Saturday, May 24th, 2008
well... those were the words written on the shirt i received when i went to rigby, friday night to attend the meeting held for all first time triathletes. i had hoped it would calm my nerves to see where i would be racing the next day and to get a few pointers and tips for the day of the race....but it seemed i came away from that bitter cold meeting with icicles for toes, a racing heart, and the overall feeling of "what am i doing!"
it's not that they were trying to scare me, i just think the reality of the race was enough to do, just that! i remember their distinct words ~don't expect to place, just finish~ it's imperative that you know how to change a flat ~get a good night sleep~if you die you signed a waiver that you wouldn't sue!
so.....looking back i am not really surprised that i got A BIG 2 hours of sleep that night because of my anxiety and ironically my excitement for the race.
although i must say that a stop at my friend erin's house helped me remember that i was ready and that all would be well. she was fabulous to lend me some essentials~ her GARMIN (amazing)~some body- glide~gear~ but most of all her support. she said she would love to come with me in the morning and take pictures....i really started to feel better. thanks erin!
so I went home and did a few practice transitions in my living room, packed my bag, and tried to sleep! TRIED being the key word in that sentence.
despite my lack of sleep i awoke at 6:00am and went about my routine. i called erin and learned that she wasn't feeling well and wouldn't be able to come. i was sad that she couldn't come and yet i knew i would be fine on my own....you are probably wondering why my own husband wasn't coming. with no family close to help with the kids and with the early hour i needed to leave on a saturday and my need to take the van to get my bike to rigby, i knew it would be too hard to organize a sitter or a way to get brian and the kids there! also a part of me just wanted to go and do it, to be a big girl and to have time to think clearly, meditate and prepare.
anyway.....the race at 7:30am was a bustle of activity, everyone was trying to find parking and get their transition area set up. i found a spot that seemed good, but really i had no experience to determine if it would be better to be at the entrance or closer to the exit of the marked transition area. i organized my things and then walked around a little. i met some two girls named steph and terri who were super nice and were very easy to talk to. it was at this point i thought i should probably check my tires to make sure they had enough air. well as i was in the process of using my hand pump to fill them a nice young man named matt came over and offered to lend his assistance and his pump which had a pressure gauge on it, eliminating the guessing! we welcomed the help. after matt pumped up steph's tire he started on mine. we had about 25 minutes until the race started and then POP....there went my front tire, as flat as a pancake. he looked at me and i said, "well i guess i'm done for the day!" i really thought my race was over, since my bike was borrowed i hadn't had time to arrange for a spare tire or a tire kit for changing a flat. matt tried to reassure me that everything would be okay and told me that he had an extra tube and that he would fix it for me. well call it timing, call it a miracle, matt had that tire fixed in 5 minutes and i felt so grateful to him for his help. i thanked him and continued my preparations.
this post is becoming long and painful i know, but i just have to document all that happened because i have no pictures and today, 3 days post race, it hardly feels like it happened!
my strategy was to be out in front for the run so i would be able to set my own pace and not feel like i was stuck in the pack if i felt i wanted to push harder. using the garmin i pushed hard the first 2 miles, doing about a 7.12 min mile.(for those who are reading wondering why i wasn't swimming... for environmental reasons 4 days before the race we were notified that the lake would not be full, therefore they determined to add a 2 mile run in place of the swim portion, for me a definite advantage)
i felt my transition to the bike went well, i switched my shoes, put on my helmet and sunglasses....and i was off. i have to say, i just love the bike portion of the TRI. it seems that this is the least challenging for me and i really do enjoy the burn, the push, the speed and the scenery. i felt i did well and kept trying to catch those in front of me. as i drew near to the transition area i knew with how hard i had pushed for the past 12 miles that the run would be a struggle. as i got off my bike i stumbled a little and my legs felt like they were going to give way. people i didn't know cheered for me at this point and i remember it making a huge impact on my spirits. my T-2 was a struggle and i even forgot to take off my helmet only i noticed after i had ran about 10 steps and was outside of the transition area. i laughed and threw it back at someone who gladly took it and away i went. my legs were sore. it seemed like the run would never end. i used the garmin to watch my speed and to try to maintain what i thought my body would allow. the wind was blowing so strong in my face and it seemed as though a weight was pressing down on me. once again the cheers of those watching helped me to keep going. as i watched others coming back on the home stretch i knew not much, farther i too, would have the wind at my back. i pushed on. i said a prayer. i focused on my core strength and forced it to do the lifting of my legs.
....as i rounded the cone placed on the road that told me i was half way done the run portion i felt renewed. the wind was at my back and i felt a burst of energy and will to push harder. it was then that a man tried to pass me. as i heard the pounding of his feet behind me it was like a drum in my head and i matched his pace. i looked at him and asked him if it was okay if i stayed with him. he said it was fine. then i had the audacity to say "lets catch that guy in front," as if working as a team we would be stronger. it worked. i pushed hard and soon i found that my pace setter wasn't beside me. i was about 300 yards from the finish and i knew i was so close to being done. another man tried to pass me and it was someone i knew and had visited with before the race. i told him with a smile he wasn't allowed to pass me and i started to push harder. i pulled in front of him and then i could see the finish line. everyone was cheering. what an incredible sense of accomplishment, what a feeling, what a moment.
i crossed the finish line. my time~ 1.13.57.
i couldn't believe it. i was done. i had just finished my first triathlon and in a time that made my time estimation look ridiculous. i felt strong.
set a goal. plan, train and prepare. do my personal best. finish the race.
in my mind those words have proved for me the key to accomplishing anything in life. this race was no different.
what mattered most to me~i did my personal best.
a nice reward~ I received 1st place in my age category (20-29).
i visited with other triathletes and got some good tips for my next race on june 14th. i think i am hooked, i love this sport
when we conceive and believe.....there is truly nothing that we can't achieve.
I might be able to access some pictures on a Rigby Race webpage if I can i will post the link.
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