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So I did it.

I completed my second triathlon. (You may recall my first triathlon last summer.)

The second triathlon wasn’t that bad physically.

Mentally…it was really hard.

Let’s start from the beginning:

Saturday at 4:30AM: The townie texts me to say good luck. Have I mentioned he is a police officer? He was on the overnight shift and clearly awake. My alarm had not gone off yet at this point. Sweet but I wanted to kill him 🙂

4:40AM: Alarm goes off. First thought that popped into my mind? Whyyyyy am I doing this? It’s pitch black and I could be peacefully sleeping not shaking from anxiety.

5:00AM: Get into car with friend to drive to state park.

5:15AM: Get an awesome spot with minimal walking to the transition area. 3 stops at the porter pottys needed by this point. (TMI, but it’s the truth!)

5:30AM: Shovel in peanut butter on a slice of bread and one banana. Hydrate with water diluted powerade.

5:45AM: Walk towards transition areas with bikes/gear. On the way in get body marked by 14-year-old boys. Pretty awkward to strip in front of them but oh well. One boy told me “you have a strong bike ma’am, you’ll be great!”  Hmm, thanks?

6:10AM: Transition area is all set up, bike is on the rail, ready to kill some time before heading towards the water. The bike setup is a little different because rather than just one long rail that has for example bib numbers 400-460, it actually has stickers with your exact bib number on your spot. Porter Potty trip times 94859485.

6:25AM: Head back into transition to drop keys & flip-flops. Notice my bike has been switched.

I used to set my bike up so that the handlebars were on the railing but lately it’s made me nervous that it messes with my gears. So I decided to put my seat on the railing like the picture below.

source

Apparently I originally set this up incorrectly. I had 90% of my bike not on my sticker side (so the handlebars and the front tire were on the opposite side, facing away from my sticker). When I came back into the transition area the officials actually flip-flopped my bike so that now it was still on the rail by the seat however the front wheel and handle bars were on my sticker side facing me.

This actually threw me off a little because I hadn’t set it up like that before. I learned something new!

6:45AM: Transition is closed, everyone heads down to the lake beach for the national anthem and such. 1400+ of us smushing together on the beach.

7:00AM: The first swim waves are starting. My age group (of 172 people!!!) wouldn’t be getting into the water until 7:25AM.

7:10AM: Repeating in my head that I’m here to have fun and get fit, it doesn’t have to be about winning. It’s at my own pace!

7:18AM: My heart rate is through the roof as I wait for the countdown for us to get into the water.

7:20AM: 172 women wadding deeper into the lake to start the swim. The distance looks a lot longer at this point.

7:22AM: Trying to swim but my heart rate is so high that every time I put my face into the water I feel like I’m out of breath and panting.

7:23AM: Pep talk with myself. Go slow and relax.

7:24AM: Slow breast-stroke with minimal face in the water time. This clearly slows me down but it keeps me moving. Every 30 seconds I flop onto my back for about 5 seconds to calm down.

7:34AM: Out of the water. (I only knew this time after as it ended up taking me 14 minutes to do the 1/3rd mile swim.) Run along the beach up to the transition area. See that there are wetsuit strippers which I’ve never seen before. I was told to lay on my butt and it one quick pull the guy had my full body wetsuit off. I screamed YOU ROCK and jogged to my bike.

7:37AM: Changed and running my bike out of the transition area. With a mix of others getting onto our bikes.

7:38AM: Turn right out of the park on the bike, celebrating the end of the swim and then I see the first part of the bike course. A big long gradual hill.

8:00AM: Moving steady on the bike and having fun. This isn’t so bad.

8:02AM: Heading straight down an even side road when I see what looks like two bikers on the ground. Ambulance noises are coming at this point. As I get closer I see him. More blood than I have ever seen before pouring from a guy’s head and side. Everyone is told to keep moving.

8:05AM: Crying. I’m going to be honest here, I cried for the at least the next 5 miles of the bike ride. I’ve never seen someone hurt like that in real life. I’ve never thought about how dangerous triathlons can be and really how mortal we all are. From the amount of blood and his eyes being closed, I assumed the worst. I slowed my bike pace down quite a bit at this point because it just made me realize that nothing is worth getting that hurt.

8:40AM: Bike is over. 15 miles DONE and I did it without getting hurt. I hopped off my bike at the dismounting line and was very disoriented by how wobbly my legs felt. This is why I should have trained with brick sessions like last year. 

8:42AM: Choked down a Clif shot blok and jogged out of the transition area. I’m not physically that tired at this point, but I have to pee (why does this always happen to me?) and I can’t stop thinking about the man who fell.

8:55AM: I’m walking parts of the run. I don’t know why, I know I could push myself but my legs feel like 2,000lbs. Turns out I was jog/walking 11:40/mi at this point.

9:05ishAM: Realize this is ridiculous, it’s time to at least jog. Jog and sprint the last 1.5 miles into the finish. I sprinted so hard at the very end that a guy actually yelled “Awesome finish!!!” 8:56/mi average for that last 1.5miles! 🙂

9:25AM: It’s over. I did it. I don’t feel that tired or sore, I’m just happy and taking pictures with my friend and her family and thinking about how much I want ice cream.

And that was my day. I’ll have to write part 2 about the rest of the day, and then watching the half-ironman on Sunday. Crazy people those half-ironmen and women are.

I also haven’t been able to find anything about the guy who got hurt so I hope that means he is OK now.  I’m so grateful to have finished and finished safely.

I’ve got another Tri coming up in September. This one is shorter distances and all women. I know exactly how I need to train over the next month. 🙂

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