Saturday, August 21, 2010

My first sprint triathlon

Well, I did it. I completed a sprint triathlon. I may not have been number one or in the top anything, but I finished. I did not quit. Or drown.
And I suppose that's something to be proud about. Also, I might add, I have NEVER done any sort of race/competition before...never a 5k, bike, or any sports of any kind while growing up, so this was way out of my comfort zone.

Yesterday, we drove to Fort Desoto and I picked up my packet. All day, I was so nervous, like on the verge of barfing! I was mostly worried about the swimming portion. I did not do any open water swim practices, which I know is kind of stupid, but I just wanted to finish this triathlon and say I've done one. That, and I am super scared of the water, so it was hard to get me in without a huge group.

We arrived this morning bright and early. I woke up at 4:20, which was not difficult because that is the time I wake up for work. I probably got almost 7 hours of sleep. For breakfast, I had peanut butter toast and a banana, but could only eat about half of each.

It was pitch black and we kept getting eaten by mosquitos, so I was relieved when the sun finally came out.

I made my way to the water with Mirza and decided I should get in. Surprisingly, I wasn't freaking out.

Even though I peed before, I had to go sooooooo bad while waiting. I just wanted to get in the water to freakin' pee!!!

Finally, the horn went off and we went into the Gulf of Mexico. I was the 8th wave and only one wave after mine. I stayed to the far right and back, but didn't have much of a choice since I was so slow. Honestly, I was not that scared in the water like I thought I would be. I just focused on swimming and going slow. Also, I did not have any form whatsoever. I put my face in the water ONCE and it was so salty and disturbing, that I gave that up and did the breaststroke and a combination of freestyle and on my back  for the rest of the swim. I do not remember the Gulf being so salty!! haha. I made jokes with the people in kayaks, "ooh hello, how are you? just hangin' out, decided to go for a little swim this morning." The last wave came, but I managed to not get trampled. YAY!! It was only 400 meters, but it felt like foreverrrrrrr for the second orange buoy to show up. Once I was able to put my feet down, I was so relieved and happy. In fact, I almost thought I would cry because of relief, but I didn't.
Swim time: 14:07

The transitions to the bikes was NOT a short run. It was far. I was TIRED. I kept getting a tight feeling in my chest.

 It took me 6:12.

I made it to my bike and I couldn't get my damn shirt on, but eventually managed!!

The bike ride was 10 miles. I did not want to push it too hard because I just kept thinking about my first 5k directly after. I felt like I was the only person out there for a lot of the time, and tons of older men kept passing me, but I tried not to let it bother me. It even started to rain halfway through, but it only lasted a few minutes.
Towards the end of my ride as I drove into the transition area, some guy had fallen and smashed his face, and was in a C-collar with EMS and bleeding all over the place.
I didn't want that to be me, so I clipped out pretty quick.

Total bike time: 42:28

I knew I would not be able to run most of the 5k because I felt like garbage, but I threw on my running shoes, took off my helmet, and ran through the exit.

T2: 1:59

Okay, here's where I lost all steam. Like I said, this was my first 5k and the furthest I have ever run. Now, I usually probably average a 10-11:00 pace, but that's without the swimming and biking before-hand!!

I am being completely honest here. The "run" sucked. Listen, I want to be positive and enthusiastic about this, but all of my recap is the damn truth.

 Half of the time, I was running in packed sand or in a grass/sand that was lumpy. I was alone most of the time, and knew that I was one of the last people in the whole race. I would love to tell you that I didn't care, and wanted to just finish, but that would be a lie. No one wants to be freakin' last, but it looked like that was going to be my fate. I just wanted to finish to get it over with and cry!!

About a quarter mile from the finish, a woman who wasn't even racing, fell and probably broke her leg. She was screaming and crying, and I stopped (hey! I'm a nurse) to see if she was ok, and then I directed the people just standing there staring to go get some help. Then I "ran" and just before the finish line, some girl was trying to pass me, so we literally sprinted to the finish line. She beat me by a few inches or so, and then we high-fived.

Yes, my 5k took 46:25.

Listen, I had imagined crossing the finish line a million times. I thought that when I crossed, I would feel emotional, like a huge sense of accomplishment. But honestly? I didn't. In fact, I felt kind of disappointed because I knew that I was last. People say it shouldn't matter because you had the nerve to even compete, but LAST?! arrghhhh. Mirza was filming me, and he asked how I felt, and my first words were, "LIKE SHIT!!" I did. I felt like garbage lol. People kept talking to me and offering me food, and I thought I was going to collapse or vomit. I didn't.

I was second to last in my age group (25-29), but only because one person did not finish, so technically, I was last. And overall, I was 720 out of 730, not including the 6 people who did not finish.

My goal was to come in under 2 hours, and I did it in 1:51.

Immediately after, I felt bummed, but as time goes on, I don't care anymore. This was my first race ever, and I really did the best I could. At first, I said I never want to do this again, but that's just being a sore "loser."

And I have another race on September 5th. And I will finish again, even if it is dead last.


howunremarkable said...

Congratulations on completing! That's a huge accomplishment on its own. I'm glad to hear the swim wasn't too traumatizing--I'd definitely be intimidated by that!

Way to go!

Anonymous said...

just so you know, i think you are amazing. i really really am proud of you for even tackling a tri. i have nooooooo balls to attempt one-- not for a while anyway.

keep your head up! you did big things today!!!!!!!!

Marlon @MeInTheBalance said...

Congratulations! It's a huge thing to finish a tri. You are awesome!

Niki said...

Congrats again!! You definitely shouldn't be worried about your time on your very first race! You did awesome!! Glad you decided to still do the other one you signed up for! Maybe you will even start to like them?!!

Emma said...

I rarely (if never?) comment, but I had to tell you, congratulations! I have decided to run a 5k in December, I've started training for it, I've always hated running so it's kind of a big deal for me ;-)
And look at you, your first race is a sprint triathlon and you managed to complete it, amazing!

Rachael said...

Congratulations! The toughest part of the battle is the mental challenge and you passed it- without quitting! That is something to be proud of :)

Sarabeth aka Sarita said...

that is awesome, congratulations! you definitely should be proud...i can't wait to get there one day :)
i'm working on it!

enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Kelly said...

I think you did pretty dang good for your first time out! Good job!! :)

Britt said...

Congrats!! I thought I'd feel some big emotional triumph crossing the finish line too but I really didn't. I think there are so many nerves and pressures on your first ever race that take away from the "fun" of the race, I imagine the second (and those after) will be so much better!

Congrats again, what an awesome accomplishment!

april said...

Congrats!! You did great! I'm way too intimidated to do anything like that.. even doing it is a feat in my book!

Skinny Dee said...

Give yourself a break, it was your first 5k and you didn't pass out, there's gotta be something said about that.
Just by looking at your photos I was thinking - this girl has guts! Think of it this way; you will have a great motivational story for grandkids one day and when you hear people give up on silly little things, you can brag and say, at least I finished a triathalon!!

Susan said...

My brother ran cross country all through high school, and his goal was often (always?) not to be last. He was a sprinter so he rocked on the track, but distance was not his thing. However, he had lots of fun and stayed in shape, so he kept doing it...and he didn't get last too often!

Congrats on your first tri! It doesn't matter what place you got, but that you got out there and did it...while having some fun! Why not chat it up with the lifeguards? Here's to your next one!

Unknown said...

WOW, wow... and more wow.
Amazing! Congratulations on such an accomplishment.
Best of luck on the next one!

Robert said...

Hope your triathlon went ok today!