Monday, August 13, 2007

ChelanMan Try-a-Tri

Well I did it. I completed my very first Sprint Triathlon, in the beautiful mountains of Washington State. It was a wonderful journey both mentally and physically. I owe it all to Pam and Alison. Pam talked me into flying up there and doing it with her; Alison trained with me and bonus, she was able to go and race as well!
From the beginning I had such mixed feelings: excitement, that I was committing to a big goal (for me at least); timidness, how do I think I can do this in a few months time; fear, I'm not an athlete, what will people say? Finally, DETERMINATION! I may not be a lot of things, but do not get or be in my way when my determination kicks in. So, began the training...
Running: I am horrible at it, plus a bum foot.
I worked through it.
Swimming: I can swim, oh wait - to the end of the pool and back?
Swam hard, took a conditioning class, love it
Biking: I have always loved that, but on my cruiser bike?
Did it!!! Fell even more in love with it.

Time came to fly to Seattle, no time to think about the race. I have to prepare my husband and the boys for being away six days. HA HA!!! Menus, diapers, food, instructions, phone numbers, babysitters, this is here and that is there...whew!

July 19th I land in Seattle, 10:30pm
July 20th Pam and I head toward Lake Chelan, taking our time and shopping along the way. Naturally. 6pm, we arrive in Chelan and register. Wow, this is actually happening. It is breath taking, the lake and the mountains. We dip our feet in the water...CHILLY! It is the coldest lake in Washington. We head to the Riverwalk in to check in. We eat dinner, then back to the room to get all of our stuff together for the morning. Oh, and catch up with Alison and Richard.
July 21st RACE DAY!!! 4:30am Someone is trying to open our door. I get up to see who is there. Drunk guy trying to open our door, obviously not knowing where his room is. We tell him to go away, he won't. ERG! We call 911, they ask us what room we are in. The Brig. The Brig? Yes, The Brig, this is not a joke. As I am holding the door I am thinking, he is drunk, he's not overly huge, I can take him if I have to! Minutes later the cops are there taking care of him. SERIOUSLY, did that just happen right before my first big race? Yes, it did. Finally we get back to sleep to only up on 2 hours later. I get dressed, definitely feeling nervous/anxious excitement. I meet Alison and Richard for breakfast. I pick at some food and have some coffee. It is kind of like right before I have given birth - I know I need to eat, but just too anxious to force anything down.
We are loaded up and head to the race site, unpack our gear and find a good transition spot. Oh, so nervous! We head down to the water where they are giving instructions. Alison and Richard, Pam and I, and Ken and Carolyn (Paul's parents) are all there together. Chatting and laughing really helped with the nerves. Well, it is finally our turn to get in the water. YIKES, it is so chilly - bearable after you have warmed up to it. My heart is pounding, I'm doing my usual pump up to get Alison and Pam pumped with me. GO!
I am actually swimming, the first leg of my race. The water is beautiful, I can see the bottom. The stupid lady next to me won't quite flailing, I need to get by. Gulp! That was a nice mouthful of water. I am almost to the last bouy, I can not believe I have made it this far. Put your feet down girl, get out! Now I trek back to transition. Shoes, helmet, gloves, snack, check. Shove in a banana muffin and MOVE!
I am riding, warm up those legs and move! I am almost in tears that I am actually doing it and not doing too bad! It is beautiful, how can you not sing. For the beauty of the earth, Praise God, Indescribable! I got a few Amen's, and probably alot more stares. I don't care. They do not know how far I have come from, when I first began. WOW, the ride is over. Quick, put your number on, grab a few fruit chews. Pick those feet up.
I am running...ok maybe alot of fast walking too. My legs are stiff, but from bricks I remember it takes a while to warm them back up. Keep going, you are doing! Run some, walk some, etc. I dread running, and I desperately want to be better (next race). I round the corner back into the race area, only around the parking lot left. There is Alison, already finished, but waiting to run in with me. "Come on" she says, "faster, I know you can do it. There is the finish line!" OH MY GOSH! I CROSSED THE FINISH LINE!!! Tears, lots of joyful tears.

Total Time: 1hr 52min

Can you believe I did it? I can, and can't! I CAN now call myself an athlete. I ROCK!

Thank you to everyone for your encouraging words and prayers. This was a big goal for me and I am so glad that I accomplished it.

My next race is December 2nd in Allen, TX.
My new blog for training and blurbs


Rich & Jen said...

WAY TO GO, LAURA!!! No, I haven't said yes. I'm just saying YOU DID GREAT! :O)

Christy said...

Very inspiring. I trained to run the White Rock Marathon Relay 6 years ago and it was a fun challenging goal. Maybe someday I will train for a triathalon but I hate swimming. Hmm, maybe a biathalon.