What an amazing experience my first triathlon was! It totally made up for the crapfest of the half marathon last weekend. I mean, i was pleased i finished the half and did run great for some of it, but it never felt like my race. I never felt in control of what was going on. The Vulcan Tinman Triathlon WAS MY RACE.
My day started very early at 5am because i had to be in Vulcan, AB by 7:30am and it takes 90 minutes to drive down there. This long drive allowed me to eat and have some time for good digestion. My stomach was feeling a bit off, but i knew i had enough medication with me and would take it when my time to start got closer. I listened to music and sang the whole way out at the top of my lungs-i even got a great parking spot once i got there. So right away i felt in control, calm and happy. There were minimal volunteers working, but it was better that way because everyone knew what was going on and the whole event worked like a well-oiled machine. I got my bike set up and my bag organized and off to the pool i went!
I was able to get into a lane early and off i went! I had a volunteer there who counted my laps for me so i was just able to concentrate on my swimming. Not only did she count, but cheered me on and talked to me when i took a second to catch my breath every few laps. I even had the lane to myself for awhile which was nice. 20 laps later i was running to transition-let me correct-i walked fast. I started running, but realized running in my bathing suit was not flattering 😉 My transition went smoothly and i jumped on my bike for a 16km ride. I made the mistake of not wearing my sweater. Now i’m not sure what the temperature was, but it was COLD. I could see my breath, but i was warm from the swim so i biked with just a short sleeve tech shirt.
My bike was uneventful. I managed to pass a few people-i think i went fast because i was so cold. My skin was red and covered with goosebumps, but i didn’t care because i was having so much darn fun! I will add here that many of racers were having just as much fun as i was-we were smiling at each other and yelling encouragement-what a wonderful vibe. I was looking forward to the run since i consider that my strongest part of the race. However, as soon i got off that bike i knew why triathlons were a challenge. My body was so stiff and my legs were tired from the bike. Everything hurt from the cold and i literally hobbled to get my bike to the rack and got ready for the run.
The run was not as smooth as i hoped it would be. My body never quite loosened up and i consider myself a better distance runner, but i was happy that my body continued to perform even though it was tired and cold. I can’t help but laugh now, but the run went past a cemetery and i really thought i would be nice to lay down and die there 🙂 I wasn’t in that much pain-just fatigued and ready to be done! I had decided to walk for a bit and an older woman caught up with me and encouraged me to start running again at the 4km mark. We took off and even managed to sprint the last 100 or so feet. I crossed the finish line and immediately went down on one knee was about to cry when i heard “You did it Mommy!”. My husband and two sons surprised me at the finish line and i was SO happy to see them. It was the first time i have ever had someone waiting for me and it felt amazing.
I was very happy with my times (which include transition from one event to another):
500 meter swim-16:23
I felt as i just finished my half marathon last weekend-no feeling of ownership or success when i was done. In Vulcan i felt as if i was competing the entire time and pushed myself every second. My body felt great and up for the challenge-as did my mind. And that is what a great race should feel like!