Sunday 9/9/12 marked 3 years since I began losing weight. I have come a very long way both mentally and physically. To commemorate this anniversary I did something that fat girl never would have dreamed. I completed an Olympic length triathlon.(1500 meter swim, 24 mile bike, 6.2 mile run)
To say I was nervous would be a drastic understatement. I was on the edge all week. Sunday morning I reluctantly woke up, early. Despite having gone to bed early my nerves kept me up most of the night. We were running a little late but nothing too terrible, until we came across some road closures. J.R. wasn’t able to find a way around to the parking. We both began to panic and this did nothing to calm my already on edge nerves. It was definitely not a good way to start the day.
We finally arrived and I was thankful they had not closed the transition. I hurriedly put my things in order and was off to the start line. The one good thing about running late was I didn’t have time to sit around and be nervous long. As I stood at the starting line, the usual thoughts came to my head. “Really? What have you gotten yourself into? Why do you keep doing this to yourself?”
|Scared out of my mind!|
There were two things that irritated me about the swim. One, the amount of salt was unbelievable. I needed water just to get that taste out of my mouth. Second was the fact that all the buoys and markers were on the left. This poses a problem for someone who breathes solely on the right. I never knew if I was on the correct course or not. I had to continually stop and look up to make sure I was going in the right direction. This made getting into any kind of rhythm difficult. At one point I felt a tap on my foot. I looked up and someone was pointing me towards the buoy the other way. I’m sure I added a bit to my swim. (Must learn to breathe on both sides.)
A bit more than half way through the swim I began to get bored. I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t sore. I was bored and just wanted the swim to be done.
I was soon out of the water and off on rather wobbly legs. My transition was smooth and easy. I was off on to my favorite part of the race, the bike. I love the bike simply because I don’t have to think. During the swim I am constantly concentrating on my stroke. During the run I have to concentrate on my posture and form. Cycling comes naturally for me and I enjoy just going without a thought.
Unfortunately, I was barely into the ride when faced with the only hill, only to shortly make a U-turn and have to climb the other side. My legs were already a little tired from the swim and hadn't warmed up to the bike just yet. My legs certainly did not like that torture. The ride went well and was over before I had a chance to get bored with the loop I was riding. Toward the end one guy passed me and said, "You and me, back and forth all day. You get me on that hill every time." I laughed and told him, "Yeah, my legs were built for hills."
A couple weeks before I bought trilaces so that I wouldn't have to tie my shoes. When I initially tried them out, the right shoe was too tight. I tried to loosen it unsuccessfully but ended up hurting my foot. I took it easy the next week on my runs, allowing my foot to heal. I even did a short trial run with the laces again. However, as I began this run the pain was back. I stopped a couple of times to loosen them, but nothing helped the pain. So I just gritted my teeth and kept moving.
As I neared the end, there was a large crowd cheering everyone on. This was a great boost. However, once I made it to a more secluded area I gave myself one last break before pushing myself to the finish. It apparently wasn't as secluded as I thought, as I soon heard "Come on 895 you're almost done, push through it! Let's go!" Ugh. A coach from a rather large team was there cheering me on. So, of course, I began to run.
As I ran down toward the finish line, tears began to well up. I began to think about where I was 3 short years ago and how far I have come. The thought of doing even a 5K back then was not even on my radar much less completing an Olympic length triathlon. But complete one I did! It was and is such an amazing sense of accomplishment.It is why despite my negative thoughts at the beginning of each of these events I continue to push myself.