Friday, September 30, 2011


At the close of this post, I said that I would do another Triathlon. It has been three years since then, and I have to admit, I have hesitated wanting to enter another one.  That is, until, my dear friend encouraged others to join her for her first Triathlon.

The hesitation came because of my personal failure and fear of swimming in open water.  However, this one was held in a pool.  Heated water, lanes, no people swimming on top of one another to get ahead, women only.  I could do this one!

After registering, the first thing I did was dig out my old time sheet from the Cache Valley Classic.  My swim was 21:59, Bike 58:29 and Run 33:52.  I also printed out a suggested training routine that I followed to the letter the first week, then started slacking the next 8 weeks.  Another thing I can improve on next time.

When I trained for the run, it was always on a treadmill.  I would set the machine so that I would run a 9 minute mile and by the end my average was 10 minute miles.  I only rode a stationary bike, and would attend the spinning classes at the gym.  The swim was my absolute favorite!  I had managed to get the 12 lengths completed in 7 minutes.

The night before the race, I borrowed a sleek little road bike from my neighbor's, the Petit's who aren't strangers to triathlons.  Took it up and down a hill by our house a few times, deemed the bike a perfect fit (actually, I should have risen the seat a bit, I learned during mile 2 of the bike ride) and assumed I was trained-ish and ready to conquer the event in the morning.

In the wee hours of the morning, my ride came.  Four of us lovely ladies sat in the dark and discussed our nerves and what we had done the night before.  The three other lovelies were what some might call tri-virgins.  If you are going to do a tri for the first time, I highly suggest one in a pool.

Upon arrival, we unloaded our bikes, got our bodies all marked up and found spots for our bikes in the transition area.  Then we were all wise enough to step in the long line to wait for a turn in the porta potty.  A must-do before any race.

Around 8am, we all stripped down to our swimsuits, all body issues go out the door when you see 400 women with all different body shapes and sizes unite together for the same event.  It was awesome and so empowering.

They had us each get in the water and only had one woman swim out at a time, so there was no large wave of women storming the water at the same time.  It made for a lot less pressure.  Although, I still got the same tight panicky feeling in my chest whenever I entered the deeper sections of the pool.  Reminded me of the times we'd go snorkeling in Hawaii.  Something about lots and lots of water below me just gives me the willies, even if there aren't fish swimming with me.  The pool I trained in never got deeper than 5 ft, and I swear, it wasn't nearly as long as this pool was!

I felt totally rockin' when I started passing some of the swimmers and got all big in the head and thought, "oh, yeah!  I have got this thing in the BAG!"

Apparently I needed to be humbled, and that opportunity came within the first mile of the bike.  My throat was dry and I needed a drink of water, so I slid my hand down to my water bottle for some refreshment of the water kind only to lose my balance, swerve into the curb and land softly on the grass. I sat there, took a couple sips, a nice guy pulled over in his car to make sure I was okay, I assured him I was great.  Then I did what we are always told to do when we fall off a bike, and I got right back on!

I found a cute girl who was 24 (I know that because our ages are stamped on the back of our left calf and I stared at it through most of the bike portion of the race).  She and I biked at the same pace, so I decided to follow her.  About three times as many people as I passed on the swim passed me.  Humble Pie eaten. But I didn't let it get me down.

My personal goal was to finish this race without crying or feeling sorry for myself.

Riding on the road bike is a whole lot different than the spin bike at the gym.  I would probably like to train more on a bike like that for my next race (yes, I want to do another one, no, NEED to do another one).  Anyway, upon my accent to "hell hill" I felt as though I had enough momentum to get up it.  My little pacing friend was doing great and I wasn't worried until I felt the urge to go a little faster, but at that same moment two cars were coming in opposite directions and I lost the momentum.  At one moment I can recall being at a stand still on the bike and my mind thinking "It's over."  Not meaning the race, but the riding.  I noticed a few ladies in front of me walking their bikes up our little hell and decided to do the same.  Short walk over, I got back on and the remainder of the ride was smooth sailing and downhill with the wind blowing through my helmet.  Just beautiful country out there in Herriman.

When dismounting the bike I heard a sweet little voice yell out "Mom!"  There is nothing like that!  It is that extra push to keep you trying harder.  My handsome husband and 4 little children (yeah, Todd totally got them all ready and out the door to come and cheer me on) were right there by the transition area and I ran over and gave them hugs and kisses.  Dakota started screaming because he didn't want me running away.

I saw Becca and hoped to run with her, but as we were leaving there was a little straggler following me and not following her daddy!  I had to help little Carly find her daddy and reminded her that I would see her really soon.  That girl probably could have kept pace with me the whole time.  My run was a little bit slower than I had planned on, but I finished the race with a smile on my face and didn't cry even once!

My final times were Swim 7:58, Bike 55:26, Run, 36:56

Pictures taken by Becca's friend, the Sprouls...these girls let me join in on their picture taking fun...thanks girls!

All in all, I shaved almost 15 minutes off of my first tri time.  Next time my bike and my run will be better!  Who wants to join me next year?


dave said...

Wow, good for you Mel!!!

dave said...

Haha, sorry, this is Kelli:)

Heather B said...

HOW AWESOME! I want to join you next time. Maybe not realistic...but a girl can dream. Way to go MEL!

Sarah said...

I won't be joining you! I stink at running! Besides that, I hate exercising in public. I can't tell you exactly why...I guess it's a combination of things...but I still hate it.

But good for you! I'm so proud of you for shaving off that much time. Besides, you improved your swimming and biking times...and if your sweet little Carly hadn't run after you, you probably would have beat your running time too.