Sunday, June 29, 2008

5 Mile Lake Triathlon

What? June 28th already? Where has the time gone? I have spent way too much time at work and not enough time training. Even though these are short distance ("sprint") they are just long enough to need some preparation time. I don't recommend trying to cram weeks of training into a couple of days (which is what I attempted to do). I debated even doing the race but I felt I could finish and that I didn't have a good excuse not to so Saturday morning I woke up early and made my way down to 5 Mile Lake park.

My first bit of nerves came when I noticed how many people were wearing wetsuits. Was the water really going to be that cold? I went down to the water's edge and tested the temperature - it was cold, but not freezing. Soon it was time to head to the start. Once again I was a pink swim cap. The countdown started and then we were off! This was probably the hardest swim I've had. I never found a rhythm and felt out of breath. I ended up being the last person of my group out of the water. I've always said I wouldn't care if I was the last person to cross the finish line because it would mean I finished and I started to think I might actually get to test this theory today!

The bike portion was two loops through the surrounding neighborhoods. It was a nice rolling course, with one long, nasty uphill. I kept shifting down until I was on the last gear. It is a slight possibility that I could have gone faster walking my bike up this hill! :) I kept making little goals for myself - make it to the light pole, make it to the mailbox, make it to the street sign. I was so busy trying to make it to the next goal that it took me a minute or two to realize it had flattened out and I had reached the top! With the first loop done, I headed around again. I continued being passed, in fact I think some people must have passed me twice! The long, nasty hill was still there the second time around and I quickly dropped down to the lowest gear and fought my way up to the top.

Heading out to the run course I saw someone heading out for their second time around on the bike course which meant I wasn't going to be last across the finish line! Whew! I might have the lowest time, but I wouldn't be last. No need to test that theory! The whole no training thing started to catch up to me during the run. But it is amazing what a well-timed "you go girlfriend!" cheer and a water stop can do for you. All the encouraging cheers I received were great and really helped, but this one stuck out in my mind as I had started feeling self-doubty (like how I just made up that word?). One foot after the other and I was finally back at the park. A loop through the park and there was the finish line! Hooray!!

I was thinking I would finish in about 2 hours, plus or minus 10 minutes. I finished in 2 hours and 4 minutes, so my estimate was just about right. I actually improved my swim time, my bike pace stayed the same and lost a bit of time on my run pace. But I felt good about it overall, especially considering the lack of training!


Stacy O said...

Emily, you are amazing! I am so proud of you!!! When's your next race? Sydney and I would love to come out and cheer you on!!!

Emily said...

I would love to have you guys! I think I'm actually done for this year (since I'll be in Germany for the rest of the races I would potentially be in) but I'll let you know for next year!