The triathlon was a success! When I first arrived to the pre-race meeting, I was a nervous wreck. I don’t really like new things that I have no frame of reference for, and this ‘new’ thing was taking me way out of my comfort zone. Furthermore, after driving the bike course on Saturday, I was in tears that evening wondering what in the world I got myself into. There were hills. I didn’t train on hills. Some were big hills (not mountains) but bigger than any flat road I’d been on. There were long slow up hills and long slow down hills. 13 miles of them.
There were a lot of prayers and reminders to myself that I wasn’t in this to win – just to finish. There wasn’t much rest for me that night as I was afraid I would miss my alarm and when 5AM finally came, it was time to arise. Dean and I snuck out of the room while the girls stayed asleep and we began the day. The weather – a balmy 42 degrees! AH! But, I was focused. This was the day. There was no backing out now.
When we arrived at the transition area to set up for the race, my confidence started coming back up. It wasn’t confidence in myself, but rather a peace that it was going to be okay. And, I know this was the result of a lot of prayers being said for me that day. I set up my transition areas, checked out my bike and walked some of the 5k course. Then, i went to the pool to warm up and wait for the beginning. I was #150 in the swim line up – smack dab in the middle.
Once the race started, my thinking was very focused and narrow. Swim started and accomplished. Transition from swim to bike accomplished. And now the fun began…. the first mile of the bike course was pretty flat and I stayed with a pack of bikers. Miles 2-13 though were a series of ups and downs – both literally in the physical terrain and figuratively in the mental and emotional terrain. But one pedal after another and I made it. I really made it. I knew that was the hard part for me and the 5k was flat and I was already okay with speed walking it versus running.
Hence, the 5k “run” began. By this time, I was starting to feel the effects of the extra exertion of the bike. It wasn’t too detrimental, but my plan to run/walk/run/walk didn’t work until the last 100 yards of the race, which I ran! 🙂
I crossed the finish line so very thankful that I was healthy enough to do it and thankful to be able to set a goal, train for it, and accomplish that goal. Pretty good for this 39 year old…..(and oh yes, already planning my next tri – they said these things could be addictive, and I guess they were right!)