Do I get points for tri-ing?

trigirls

(NOTE:  This is an old  (presumed lost) post from 2011, a follow up to the prior post.)

Well, after all the training, and worrying, the big event is over. We lived through another triathlon (sprint distance –I feel like I keep having to clarify that!)  In retrospect, that was FREAKING HARD!  I’m really proud of my girls, Jenn and Brandy… they totally rocked it.  I finished, and I’m really OK with that.  (BTW: This was Brandy’s first, and she had the best time! Way to go, B!)

This event should have been a cake-walk compared to that last one — way up in the steep, oxygen-free mountains of Colorado. This one was in my back yard… sort of… in Texas, anyway, where I’m perfectly happy breathing the hot, sponge-y air.  Somehow though, once again, I underestimated the hills, even though this was basically in the “Hill Country” region of Texas (near Austin).  We even drove to the race site the day before and failed to see the hills.  In our minds, the bike ride would be the soft, creamy filling between a short-ish swim, and a maybe challenging run in the warm Texas morning sun.

We also seriously underestimated the wind-factor.

The swim segment went pretty much as I expected.  I started out swimming, then panicked, and then swallowed a lot of water.  Then I swam like a frog trying desperately not to drown in a swirling toilet for the remainder of the long, long (500m) swim.

The event pictures aren’t up yet, so I have some artistic renditions.  Here’s me after the swim, in the first transition (T1 in triathlete lingo):

MeSwimT1

By the time I exited the water, Jenn and Brandy were well into the bike segment.  (They started in the group 3 minutes ahead of me).

This is how I imagined them.  They killed it, despite the demon winds.

 

BrandyJennBike 

 

Imagine my dismay, when after barely living through the swim, I rounded the first turn on the bike and found myself at the bottom of a hill!  Not quite the hellish inclines from Colorado, but still… hills. Imagine my further dismay when a big gust of wind nearly knocks me off my teetering bike as I try to figure out how gears work in the middle of the uphill climb.  Urgh.

My left hand went completely numb somewhere around Mile 3.  It hurt, but I was too terrified to take my hand off the handle-bars to shake it out. The skinny tires on the bike (I’m not really a road-bike kind of person) were scary to me, and the road was a little too bumpy.  About Mile 7 (of 14), I noticed that my crotch area felt like it had swollen ten times it’s normal size.  It hurt like a bitch, and no amount of shifting in the seat made it better.    

mebike

By this time, I figured Jenn and Brandy were about to start their run.  I was not jealous of them.  But, they rocked it.  Somehow they managed to keep moving, despite the gale-force winds…

JenBrandyRun

By the time I finished the bike segment, I hated the bike.  I wanted off the bike.  I really didn’t give a shit how fast I made it to the run segment.  Here is me going through the 2nd transition (T2):

meT2

 

Then I started the run.  In the hurricane-force winds.  Soon, I decided running was for chumps.  Or crazy people.  Or people that had eaten something more than a power bar at 4:30 am.  I had nothing left in me, and I was feeling pretty darned whiney. 

merun

I ended up walking a good part of the 3 miles.  But of course, just before the finish line, I managed to perk up for a photo-op.  How do I look?

MeFinish

 

I finished in 2:02.  Jenn was just a hair shy of her goal of 1:45 and Brandy came in just under that.   I’m amazed by those two girls.  They have something in them that I just don’t have.  But, I’m ok with that. I was just in it for the picture.  Ha!  🙂

Follow up:  The event pics are in!  And even though mine were not the most flattering (pretty typical of any pictures of me), I bought a couple only because the uncanny resemblance to my drawings totally cracked me up.  What do you think?

    

Gonna tri again

NOTE:  This is an old post – from 2011.  I thought it was lost forever, and was pretty stoked to run across a Live Writer back-up of it, so here it is.   (There is also a old follow up post to this one… coming soon!)

With (sprint distance) triathlon attempt #2 approaching at break-neck speed,  I thought it appropriate to give my first Tri attempt a brief revisit, and then light it on fire and toss it into the get-over-it-already files for good.

So, it was about a year ago that my friend Jenn and I first decided we should do a triathlon together.  Sounded like a fantastic idea, if not a sure-fire way to get super-fit and skinny (LOL!)  So, we picked a really cool one near Denver, and then found various training plans online that we tried to more or less follow.  What could possibly go wrong?

Here’s the breakdown:

SWIM.   As soon as I entered the water — in the exact second my chest touched the really cold water — my breath left my body in a big hurry, not to return for hours later.   After a few unsuccessful attempts to breathe, I decide to try to swim anyway.  Here’s where I discover that I can’t see a damn thing, even with my goggles on!  The water is choppy, and cloudy, and freaking cold. There are feet hitting me in the face.  I look around, and people are swimming with their heads out of the water!  (This is the back of the pack, mind you.)  Well guess what?  I didn’t practice swimming like that.  I immediately forget everything I thought I knew about swimming (which is not that much anyway).  Every time I put my head in the water and tried to swim the stroke,  the fact that I can’t see a thing or catch a breath completely freaks me out.  I ended up doing the backstroke, or some weird frog-style doggie paddle through most of it.  A half mile never felt so long.  The swim took me about 2 times longer than planned.  At one point, I remember being really grateful that I had the super-dorky yellow swim cap on, in case I needed to be fished out of the water.   Jenn actually circled back to find me just leaving the water after she had waited… and waited… and waited at the transition area.  As we made it back to our bikes, I thought I heard her say something like, “what in the hell is wrong with her?”  I could be wrong, though.

BIKE:  This is the easy part, right?  Save some legs for the run, right?  Did I mention this is Colorado?  Aurora, Colorado?   It’s in the MOUNTAINS.   When they say “rolling course”, or “fun, challenging hills”, they mean BIG FKING MOUNTAINS!  Holy shit!  I think there were 12 big-ass hills.  I don’t know why we didn’t expect that, but we didn’t.   (Side note:  All my training and living up to this point happens to have occurred at sea-level.  My “hill” in Houston is where the Braeswood bike trail goes underneath Stella Link.)   About half-way up the first hill, I remember saying something like “I don’t think I can do this.”   And I think I heard Jenn say something like “Don’t make me kill you”…   I could be wrong, though.

We managed all the hills,  but it was really hard.  We’d get to the top up one f-bomb inducing hill, only to get a glimpse of the next 3 bigger, nastier hills in our very near future.   My honest assessment:  that segment really @&$%#$ sucked.  About 3 hills to the end, I decided to try to save some leg muscle, and shifted into a (lower/higher/different?) gear, which was easier on my poor aching quads, but was basically as speedy as riding a stationary bike up the hill.   I lost Jenn, so she kicked my ass on this leg, too.

RUN:   Ok, this is my part.  I’m a runner, right?   Legs are shredded.  Haven’t had a decent breath in what seems like days.  I can’t find our playlist on my #@!&*$  ipod.   Here, thankfully, we kind of sucked equally, at least in the beginning.  At the first hill, we both decided that we were going to walk all hills.  There were really way more hills than necessary.   Just when we thought we were about 75 yards to the finish –- a quick trip through the transition area and then just a little further — we were instead pointed up yet another hill and around a corner (so maybe 120 yards to finish)…  and that’s when I started hyper-ventilating!  I mean, seriously wheezing and gasping for breath!  This wheezing business was all new stuff for me, and it completely scared the crap out of me, which of course made me wheeze and gasp some more.  There we both stood, finish line in sight, watching me die.  Luckily, Jenn had her asthma inhaler on her, so she hit me with a puff off that thing, and soon we were on our way again.  As we got close to the finish line, I thought I heard Jenn say something like “Outta my way, short stuff… you’re blocking my good side!”   I could be wrong, though.   (But you be the judge!)

JennFinishLine

(This is actually a picture of Jenn crossing the finish line.  If you look closely, you can see me… or at least an arm…  coming up behind.  Left in the dust! Rolling on the floor laughing )

We did have fun… but oh, it was hard!   The next one has to go better, right?