Yup, you read that right. I completed a triathlon today. I have a feeling it was probably my last triathlon, but, I did complete it. My official time...2:26:25. I hoped for under 3 hours and I made it in under 2 1/2. Yeah me!
(Added this picture after I got home)
website, though I am not sure when. And, I made some friends there and they took some pictures and promised to email them to me. So, perhaps later I will edit this post and add some pictures, however unflattering they may be.
This was a toughy. I trained hard for the swim part. Swam twice a week every week from June till the pools closed. Thought I was a pretty good swimmer by Labor Day. Hahahaha. Let me tell you, swimming in Chesapeake Bay is WAY different than swimming in the apartment complex pool where I did all my training. It was windy today and there were waves (albeit little waves they were still waves) and the water is salty. Guess I should have realized that, but until I swallowed my first (of many) mouthfuls, I hadn't thought about that. And, I swam in a wetsuit for the first time. It was suggested as protection from the jelly fish. Well, it hindered my movements and I wasn't the sleek, smooth, otter like creature I had been in the pool all summer. In fact, it got down right ugly before I staggered out of the water after the 1/2 mile I flailed around for.
Now, I have to peel this wet, wetsuit off me, get my socks and shoes (and my ankle brace-sprained my ankle in April and now have to wear a brace when I run) on and run 1/4 mile down to where the bikes are waiting. Get my gloves and helmet on and take off. I wasn't the last one out of the water, which made me feel a little better. There were two others still in when I staggered out.
So, I jump on my bike and I'm off. Feeling pretty confident about the bike part. I had put in a couple of long road rides and with a flat course I was feeling pretty good. What I didn't count on were two small details that almost did me in. One was a head wind that like to have killed me. Pedaled and pedaled and seemed like I was getting no where fast! The other thing, something so simple I never thought about it, was that though the course was flat, no hills at all, flat meant I had to pedal constantly. There were no hills to coast down. While I complained about climbing hills, at least you got to rest your legs while you coasted down them. No hills meant I never got to stop pedaling. That was the longest 15 miles I have ever biked. Oh, wait, it's the first 15 miles I ever biked! :D
By the time I got back to where the run was to start, I knew I was in trouble. I was breathing really hard and my legs were tired. I didn't know how tired till I got off the bike. I could hardly walk, and that is no exaggeration. My hands were shaking so bad that I couldn't get my helmet off. In fact, I forgot I had it on my head until someone asked me if I was going to run in it! They helped me get it off after a couple of failed attempts on my part. Oh and water! I had no water with me. So, I swam in salty water, drinking a fair amount of it, then biked 15 miles with nothing to drink. When I dropped my bike off I asked one of the volunteers for water and they were kind enough to hand me a bottle of ice cold water. Necture of the Gods I tell you!
So, all summer long while I have been swimming and biking I have been telling myself "The run in ONLY 31/2 miles, you can do that in your sleep". Another hahahahaha! I can go out and run 3 1/2 miles or run/walk it on any day, that's true. Any day that I haven't just swum 1/2 mile and biked 15 miles. I ran, no slowly jogged a couple of times during the 3 1/2 miles, but the majority of it I walked. I had a terrible stitch in my side that stayed with me for over a mile. My breathing was harsh, short, gasping sometimes. It was pretty ugly indeed. But, I hung in there, kept pushing and I jogged the final 2 tenths of a mile to the finish. Finish. Was there ever a more wonderful word in the world? I must admit here that I was crying like a baby for those final steps. There were people there cheering for me, Angel and Kelly, Tim, Melissa and Lynn. It was wonderful to finish up with their cheers in my ears. Hard to hear over my sobbing, but I did hear them and it was wonderful.
So, here I sit now, back at the hotel. I have a hot cup of coffee by my left hand, and a package of Tylenol by my right. I am going to get up, go turn on the shower and stand under it till it runs out of hot water. Then, I am going to go grab something to eat next door at the little restaurant, come back here to the hotel, take two of those Tylenols and go to sleep. Don't think that will be a problem tonight. Hey, I'm a triathlete!!!