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Archive for the ‘Triathlon’ Category

The end of the week is always the busiest time for me and it is tough to get a few spare minutes to blog so here is just a quick catch up in pictures…

I watched as Caitlin and Operation Beautiful made their television debut..

And in honor of this, I posted my first Operation Beautiful note on the mirror at my gym

This was completely liberating and I felt very mysterious…you don’t really know who will see this or how it will have an effect on that person. I can’t wait to post more in random places!

I was also busy drinking green monsters in Brewtus beer glasses

Adding blueberries gives my smoothie the prettiest little speckles of color. Hey, it’s the little things I appreciate!

And then this morning, after working for 14 1/2 hours yesterday, after truly believing my foot was fractured on Monday, and after NOT swimming since my last triathlon on July 17, I finished my second sprint tri. When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t so sure it was a good idea if I competed, based on my feelings of exhaustion and unpreparedness alone. I went back and forth with my mom and best friend for about 30 minutes then finally decided that I would be more disappointed if I didn’t at least give it a TRI, and I did.

I was feeling compelled to get my butt up there largely based on the fact that my Chamber was co-sponsoring this event and I have been working on it from its inception–this was in inaugural year!

Unlike my first tri, I had a much harder time with the swim and the bike and I felt like I flew through the run, in spite of the ridiculous hills.

Here I am coming out of the water. I just could not get into a good rhythm today. But I survived and was on my way to the killer bike portion…

My mom was with me, to take unflattering pictures, of course. 🙂

I was so happy to get off that damn bicycle, no words can describe. I had a delightful 73 year old man pass me on the ride—which is great for your spirits as you are peddling as fast as your legs can take you. This guy was actually awesome and I hope that when I am his age I’m still kicking butt, too. (I did pass him on the run, I wasn’t about to let him beat me in the final time!).

Here I com, trudging up the last hill. This 5K course was VERY hilly, but I flew up and down them, just wanting to be crossed over that finish line.

I really feel like the key to these races is “one at a time”, that was my mantra the whole race. I just kept saying to myself “swim to one buoy at a time”, “peddle up one hill at a time”, “climb one hill at a time”, and before I knew it–I was finished. This mentality got me through.

BFF Alaina and I under the refreshment tent. She is the ultimate athlete and best friend! Seriously, she kicked the tri’s ass. As I was just getting into the run she was already almost over the finish line.

And now, I’m spent. I have to work tonight at 4, so I am doing my best to keep moving so I don’t lay down and not want to get back up. Does anyone else have stomach issues after long races? A few times I’ve felt like I was going to puke and my stomach is NOT happy.

It is a beautiful day here with the sun shining and the hot weather and humidity finally breaking. I hope everyone else is taking advantage of it!

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I Did It!

I’m a triathlete!

I woke up Saturday morning and I really wasn’t sure if I could do it. I thought of every excuse in the book…complete exhaustion, sore knee from being on my feet all day long, total and utter fear…but I took a few deep breathes, said a quick prayer, and got out of bed.

After breakfast, packing and triple checking to make sure I had everything I needed for transitions, my mom and I headed to registration.

There were two major perks that helped drag me out of bed race morning—I was on my home turf and knew people would be cheering for me the whole time and my best friend Alaina was on her way to compete as well. I wasn’t about to let her down!
Registration was quick and painless (especially since I knew every volunteer and they were all offering me kind words because I was so visibly NERVOUS). I was lucky enough to have both my mom and dad as my personal race butlers–my mom helped me at T1 and was there at the finish, and my dad was responsible for my bike and water at T2, they made it so easy and it was nice knowing that they were there.

Alaina and I set up our first transition then made our way down the hill to the beach.
Even though the lake looks gorgeous, I was pretty much freaking out at this point. Alaina and I started much closer to the back than the front. We joked our way through the agonizing minutes until the start and it helped calm my out of control nerves. When the horn sounded, Alaina took off! I was so impressed with the way she fearlessly maneuvered her way through the crowd, but it wasn’t long until I was so focused on getting into a rhythm that I lost sight of her.

I am so proud of myself in retrospect with the way I handled the swim. I was definitely the most nervous about this portion of the race, as it is clearly the most immediately dangerous. I never panicked, I never lost focus…I just swam. I didn’t get kicked  or swam over (I was far enough to the back so we were all pretty spaced out), but a few times I was touch by a hand or foot. Oddly enough, it was comforting to know that there were people around me so the seamonsters did get me!

Before I knew it, I was coming out of the water and it was over. I finished the swim in 22 minutes–I consider this a huge accomplishment!

Next up was the bike. I knew the 12 mile course is very hilly and if you have been following, you know that the bike was the leg I trained for the least—in fact, I borrowed a bike RACE MORNING. I decided that borrowing a very nice, new mountain bike with a girl seat made me feel much safer than riding my Uncle’s road bike with the gears that changed by my knees. Safety and comfort were my main priorities.

T1 was quick and before I knew it, I was peddling away. Right away, cyclists with road bikes were passing me. I was a bit bummed, but about 4 miles into the race, my endurance kicked in. I was conquering hills with gusto. I was picking people in front of me and trying to catch up and pass them. And while I only passed two people, no one passed me after mile 4. Before I knew it, the bike was over, and I was so incredibly happy to get my feet back on the ground!

My dad was at T2 to cheer me on, and I was quickly on my way for the run. I was the most confident in the run, but it was definitely the hardest leg. My legs were like lead and the sun was beating down. The course was mostly down hill and I still managed the pass about 10 people. After 3 grueling miles, I crossed the finish line!

That’s me in the blue with about 20 meters until the finish line.

I was greeted by my mom and a few friends. I was feeling very accomplished, but I was feeling more like I was going to puke than anything. I gobbled up some orange slices, gatorade, and water and regained my footing a bit. My overall time was 1:40–much faster than I anticipated! I won’t know my split times until Thursday.

I found connected with this lady in the crowd–she finished in 1:23, she killed it!
I think that I am most proud of the fact that I never felt like I needed to give up. I never felt so physically taxed or exhausted that I had wanted to stop and quit. I thought I was unprepared, but I wasn’t. And it was such a relief.

The rest of Saturday was spent on my mom’s couch. After the race I was out of it…I wasn’t hungry, my stomach was upset, and I couldn’t even nap. I showered and just laid motionless for about 4 hours. I wasn’t even sore! I eventually made my way back to Johnstown and watched a movie with John. I say “watched”, but I really slept through most of it. I slept like a rock that night!

Yesterday was spent on the boat with my dad and visiting with family. It was my goal to take a walk to stretch my muscles, but I ended up just relaxing.

Today I cleaned, relaxed, and took care of some paperwork/errands. I took the day off from work, which was pretty awesome–I love three day weekends! I have another busy, busy week, but only 4 work days make it so much better.

When was the last time you surprised yourself? Completing my first 15k and triathlon in a 6 day span really has me on a high. I’ve never felt more confident and more like I can accomplish anything. I knew I was strong, but was completely surprised by my level of endurance and strength in my body.

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