After months of working to get ready for a triathlon it's finally here! Today was race day. I had my alarm set for 4:45 in the morning and I was all kinds of nervous. I didn't sleep well last night because I was so anxious. Around 4:30 I heard Lily wake up and go to the bathroom and then go back to bed. I knew it had to be getting close to the time my alarm went off and I couldn't resist getting up to look at the clock. It was 4:35 when I got out of bed, so I just decided to get up and start going, which turned out to be a good thing. I needed the extra time. I made a breakfast of three scrambled eggs, leftover hash browns, a banana and some almond butter. I made Matt breakfast too. I was pretty full after breakfast but I knew I wouldn't be racing for several more hours and I was going to need the energy. I had already packed food and stuff for the kids the previous night so I got the kids up at 5:15 and off we went. Of course neither of them went back to sleep during the two hour drive up into the mountains to the racing site at Buffalo Creek.
We arrived and were able to park super close, checked in with no problems and got our numbers written on our arms and an R on our right leg to say we are in a relay. We picked up our racing packet and our gift bag which had a shirt, and some promo items like a power bar, cliffe bar, and some energy gels. I wasn't really planning on eating any of it since I was going to have a two hour break between events. My in-laws arrived about 20 minutes before the race was to start and I got into my wet suit. My heart was all butterflies by this time.
The color of our swim cap designated which wave we were racing in. Mine was red and that meant I was in the first wave. I was really nervous about that, but there wasn't much I could do about it. We were allowed to do some warming up in the water which was good because the water was pretty cold and putting my face in the water took my breath away and I was gasping for air after just a few strokes. In the picture above we are at the race start listening to the pre race speech. At 8:15 I lined up waist deep in water and we were off! The adrenaline in my system was enough that I kept pace with everyone until the first buoy when I couldn't breath anymore. My heart was racing too fast, and I was thinking "oh crap". So I had to do a few breast strokes and let my heart rate and breathing slow down and then find a better pace because that was just way too fast out of the gate. My goal time for the swim was 45 minutes. I had no way to know how long I was out there. All I knew was that the waves were being started 3 minutes apart and that I was behind most of my wave and that about half way down the first side the people from the next wave started passing me. I did pretty well sighting. I had to breath every other stroke instead of every three strokes. The air was thinner and I was not used to the constriction of the wet suit. I made it down with no further incidents and rounded the corner. About half way back I started getting passed by the green caps which were the third wave. So I'm trying to mentally calm myself down saying it's ok, the important thing is to finish, it doesn't matter that I'm getting passed by people who started six minutes after I did. And I kept swimming, and swimming, and counting buoys and trying not to die from lack of oxygen. I had my eye on someone with a red cap that was swimming fairly close to me the whole time and tried not to let them pass me. When I was getting close I powered my way to the end and burst out of the water as fast as I could (I probably touched down a little too early as I was still pretty far under the water and couldn't walk very fast).
While I waited for Matt to bike (we figured it would take him 2 hours since that was the time he did it in two years ago) I ate some carrots and almond butter, and a peach. The kids played in the water and had a good time.
Until they got cold and tired
It was the best race EVER and a really great day and a really great experience. I'm glad I was able to do something like this with my husband.
We left pretty quickly after we finished. The kids were spent. They fell asleep in the car in about five minutes. While we were driving down we saw some people who still hadn't finished the bike course and I was just glad that wasn't me. My fears of coming in dead last were unwarranted. I even finished the swim with a great time. There were a lot of people who came in after me. My training had paid off and I was feeling really good. Matt said to me on the way home that he was really impressed and that he never thought I would be doing triathlons. He said he remembered when we first started dating that I would expire pretty quickly if I had to exert any physical effort like when we went on hikes and when we went biking. I remember that and he is right. That was during my weight gaining years and I became less and less active over the years. Then he says "and now you're a beast!" haha. He makes me smile.
I'm grateful that I was able to complete this today. I'm grateful for my body and for my health, and that I was able to feel so good today despite lack of sleep. It gives me a much more positive outlook on the future.