Thursday, December 17, 2009

My First Triathlon

It had been raining in Philadelphia the week prior to my first triathlon. The swim was to take place in the Schuylkill River near Fairmount Park. The water quality was officially rated as ‘RED’ for most of the week – meaning the water was not suitable for swimming.

I was kinda scared about the whole thing but deep down I didn’t want the swim part to be cancelled because it wouldn’t be a triathlon without the swim. Eventually the water cleared up enough for the swim but the current was very swift. From what I understand, the current is usually not a factor at all.

For the 900M sprint swim, the course was the shape of a rectangle. I first swam against the current, then across and against the current, then with the current, and lastly, across and against the current. So, 3 of the four legs were against the current. I was exhausted! I got cramps in both legs and was in so much pain I couldn’t move. I almost quit twice. But I didn’t put all this time and effort into training, spending mine and others money, and drag my family 8 hours in a car for me to quit a tenth of a mile into the race. So I just kept going until I was done. I knew the swim wouldn’t last forever.

One thing that was interesting to me was that we started the swim in waves. I was in the ‘old lady’ swim wave. Officially it is known as the ‘age 40 and over female’ wave, but that is just semantics. They started a new wave every few minutes. The wave behind me was the men’s masters group – meaning a bunch of very strong male swimmers. I thought to myself ‘who thought this was a good idea?’

Within a short time, many of the powerful swimmers were right by me. I got punched in the head at least 3 times and my goggles knocked off twice. Granted, they all apologized, as a friend of mine said: if I got hit that hard by a man on dry land, I’d be calling the cops.

I finally finished the swim and as soon as I did I knew I could finish the race. I had pretty much used up all of my energy but I didn’t care. I knew I could do it. I got up on my bike and finished the 15 miles without any issues and started the run.

I can’t exactly say what I was doing was running, but it was moving in a forward motion resembling running at times. I was tired. I ran when I could. I did high five a co-worker who was doing the race too. He looked as exhausted too. At the last half mile, my husband, Lou, ran with me. I thought that was great! He kept me going a little faster that I would have without him.

I crossed the finish line and I was ecstatic and overjoyed! I did it! I felt so amazing and had a huge sense of accomplishment. Woo hoo!

My times were awful, but after the swim, I’m glad I just crossed the finish line.

Quick joke – What do they call the person who crosses the finish line last? A triathlete!

S: 39:30 T1: 5:25 B: 1:14:12 T2: 3:03 R: 49:45
Final: 2:51:58 1374 of 1440

I met all three of my goals. I finished, I was not last and I was not last in my age group. Success!

Of course I could not walk hardly at all for days after that. I can assure you that did not make my family happy because they had to wait on me. Sorry guys!

Please stay tuned. My times do improve. :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment