Monday, April 11, 2011

My 1st Sprint Triathlon! (w/photos!)

I did it! Yesterday I competed in my first sprint triathlon. Wow!!!

So, how was it? It was great! It was hard! It was WINDY! But, I did it! And, I AM a triathlete.
MORNING: I woke up a little before 5 am and went through my bag one more time. I grabbed my breakfast (I was too nervous to eat) and loaded my bike on the back of my car. And, I headed towards the community center.

CHECKING IN and SETTING UP: I had been there the day before for a first timers event. (More on that later.) So, I knew pretty much what would be happening and where everything was set up. I brought my flashlight (great idea as I had to pump up my tires in the dark parking lot!) and went over to get my markings. The guy marking my leg heard me say "31" instead of "41" so he had to rewrite it. It was really messy and unreadable. Oh, well! I got my area set up according to everything I'd read and the Saturday class. I ate my banana and went and got my ankle chip. Then, I walked the exit & entrance to the bike & run several times to make sure I could find my bike. I was 2nd from the end, and got really good at finding it.

Minutes before my start... the guys behind me must have been some of those who passed me.
SWIM: There were about 600 participants and I was number 487. I was told they'd put someone in the water every 5 seconds, which should have put me around 7:25. But, I didn't get in the water until 7:45. It was a LONG wait, and I was wishing I had more 'fuel' to eat. I stood around talking to one of the ladies I'd me Saturday and the guy who was next to me on the rack. He actually trains some triathletes, so he was a great person to ask questions! (Oh, and I learned that they close the transition area -something I hadn't read - so you have to get whatever you need out of there!)

Taking a quick breath.
It was finally my turn to start & I jumped in. I'd predicted my swim team, for the 275 yards in the pool, would be 7:30. I hadn't practiced jumping in and was afraid my goggles would fill up with water, but they were fine. I hadn't warmed up at all since I knew there'd be a long wait until I started swimming. But, I immediately felt at ease in the water. That is, until the guys behind me caught up to me on the 2nd lane. For about 5 laps, they passed me one after another. And, they were bumping into me, pulling my legs under, and just messing with me! I was proud of myself for staying calm. I flipped over on my back twice, but just for a couple of seconds. I ended up swimming slightly faster than expected with a time of 7:24! And, I realize now that I actually probably swam 300 yards instead of 275 since you are also swimming the entire length of the pool. So, I was swimming faster than ever! Yeah!
Shoes are on... now for a quick snack...
T1: My first transition went well. I really had trouble 'running' from the swimming pool and it was a slight jog instead. My plan was to stand up and put my socks & shoes on, but my socks weren't going on easily. So, I sat down and got them on. I also grabbed a few Honey Stingers. I had a good time at just 2:41.

BIKE: I'd rode one loop of the 2 loop bike route the day before with the first timers group. And, Saturday had been kind of windy. But, race day was VERY windy! And, the path was hilly! (At least compared to the flat lands I ride on!) I am very proud of how hard I worked on the ride. I pushed & pushed and gave 100%. There were times we were riding directly into the wind and we were barely moving. And, we didn't get the benefit of the wind because we were behind some buildings when it should have been at our back. Overall, I'm very happy with my bike leg, especially since I haven't been riding very long. My time for 13 miles (which I showed as about 13.5 miles) was 59:21.

T2: I had a quick transition. I know I could have been a few seconds quicker by putting my cap on while running, but I was so tired and wanted a few seconds break. I also grabbed a big drink of water off of my bike and a couple more Honey Stingers. I had one of the fastest T2s in my age bracket at 1:14. (But, I didn't have to change shoes since I ride in my tennis shoes.)
At the start of the run... I was walking soon after this photo.
RUN: I was so tired by my run. It was hard to get going. I walked a lot more than I expected. I think I walked 5 times and they were pretty long walks. I had just given almost all of what I had to give! My run time was the 2nd slowest in my age group at 40:16. But, my fastest 5K to date is only 37 something, so this was actually pretty decent for me.
The FINISH!!! A triathlete is born!
So, my total time was 1:50:38. I placed 26 of 28 in my age group. I placed 150 of 175 out of the women. As in every other race, I came in at the back of the pack. Yes, that is frustrating for me. But, I think I did an incredible job and I know I gave it my all. (Well, I might have held back a little during the run.) I need to keep working on all 3 sports and I will get better! Right now I'm a little frustrated that I have a half marathon I'm training for, too, so it'll be harder to work on speed, but I'll do my best!

That's it! That's the story of my first triahtlon! I hope, if you are considering doing one, that you'll get out there and give it a try. It is an incredible feeling of accomplishment.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Friends, I Need Prayer

I got an email this morning saying one of my friends has passed away. She is now in heaven praising God. But, she left behind her husband, 5 children, family and friends. We are heartsick.

The hard part for us is she was the mom of one of my daughter's best friends. They were in co-op about 4 years ago. After we left co-op (about 3 years ago), we didn't see this family again until this year at AHG (American Heritage Girls - like Girl Scouts). They quickly renewed their friendship and were best buddies at AHG. We went skating once a month with them. I remember having several conversations in the parking lot with the mom (the dad took the kids skating as she has little ones). She was full of life and joy and love for Her Savior.

To make this harder on my family, one of my daughter's other best friend's mom (this time from co-op) passed away in November. There were 3 little girls that were like the 3 amigos twice a week when we met. Her mom died during her 3rd battle with cancer. This family, the dad and 2 daughters (the other daughter was one of my students), moved away in March to be closer to family.

Alex is still asleep. I pray that she understands that God IS good! And, that even in our grief over the 2nd mom's death, that there is little chance that I will die. Please pray for her, and me, and this precious family as they grieve. Thanks. Dana
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