Saturday, September 6, 2008

Is who you think you are.....

Who you want to be? That's a line from a Bon Jovi song and today the answer for me is Yes. That makes today a great day. Today we did another triathlon - only our second. This one was better than the first. It was still one of the hardest things I've ever done, just not THE hardest thing. I was not so afraid this time around.

We took on an extra challenge and sponsored this event. We got there early and set up our booth. Our manager Casey came down to "man" the booth while we completed the event. He got to see first hand just how crazy we really are. He also took pictures and did a damn fine job.

This event was small and cozy - much more informal than the Blue Lake Triathlon. For me, this really made a difference. The day was supposed to be sunny and warm - the sun didn't come out until about noon and we had been done for close to an hour by then. It was pretty chilly in the morning -the water was warmer than the air. That was a nice surprise.

We started the swim and for the first few minutes, I did panic. This time, I had a plan. I had a pattern of strokes I would follow. That kept me focused on counting and left me unable to really worry too much. I actually passed a few people on the swim and I swam the entire way. I didn't have to back stroke, no swimming to shore to stand up, no side stroke and no treading water. I did a mix of crawl and breast stroke. Mostly crawl. I was amazed at how much my swimming has improved in the just a month. I took about three minutes off my swim time from the last triathlon.

No, I'm not walking, even though it kind of looks like it - I am doing a little breast stroke.

The transition to the bike was much smoother as well. I didn't feel like the swim was a near death experience like last time. I also came out of the water proud of myself...last time I really beat myself up with negativity for the entire swim. Mental state makes a huge difference. I hopped on the bike and off I went. This triathlon was right by our house, so I know the roads. I knew there would be two big hills out and two big hills back....I wasn't prepared for the 10 big hills in between. It seemed like every time we went up hill, there was a downhill....followed shortly by another up hill. I said a curse word at the top of every hill. Lots of cursing going on today! I had wanted to finish the entire event in 1:45 - which meant that I needed to be running by 1:10 - I knew there was NO WAY I would be making my time goal. This course was so different than Blue Lake - Blue Lake is super flat - no hills. When I finished up the bike, I heard another participant say to their family - "that was the hilliest, hardest bike ride I've ever been on"....good....its not just me.

I think the guy behind Trevor was timing his transition....

I started the run and I felt like I was having an outer body experience. I felt really spaced out. The run was on the Salmon Creek path - Trevor and I have run this path hundreds of times and I know it in my sleep - that made the distance go much faster. At about mile 1, I saw Trevor headed back - he looked good and strong and we briefly commented on the hills. I knew he felt the same way that I felt!

I finally decided that I wanted to finish before the 2:05 mark - I really picked up the pace the last mile and finished right at 2:04. yay me. I felt so proud of myself today - it was a hard day and I am certainly exhuasted, but I did it. Again. And I did it better than the last time. I could have just said, "that was way too hard - not doing that again". Instead I said, "that was way too hard - what can I do to be better prepared next time around". I swam more. I really worked on feeling comfortable in the water. I had a plan for the swim and stuck to it. I ran and biked many mornings when I did not want to get out of bed. These last few weeks have been really stressful and busy and I made the workouts a priority. yay me, right?!

Trevor finished in 1:47 - yay Trevor.

After we finished we went to our booth and sampled some recovery drink to the many others who had completed the event. We talked to a lot of people and it was really fun. Sponsoring this event was a good fit. They started giving out awards....they got to the men's 30 -34 age group and Trevor was 3rd, only 2 minutes behind the winner. Then they got to the women's 30-34 age group and I came in 1st?!! There were no prizes for 2nd and 3rd, because I was the only one in the age group. Does that matter? I think not.

We are done with the triathlons for this year. We plan to continue the craziness next season - we plan to do a sprint triathlon in June and then an Olympic distance (1 mile swim, 24 mile bike, 6.2 mile run) in August. The next few months, I'll be able to mix in some fun workouts - my step videos, boot camp, kick boxing. I will be swimming a few days a week all winter long and then at the beginning of the year, I'll start working on the triathlon specific training schedule. I love that we have found this new event. I spoke with a woman at our booth who was a seasoned triathlete. She was talking about how she used to be a runner and said "all runners eventually become trathletes". I guess now that's true for me and Trevor.

Trevor said this to me "Now we aren't only triathletes, we are award winning triathletes". Find the right race....and you can be award winning too!!

No comments: