Saturday, October 3, 2009

Triathlon- The Story

Well yes it has been a full week since the triathlon and I am just now blogging about it. But better late than never right!
We spent the night before the triathlon in Pleasanton. The Smith family, the family I used to work for, graciously opened their house to us for the night. It was perfect because they were less than a mile from the park where the triathlon was to take place. What was even better was that Kaaren has been doing triathlons herself and has weekly swims with a group of people on Friday nights at the lake where I was to swim the next day. She took me out there for a practice run. It was great to get in and used to the water before I was to get in to do the real thing. Kaaren and another friend also did a practice take off where they practice bumping into and hitting me, which they said would happen the next day. It was great to get so many pointers from experienced triathletes :)
The next day started early-5am! Oh I am so not a morning person. We got to the park and got everything set up. Reality started to hit me. What was I doing?! Am I really here preparing to do a triathlon?! We had a lot of time so we walked around for a bit. My father-in-law arrived soon there after. He himself is also an experienced triathlete and so he did a good job of trying to keep me calm and assure me that everything would be OK. Finally the time came and the race was beginning. I was the second to last group to go out so I had some time. I put on my wetsuit and got in the lake to warm up. The water felt good and I was feeling better. My mom arrived while I was in the water. We soon realized that the race had come to an abrupt stop. We first knew something was really wrong when we saw a lifeguard run across the beach with an oxygen tank! That's not good. It became apparent that someone was in trouble. As I heard a bit later a woman had been pulled out of the lake and had no pulse. I still do not know the complete story as to what happened. But it was a scary reality as to what could happen. Regardless I tried to stay calm knowing that thinking about such things would not help me, they could only hinder me. The race was delayed a good 30-45 minutes so I just hung out with Chad, Clyde, and my mom. Finally my time came. I was ready, I had prepared for this for months and I was ready to get started to see how I would do. I made my way pretty close to the front of the group. The horn sounded and we were off. It was chaos and it was hard to get my swim grove with people everywhere and water splashing in my face. I kept going. People were running into me, people were close on my heels, and people were passing me. I just kept going. As I rounded the last buoy I finally got my swim grove. Two breath strokes and I was picking up speed. I hit land and took off running off the beach. I found my family and they were cheering me on. I gave them a positive fist pump to let them know I was doing good. Now onto the bike. I changed quickly into my bike clothes and shoes and off I went. Right away there was a hill I had to get up in order to get out of the park. I was amazed at how quickly I climbed up that hill and out of the park. I was winded, tired, I needed to rehydrate and catch my breath. Finally I caught my breath and peddled hard. The bike portion was my favorite park. It was a a nice ride that took us into some nice parts of Pleasanton. There were people motivating and cheering throughout the course which was good to have. The course was mostly flat except for the initial climb and a small but steep climb that came more towards the end. I reached the end of the ride and my family found me and cheered me on again. What a great positive support I have. It was then a quick transition to the run portion. I took off strong, but soon took it to a walk. I knew the run was going to be the hardest part for me. For one, I am not a runner, and two, it was the final event and I figured exhaustion would start to set in. It was getting hot but I needed to finish. The run was also a lot more difficult because as I soon found out there were lots of hills to climb and then run down. My stomach had started to hurt, I am thinking now that the GU may have done that one, and at one point I thought I was going to loose my breakfast. Whenever doubt set in I kept telling myself no you have worked too hard not to finish this. No matter how long it was going to take, I was going to finish it! I would jog a bit and then walk a bit, jog and then run. Finally the end was in sight. I pushed myself I ran the rest of the way. Right before the finish line I spotted my family again. I did it, I crossed the finish line, I was done! They gave us a medal as you crossed the finish line which was pretty cool. I was a little heartbroken to see that the time on the finish line clock said my finish time was 2 hours and 1 minute. I had so wanted to finish under two hours. But I figured the run had slowed me down, oh well no biggie. My family met me as I was still trying hard to catch my breath. After a calm down and some pictures Clyde suggested we go look at my times. I was nervous to look at them but I am so glad I did. As it turns out they never stopped the clock when there was a delay in the race, I had finished the race in 1:41:22! Way better than I thought I would ever do. I was elated!!! I couldn't believe it! My spirits were lifted way up.
I had a great time doing this event. It showed me that I can work hard, push my body, and complete a goal that I once thought was impossible for me. To add to it I also was able to loose 10 pounds in the process of training for this. That's always an added bonus. I hope to keep training for future triathlons but for now the triathlon season has come to an end. I hope to run some 10k's here soon so as to work on my running. Who thought I would ever be doing this stuff!? I sure as heck never thought I would be doing any of this and having a blast in the process!
Here's a link to my results if you wish to check it out. Vanessa Floyd
A big thank you to everyone who helped me, encouraged me, and were there to support me. It means the world to me :)





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