Friday, July 26, 2013

Post Triathlon Bliss

I did it!  Last Sunday was my very first ever triathlon (the Sea-fair Sprint).  I'm satisfied to have placed in the the top 50% for my age group.  Honestly, I was overjoyed just to make it through a half mile of open water swimming without drowning.  A small feat for some, but without much training and no real swimming lessons ever in my life nor experience in open water it was one of the toughest thing I've done to date.  I would argue that running the 50K a few years back was indeed more draining and a much harder endurance feat (especially for the legs), but the 'fear factor' of open water swimming was an uncomfortable mental hurdle for me.  
waiting to swim at 7:35am...the toughest part!
Practice, practice, practice....really the formula for training for these things is so simple.  Go swim in the lake then run or bike after!  It is much easier when you have a partner and a friend that are in the same boat (training for a tri too).  If it weren't for them, and my slick new wet-suit, I would not have been able to overcome my discomfort of swimming for sport/ competition. Admittedly,  I swam like a turtle; relaxed, slow and steady, careful to make way for the fast heat coming up behind me (fearful of getting kicked or punched).  Getting out of the water was the best part of the race.  Then, as I flew past seemingly hundreds of riders on my bike, I felt like an athlete again.  In fact I think I was only passed by five guys (all big, athletic types); definitely cycling is my strong suit.  
last mile of the run
Running after riding was a bit weird.  My legs were quite stiff and I was starting to get fatigued a bit, but the adrenaline was still pumping and I felt amazing all the way to the last mile, not pushing it too hard until I was on the very last half mile, then sprinted to the finish line; feeling strong!
I highly recommend trying a triathlon.  I will continue to do them once a year or so as sort of fitness test, trying to always beat m last time.  The Seafair,  Danskin, and Escape the Rock are great for beginners.  A big thanks to both my dear friend, Aeron Hansen; the owner of the studio that I occasionally train in, and my sweet, super fit and loving boyfriend, Sean who encouraged and motivated me by training alongside (especially the lake swimming).  They both rock and I'm happy to report also finished strong in the race! 
all triathletes are winners!