Saturday, June 13, 2015

Our First Triathlon | Cooperstown Triathlon

There's a moment, after every race, when you stop to think, "I did it."

I remember having it back in November for the first time. It was a I-just-ran-an-entire-5k moment. This past May, it was an I'm-a-triathlete moment. It was followed shortly by the thought, "Holy crap, I can't wait to do it again."

I think I may have had a stroke in between those thoughts. Because, I mean, what normal person thinks like that? Clearly not these ones. It must've been the bananas and cookies they give you after.

All the training that we did. The swims, the physical therapy, the indoor and outdoor cycling. It led us to this moment. Surrounded by fantastic people who all support one another; accompanied by personal cheering sections.

The Cooperstown course was an 800 yard swim, an 18.85 mile bike ride, and a 3.3 mile run course. Which made for a long sprint for our first triathlon. But we finished together and I'm really glad Ryan waited for me during each transition. Poor guy.

The swim, which I anticipated would be okay, was the part where I struggled the most. During our training, I was always really great with pacing, breathed consistently, and was always a length or two ahead of Ryan. The only thing I thought would get in my way would be weeds in the lake. Take a wild guess at what I got hung up on...

For whatever reason, I have this fear that the weeds are going to wrap around my leg and drag me under. Or, you never know, there could be some Harry Potter merpeople hanging out in them.

Once I hit those weeds, I started freaking out. I completely lost form and my breathing rhythm. It was awful. I tried to calm down and went to the backstroke so I wouldn't have to see the weeds. Once I made it past them, I tried to switch back to the front crawl but couldn't calm down enough to find a breathing rhythm. I ended up doing most of the swim with the back stroke. It was really disappointing.

This next one I'm determined to do better. It's funny, how afterwards you realize how ridiculous you are, but in the moment you can't seem to reason with yourself.

Ryan waited in transition for nine minutes before I got out of the freaking water.

I dragged my ass when I started the bike, trying to calm down from the freaking swim. Once I did get back into it, I averaged a 14.3 mph pace. It wasn't the fastest but I was pretty happy with it. Ryan only waited four minutes for me in that transition.

We ran the two loop course together. I swear, he is my biggest supporter. By the end of the race I was so done with it. The run course started with a little run through the Glimmerglass State Park then up to the largest hill I've ever seen. The first time I walked it. The second time (because of course the loop included it) I ran up two thirds of it. You have to celebrate the little things, okay?

We averaged a really slow 12:41 pace. But we finished together.

When you get close to the finish line, this smile creeps on your face. It's unlike any other. It's one that shows how happy you are, how accomplished you feel, how proud you are.

Then comes that moment. The I-did-it moment. Then if you're crazy, the I-can't-wait-to-do-it-again moment. So here's to the next one. And to competing in the Cooperstown one next year. I. CAN'T. WAIT.

Dude! I'm totally a triathlete now! Like for reals...

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