Over the weekend I was able to participate in my fifth triathlon, first since my knee surgery and first with my little family there supporting me. I don’t know what it is about doing triathlons that I love so much. The running with a group of people, then funneling into a cage of bikes to run out, bike around an area you’re not familiar with and swimming some laps knowing that you’re almost done.
The Telos T3 Triathlon has always been one of my person favorites to get me back into doing triathlons because it is a reverse triathlon (run, bike swim). Most triathletes hate swimming and just want to get it over with, but I love it. I want to burn out my legs on the run and bike, then crush it in the water with my arms and legs together.
If you had been following me on Snapchat (doingitagain) you would have seen my constant training for this moment. I had been running on the treadmill, running with my son in the BOB stroller and to be easier on my knee used the elliptical.
I have always ran a 10 minutes mile and never really been able to decrease that. This made me turn to Pinterest to find trainings so that I could increase my speed with interval training. Day after day I would get frustrated because I never felt like I was improving my speed at all.
But when the race happened and I came running in I felt like I did better. I turned out cutting four minutes off my time…as in, instead of doing the 5K in 30 minutes it only took me 26 minutes. I couldn’t have been happier with my time there.
Since I don’t own my own bike I rented one, which was great because I didn’t have to worry about getting it down there and taking it back home. But by renting a bike I didn’t have them really fit it to me. I should have ridden it around the parking lot a bit before the race because my seat was too low, but I managed. Also, I have biking shoes that can clip into pedals, but the rental bike didn’t have clip in pedals. If you have never ridden a bike with pedals that clip in, there is a huge difference in power and exertion. You are able to pull up and push down on the pedal not using as much energy but getting a lot more speed.
I had done this triathlon before and had trained to to a steep hill twice. It’s not a long climb, but it is short and steep. I knew I would be able to do this twice, but when I got to the race I learned that they had to switch around the bike course and would be doing three laps and this time the hill wasn’t as steep, but it was a longer climb. I just had to think about all those spinning classes and the times I was imagining that climb I had ahead of me. I knew I was going to get over this hill and the best part was every time I got to the top, my cute little family was there cheering me on.
I hung my bike up, grabbed my goggles and ran to the pool for my seven 50 meter laps. These were going to be cake! For most triathletes they hate the swim, but not me. It’s my favorite and I was ready to start making up all the time I lost on the biking.
As I was running to the pool I opened up my iPod case that are attached to my goggles and saw that my iPod had been on since the last time I used it. NO! Please don’t be dead! I jumped in the water, put on my goggles and when I put in my earplug I instantly heard, “Low battery.” I knew I had enough battery to get me through these simple laps.
I just swam as hard as I could being that I am sharing a lane with all the other racers, but fortunately was able to pass at least three or four when I finally reached the final lap. All I kept thinking as I was going was this is it! All you have to do is finish this last lap and you are done. I swam hard and fast until I hit the wall, jumped out and ran across that final time counter.
As they took off my chip I felt like I had really done a good job. I was proud of all the hard work I had put into this and thought about all the time and early mornings I did just to get to this moment. Yeah it was only a sprint triathlon, but I remember when I had torn my ACL thinking I would never get to do this again. I wasn’t going to let that stop me. It’s like Marty says in Back to the Future, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”
I bet your wondering how I did? Well, I got 5th in my age division (30-34), 47th male and 57th overall. I definitely see places that I could have done better, but love being able to look at my numbers and be proud that I finished.
What I loved most about this whole process what the support of my family all along the way. The early morning workouts so that I wouldn’t miss out on spending quality time with them. The fun runs with the BOB and my son laughing and looking up at me cheering me to keep going; faster and faster. And ending it all with their support at the end of the race to cheer for me no matter what my finishing time was.