Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Slice of Life Trying a Tri 8.12.14


Slice of Life is a weekly event hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

Back in 2008 I was out running with a friend and we decided we needed to put our little working out to use, we wanted to train for something.  My idea was to train for a triathlon, after all my strength is actually in the swimming.  Her idea of a swim consisted of a margarita in one hand while the other drags in the pool while laying on a raft!  11 half-marathons and 3 full marathons later, I finally decided to try a tri!  I haven't been able to change my friend's mind, but I have found other friends that have done tri's and were willing to help me out.
This summer I got ready.  I trained.  I worked at all three events:  swimming, biking and running.  I had successes - joined a masters swim group and had several successful open water swims.  I had some lows - fell of my bike, had a flat tire.  This past Sunday, I was ready to put the training into use!
Leading up to the weekend, I didn't find myself that nervous about the race.  I knew no matter what my time was, it was going to be a PR (personal record) since I've never done this before!  I had friends to help prepare me with how to line things up, get everything ready, even give me things I needed for the race.  I actually got a good night's sleep and I had my husband and daughter there to cheer me on.
First part was swimming, my strength.  I had swam the course several times so I knew what to expect.  I knew I wanted to go out strong and try to get away from other swimmers.  I lined up in the first row and we took off.  At first, you had to claw your way past everyone, but soon enough I found space and just swam.  We were swimming into the sun and I have had trouble with spotting with the sun in my eyes.  I didn't have tinted goggles and that might be something I look for next year.  I passed several people in the wave ahead of me which made me feel good about my swim.  My husband told me I was within the top 5 of my wave which was exciting.
Went through transition (ouch walking on pavement without shoes), got ready and took off on the bike.  I pedaled pretty hard throughout the bike knowing the running was ahead.  I stink at running, so figured I'd get my best times in the swim and bike.  At the very end of the bike there was a couple of hills that took the wind out of me, but I still felt strong.  There were some people that passed me on the bike that were strong triathletes, but I passed my share of people too.  Felt good about that event.
The run was going to be my toughest and it was.  When I go for runs, I zone out to my music.  In preparation for this event I had a playlist ready to go.  Just to find out you could not use headphones.  Boo.  I won't say that killed my run time, but it really really didn't help.  In practice I had rode 14 miles and then ran 3 miles several times.  My tri run was the worst time I had gotten in all my practice runs.  I had worked harder on the bike than in practice, so being tired was a factor.  I had trouble getting any kind of rhythm down.  I felt like I was on mile 12 of a 1/2 marathon.  But, I got it done.
I'm a triathlete.
Then I looked at my times and I was not happy.  I knew the run would be bad and it was.  But I was really disappointed with my swim time.  I know, I should enjoy this experience.  I'm very hard on myself.  That's ok.  I have the off season to work on it.  I already told my swim coach she needs to get harder on me!  
I read one of my training friend's Facebook post today.  She talked about how a triathlon is so much more than a swim, a bike and a run.  It's about meeting new friends, training with them and racing with them.  It's about accomplishing a goal.  It's about seeing other's accomplish something they might not have thought possible before.
My coach reminded me in a text it's about having fun.  I can accomplish new goals by having fun with my training.
Right now, I'm a triathlete.  I have new friends and I've accomplished goals.  I'm going to keep smiling and next year, I'll be an even faster triathlete!

find my name on the t-shirt!

I'm off on the bike!

my least favorite part, but check out the gorgeous day!


  1. I think that's amazing! Good for you! I love that you're focusing on the fun and relationships you're forming. The times you're working toward will come eventually. I had to laugh about your friend whose idea of swimming "consisted of a margarita in one hand while the other drags in the pool while laying on a raft!" Ha - I can relate! ;-)

  2. I'm very proud of you. You took on a new challenge, & did it! Your coach is right, it's supposed to be fun, & now you have a base line to move from, Michele. You go, Girl!

  3. Congratulations on completing a triathlon! I am impressed. It's a huge accomplishment. I hope that next time you get to enjoy the experience no matter what the result.

  4. Bravo! I am SO impressed with your determination and preparing. I just rediscovered swimming as an adult and finally learned how to free style so I can appreciate larger challenges. This was just your first time. More to come. :) :) :)

  5. You should be so proud of your accomplishment. There are many women - myself included - who not do even part of what you did. We have an event here in my hometown and they even call it the "Try" because so many women participate just to say that they did it. My idea of swimming would be more like your first friends expected I would have a diet Coke and a book! :)