Monday, June 23, 2008

Cache Valley Classic Sprint Triathlon

I did it! I did not do it well, win an award or even finish in the middle, but I did it!

What did I really do? Swam 1/2 mile in the Hyrum Reservoir, biked 12 miles and ran 5k. This one done back to back and I finished in 2 hours 2 minutes.

If you want to see some pics from the event, go ahead and click HERE. To see any of the other family members pictures, click on the same link and on the right hand side of the page type in Riches as the last name and you'll get an eyefull of us.

I have been training for this event for quite some time and what I thought was my only strong leg (swimming) I quickly learned was almost my weakest. Swimming in a pool warmed to 80 degrees with just a swimsuit, clear water and a cap is much more different than swimming in a reservoir with brown water, 60 degrees and a wet suit.

The first few strokes into it, I wanted to raise my hand and ask one of the helpers to drag me to shore and drop out completely. I felt as though I did not have full range of motion in my wetsuit and the water that was getting logged inside the wetsuit was pulling me down. It was so difficult to swim freestyle, so I spent most of my time doing the elementary backstroke. Not such a good idea, because it can cause one to go off course a bit. Thankfully there was a nice girl swimming or doggy paddling (or at least struggling along with me) that would let me know when I was going off course.

As I finished the swim and came running up the stairs there was a gentleman who had to be pulled out. Our family has been praying for him and his family ever since this incident. We learned yesterday that he passed away. Come to find out he was as strong as an ox and a great athlete who loved to swim. What was so frightening to witness was what I needed to remind me how precious life is and that we should never take our time here forgranted.

I was weeping as I ran to the transition area to get on my bike. Weeping mostly because I felt like such a failure wanting to quit before I had even gotten far in the race and failing in what I thought I was so strong at. As I was leaving the transition area on my bike Todd yelled out "I love you. Just enjoy the ride." It was just what I needed to hear. So I did just that. I didn't race and I just enjoyed the ride, peddling along at 13 mph (to do well I should have been peddling at 15 mph or more).

As the bike came to a finish I wondered how in the world I was going to finish the last leg...the run, without my partner in this whole process...Tonya. She has encouraged me and pushed me along (as I am not a self-motivator). Once again my eyes welled up as I was certain I was the absolute last person to finish the bike leg. When to my wondering eyes should appear my favorite person in the world (at that moment) TONYA!!! YEAH!!! I waited for her to get settled and ready to run and we finished the race together!

Tonya finished first place in her division. She was the oldest woman in the triathlon. More power to her! You'd never know that she was the age she claims. She did great. Ken (my father-in-law) finished second in his age group. Chad (Kimi's husband) slammed all of us in the swim (17 minutes for a 1/2 mile) and the bike (17.9 mph). Ike averaged a 7 1/2 minute mile for the 5k.

As it all rolled to a close I had a really great time and now that I know my weaknesses and strengths I can focus my energy in those areas and try to prepare for the next race. Yes, I am planning on doing another one...but that all depends on how the rest of the summer pans out (moving, Todd helping his brother with an addition, homeownership, etc.).


Brooke said...

I'm so impressed! Congrats on finishing, that's awesome. I don't even dare to START one of those. :)

Live everyday to its fullest said...

Way to go MEL! I am so proud of you! You have more guts than I do...I couldnt do that if I tried! I cant swim, I do the froggie. I can ride a bike for fun, and I sure as heck can run my boobs hit me in the face! Ok not really but it feels like it! Anyways I am so proud of you! Cant wait to hear how the next one goes!

The Reading Armadillo said...

You are so amazing! Good job! I'm going to remember your spirit when I struggle in my measly 5K on the 4th.

Meredith & Company said...
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Meredith & Company said...

Congratulations! I am so proud of you! You are awesome.

The guy you saw pulled out was one of my parent's best friends. I'm sure you know Rhondi Knowlton Jefferies and Craig and Carol Snow--it was one of their best friends too. They all went to high school together with my parents. I've been crying all week over this one.

I've wanted to do a tri all summer, but the whole thing with Tom kind of scared me last weekend. But, you can be my inspiration. I seriously am totally proud of you! Let me know when you are going to do events like these, because I'm doing lots of running myself. We could meet up at some of these! My next one is the Deseret News 10K on July 24th.