On Sunday, May 30, I ran my first triathlon! After two months of training, half a dozen dreams in which I would forget my bike, or get lost, or fail to finish, and with a dozen butterflies rampaging in my stomach, I swam, biked and ran my way to a respectable finish, and I didn’t cry, puke or walk, and I wasn’t even tempted to quit in the middle!
That sums it up in a nutshell…and here I thought this would be a marathon length blog post! Of course, I’m thrilled to elaborate…read on if you will.
Being a part of the Dawson Creek Child Development Centre Tri a Triathlon was in so many ways a positive experience – the applause from the bystanders, the nods from the other competitors (many of whom were passing me in the process), and the changes I saw in myself over the weeks I trained for the event, so fearful that my self-training would leave me woefully unprepared. I have a waist now! And I can run without stopping for 30+ minutes! I now know the feeling of pushing my body and feeling awful and great at the same time! And now my sister is pressing me to run the Emperor’s Challenge in August – a half-marathon that takes you over a mountain in nearby Tumbler Ridge. I hope she’s not holding her breath.
I wore my geekiest t-shirt as a nod to nerds everywhere, and screamed “TRUKAI” at my brother-in-law, wearing his “Trukai Fun Run” t-shirt which is a brand of rice from Papua New Guinea and a family joke. I met a couple of new people and enjoyed the camaraderie between like-minded strangers. I tried not to be too embarrassed by the knobby-tired bike I’d borrowed to race with, beside the skinny, smooth-treaded triathlon bikes. (I am not going to spend hundreds of dollars just to race in a single triathlon!) I matched my pace to the beat of the energetic songs playing on my MP3 player during the run (I recommend The Killers as great running music) and I highly overestimated how long it would take me to finish the race, so that my husband and children were about five minutes late and missed seeing me finish.
I was slow, though, when you look at the stats and start (gasp!) comparing my speed to the other athletes. Considering that my goal was to finish without humiliation (during one point of my training I was envisioning tripping over my own feet while running and becoming the “did not finish due to injury” statistic), I have to be happy with the results. (Here’s where I give the numbers, if you’re interested.) Despite sharing the pool lane with two other swimmers, I swam my 500m in 10m52s, which was just 10 seconds over my best speed pre-race. I was a full five minutes faster on my bike than anticipated, completing the 15km in 39m43s. And my run was good too. Not knowing how long it would take me to complete, I was hoping for under 30 minutes, and I ran the 4km course in 28m38s. Not fast, but steady. I was very happy that I didn’t stop to walk once.
While I’m tempted to become a triathlon bore, I’ll restore balance to my life over the next couple of days, enjoying a morning mocha instead of healthy ginger tea, getting caught up on housework, gardening and crafting, and I’ve got some freelance business stuff demanding my attention as well. And I have a stack of library books I’m planning to read over a bowl of ice cream!