|Swimming in Lake Monona|
|Yes, all those "splashes" are people! I'm somewhere in the mayhem.|
|Mom & Dad waiting for me to finish biking|
I didn't panic at all, not once. This is HUGE for me. I've panicked in the swim in every single triathlon I've ever done, regardless of my training. In reality, I was a better swimmer (not necessarily faster!) than a lot of the athletes. So, I got stubborn & wasn't going to let them scare me (or hit me or drowned me, as in my nightmares!). I concentrated on my breathing and every few strokes, looked up for the buoy. I was touched and swum over and was able to keep cool. The course was a huge rectangle (1 loop), so the backside, farthest from the shore, was a mile and seemed long. People afterward mentioned a current against us, but I couldn't really tell, it just seemed long.
I think just about the entire race passed me on my bike! Really. I didn't think I was that slow, but I guess I am! I didn't let it bother me though, I just wanted to finish, I knew if I started "racing," it was going to be a long day. I didn't quite keep to my nutrition plan, but I did eat and drink (maybe too much, see below), knowing I had to fuel for the bike and the run. I was able to stay positive and in-the-moment during the bike. Towards the end, it did get a little long and I just wanted to be done. The course was hilly, but really beautiful. There was a headwind, which did get tiresome, and I think took a wear on me mentally and physically. I just tried to keep positive and concentrate on the next turn where I'd get out of the wind.
Until about mile 16, I felt pretty good on the run. I ran slowly and walked through the aid stations. Miles 11-16 felt really good; I felt I was getting into a rhythm. Then I started to get stomach cramps and had to use several (seemed like every one) porta potties. I walked at least 4 miles. I couldn't keep anything in me at this point and was feeling a little light headed. But, I still knew I'd finish. I just really couldn't wait to finish by this point. I'm not sure if I overate during the bike or I under-ate during all of my training rides...Or, if I just cannot do solid food in events like this. If I do another, I might try liquid nutrition.
|Still feeling pretty good here.|
Overall, I was able to stay positive and kept telling myself I can do this. It really helped me to have my family there, though I felt badly they had to wait so long for me to finish. But, I just kept reminding myself how lucky I was to be there and my family there with me. I was able (physically, financially) to participate, and I would get through it.
|Finish line in the daylight|
After the race, I headed to MN for some R&R. And I did nothing! It was so nice to see friends & family and take some time to regroup.
During training, I told myself I wouldn't do another race like this...I think I've started to rethink that...though I haven't signed up for anything just yet!