Well, I did it. I am a triathlete.
On September 11, Adam and I spent the day in Glenwood Springs looking at the route. Adam repaired the brakes on his road bike. We drove up I-70 along the bike route and we biked the run route. We went to the hot springs pool and swam some laps. And this is where Adam learned that I have never learned to dive.
In Adam's opinion, I am not to be considered as a potential mate unless I know how to dive. So... he taught me. It seriously was difficult to get comfortable with the idea of toppling upside down as my body hurtles through the air. I don't care if I AM landing in water. It didn't feel right. Anyway, after twenty or so various jumps, leaps, and falls into the water, I did it.
The next morning, we got up early and ate peanut butter and banana wraps, drank coffee, made sure we pooped (this is very important to do, which is why it's worth mentioning) and got our bags packed up to head to our transition. My start time was 7:45 and Adam's was 8:35.
We entered transition, set our bikes up and laid out our towels below. I set out my clothes for the transitions and made sure I taped some nutrition to my bike. We checked in and got our body markings and it was time to start! I awkwardly put on my swim cap and found my start position in the pool.
The swim was exciting! I didn't get kicked and punched as much as I thought I would. The swim was pretty smooth. I found out later that I was in a huge pack of swimmers... our heat didn't spread out as much as it probably should have. The first half lap was rough. I was trying to get used to the feeling of being in a big pack of people. I tried to maximize my stroke, but I didn't feel like I was getting the output that I was getting when I practiced alone in a lane. Before I knew it, I was on the seventh length of the 100+ meter pool. I momentarily freaked out, not remembering if I was on the last length, so I yelled for Adam and at first, he told me to go another lap. But he chased me down and let me know that it really was my last length.
The transition was ok. I wanted to get dried off so I could put my bike/run tank on, but it still got all twisted. I think I will probably just swim in it next time. Although, it was pretty cold that morning. I had some water and rinsed the mineral water off my face and arms. The day before, we had noticed how itchy it was, so I was glad to get it off my skin before the bike. The bike was awesome. Besides almost falling over when I got on it, it was smooth. We biked up I-70 for 7.5 miles. I got to the turn-around 20 minutes after I started, which was WAY faster than I thought it should have been. I remember seeing the exit for the turn-around and thinking how nice it would be to have the wind at my back for the return ride. I don't know what I was thinking because as soon as I turned around, the wind was crazy in my face. The entire way back, there was no rest from the wind. And as Adam had decided from our car ride the day before - the bike was uphill on the way back to Glenwood. I came within about a mile of the exit and saw Adam starting his bike portion. I have to admit, I had thought of messing with his back brake to slow him down, but decided against it. Tee-hee. I'm no cheater. That's for sure.
As I came into transition two, I realized I couldn't feel my toes and my legs were a little shaky. But I changed quickly into my running shoes and headed out. I had tried to eat while on the bike, but the gummy things I had were too chewy, so I really didn't end up eating much of anything at all during the race. The first third of a mile was all uphill and it certainly felt weird after having gotten off the bike. I ran over the bridge over I-70, circled the block of the Hotel Denver, getting a quick look at the finish line. I ran fairly well. There were two times I stopped to walk for one minute, but other than that, I felt fantastic. The run went so well. I was so excited coming into the finish.
a>This was the culmination of months of hard work. Of learning to use powerful strokes in the swim. Of practicing how to hold my body on the bike. Of mile after mile of forcing myself to run. Of learning to hold my hips higher in the water and to breathe and to streamline my body position. And this right here was it. I thought back to the last two hours and 14 minutes of the race and it seemed like I had only just started. I was energetic and excited. And I knew then that if I could, I would go back and push a little harder. I would try to get out of that pack of swimmers. I would get that first transition faster. And I would push it a little more on the run. But the overwhelming feeling was that I had worked hard. It had nothing to do with anyone else. Just my own drive and my own motivation to learn something new and to do well. And here I was. I did it.
I have never felt like that. I am extremely proud of all the hard work I put into achieving such an unfamiliar goal. And now I can't stop. I am thrilled to do my next one. I ended up 91st out of 140-some women. And out of 28 first-timers, I was 14th. Not bad. I was fairly competitive with some of my times. I know I can get every leg faster. I'm hoping to get within the top 33% next time. I will do it. That's for sure.