning person so I must be crazy. Thankfully, I fell asleep with no issues at all. A late night text actually saved my butt, more info on that later.
Wake up call came and I managed to drag my butt out of bed. I put myself together, gathered all my crap and made it out the door, eating breakfast on the way. There was a line of cars going into the resort…………..ahhh, a wonderful morning with 1196 of my closest friends (yep, I’m freaking out about now). They guide us into a parking lot which is approximately 19892734987324 paces away from the transition area – seriously?! I was done before I started. So on the way, I put on my ipod, trying to get lost in some songs while watching all these triathletes pass me. Definitely veterans because each had the right gear and the bodies which shouted “This isn’t my first rodeo”. At this point, I decided to stop paying attention to everyone. Finally got to my bike, positioned all my stuff and got my body marked. Yep, the joys of someone writing on you with a black marker. I had just enough time to find the restroom on the way to the beach. As expected, the line was long but not as long as when I left the facility. Water, here I come which was much warmer than I expected. As I made my way in, putting on my swim cap hoping to warm up a bit, the call came “Purple caps to the line up!”. Damn, here we go. Man, now I was nervous as hell and I felt like I was gonna cry or throw up or cry then throw up or maybe cry while throwing up. Finally after 15 min. of standing there listening to groups of women talk, they prepared of us for the quack (yes, instead of “GO” it was “AFLAC” in the duck voice).
Slowly, we walked into the water and I kept repeating “Please don’t let me drown, please don’t let me drown”. Though the swim was hard and I spent a majority doing the breast or back stroke, I survived. Yep, I was able to walk with both legs out of the water. My heart and lungs felt as if I had tortured them but they were still working. To get to the transition area, the walk was up a steep incline which sucked and was foreshadowing the bike ride. Once at my bike, I took a minute to calm myself down and put on all the items I needed. I grabbed my bike and headed out of the corral only to be shortly disappointed by a hill………..grrrrrrrrrrrr. I pushed myself on and my legs were quickly surprised by more hills, followed by even more hills. Now is when training would have been ideal! Unfortunately, I ended up walking up most the hills because there was NO power in my legs at all. After what seemed like half the day and only 12.5 miles later, my legs completely said “LADY, ARE YOU CRAZY? WE ARE GOING ON STRIKE!” Thankfully, another girl ahead of me was being picked up by a race volunteer. I hitched a ride back to the transition area rather annoyed with myself. If only I had trained…………
The volunteers were great, clearing the way for the two of us as we made our way back into the transition area. He was sooooooo positive and helped me gain a little motivation. When I reached my bike, I racked it and took off my helmet. Do I continue? Do I just throw in the towel? Many women were already done or others were crossing the finish line while I debated with myself. The announcer was stating all the women’s names as they crossed and the crowd was cheering. How can you not want that?? Mind made up, I put on my hat and snapped my race number in place…………..off I went to walk 3.1 miles.
The run was a down and back loop with slight inclines but nothing like the bike route. A handful of women were passing me, heading back to cross the finish line to become a triathlete. The sun was shining bright and the heat was very noticeable at that point. I tried to keep a steady pace and contemplated jogging but as I did so, my left VMO (part of the quad for those not familiar with the anatomy) was tightening up, making me aware it wasn’t happy. Walk, walk, walk, walk and then I walked some more. I made it down and back and saw the end in sight. I could hear the announcer saying a name and that motivated me to push it even more. As I made my way to the entrance to the finish line, one of the volunteers yelled “runner coming through” and the ladies in front of me moved to the side. This was the great part, they started cheering me on telling me I did it and to be proud. That was impressive and made me smile. When I made it to the long pathway to the finish line, I picked up the pace and jogged in as they announced my name. It was awesome. About a minute or two behind me, a lady came through with 5 other women who walked the entire run portion with her to keep her motivated. I passed them earlier and they were still with her, cheering her on to the finish line. As the announcer called out her name, she stated she was a cancer survivor and this was her first race, ALL the women around cheered her on and congratulated her on her accomplishment. This was amazing and this is why I did this particular race.
The entire race was incredible though I was cussing everyone during the bike portion. Women were passing me who were old and young, each saying “Good job, keep it up”. Everyone was friendly the entire weekend and people were soothing your nerves (to the best of their ability) prior to the race. I would definitely recommend this race (with the proper training) and any Iron Girl event. You will be pleasantly surprised with the event. Now that I’ve finished this event, many wonder “Are you scared or wanting to tackle another??”. The answer is………………………….DO ANOTHER!! I’m super excited to start training for another one. I actually went walking tonight and was excited to do so, however, the legs told me otherwise about half way through. A new goal has been established, I WILL TRAIN and participate in another sprint triathlon either at the end of this season or I’ll start again next season. Next year, there are a couple races I’m looking into, so that season may have 3-4 races.
I want to thank everyone who believed in me and those who were proud of me afterwards. I must also thank my brother who put up with my 1000000000 questions about triathlons in general. He’s now completed 1 sprint and 2 half Iron Man (one on the same day as mine) with an Iron Man in the works for next May. Impressive or maybe just crazy, but either way I admire him and hopes he realizes how many more questions he’ll get in the future
OK, one last thing and I’ll wrap up this post. On Saturday evening, I had a couple dreams involving me either over sleeping or just saying screw it. At some point, I heard this ding which woke me up because I thought it was my wake up call (phone was right by me on the bed). I immediately looked at the phone and noticed it was off the hook! I returned the receiver to the base and realized the ding was a text message. One thing to note, I’m a non-mover when I sleep so the only way the phone could be off the hook is if I took it off while sleeping. Moral of the story, had I not received the text message, I would have missed my wake up call meaning I’d have missed the event. Talk about being pissed!!!