Remember when I posted about training for triathlon? And I talked about how much I really hated it? Wellll I did it! I have now completed that triathlon (instead of Nadine, I would now like to be referred to as Triathlete) and I feel so accomplished. You know that feeling you get when you set your mind to something and then you complete it? I had a similar feeling when I graduated college. I’m kind of a quitter at most things, so I don’t get this feeling all that often. Okay, I’m not so much a quitter, as I am a not-start-it-in-the-first-placer.
The triathlon is example number one. I had thought about doing it for the last five years, and this was the first year I signed up. And I didn’t quit, I completed it, in 2 hours and 17 minutes. Which may sound like a huge accomplishment, but it’s actually kind of slow in comparison to others. But I hate comparing myself to others, and I’m not competitive, so I am going to bask in the glory of completing a triathlon, and not worry about anything else.
So now let’s just do a quick rundown of the the 24 hours that was the triathlon:
9:00pm- Already laying in bed since I set my alarm for 5:00am to get to the race by 5:30. P.S. How did I not know that races required such an early check-in time? We had to get all situated from 5:30am-7:30am, race started at 8am, but they highly suggested being ther by 5:30am to avoid long lines.
11:00pm-Still wide awake. Tossing and turning, and thinking, if I fall asleep now, I will get 6 hours of sleep.
12:00am- Gave up on trying to sleep, flip on netflix and hope for the best.
12:58am- The last time I glanced at my clock, so I’m thinking I fell asleep around 1.
5:00am- alarm goes off, silently, and does not wake me up.
5:38am- I roll over in bed, wondering how much longer I can sleep–OH SHIT, I was already suppose to be at the race! I spring out of bed, and got ready at lightning speed, luckily I packed the night before. Talk about fucking adrenaline. I can’t tell you the last time I overslept.
6:00am- I wrestled my bike into the car, and off I went.
6:20am- I find a parking spot, and saunter my way through the park, and over to the race. I walk with another girl who felt exactly the way I did- I don’t care about my race time, I just want to finish.
6:40am- I drop off my bike in the transition area, and get in line to be painted on. They use a permanent marker to mark you with your race number, as well as your age, and wave number.
7:00am- Eat a Clif bar, and finish setting up my things in the transition area. After you get out of the water, you run back to your transition area, and try to get dressed and on your bike as fast as possible. The very serious racers set up their socks in their tennis shoes so it makes for a shorter transition time.
7:45am- The national anthem is sung, and they give a brief welcome announcement.
8:00am- The horn is fired and the elite athletes begin! I was in wave 6 or 8 (I can’t remember anymore), which I am really thankful for because I had so many nerves, I wouldn’t have had the patience to wait any longer to get in the water!
8:12am- Run into the water, and begin to swim along with the crowd.
8:13am- Already feeling so overwhelmed, not because of the physical act of swimming but becasue of how many people are swimming around me. People warned me that swimming with others was challenging but I was not prepared. I didn’t even feel like I could properly swim because so many people were around me. I got kicked, grabbed, and splashed so many times. I swam with my head above water, so I got water splashed in my nose and mouth the whole time. It felt like we were filming a scene in the Titanic! The hardest part of the swimming was calming myself down so that I didn’t have a panic attack.
8:28am- My feet hit sand and I make my way out of the water. When you exit the water there are a ton of people standing there cheering for you. Most people run from the water to the transition area, so the cheering helps amp you up. I walked instead, because I was just trying to calm myself down!
8:29am- I reach my transition area, I take off my swim suit top (I wore my sports bra in the water, underneath my swim suit top), and throw on my gym shirt. Then I try to dry off my legs as much as possible so that I can get my long, stretchy gym pants on. I put them on over my swim suit bottoms, then I untied my bottoms and tried to slip them off. This was not easy, and I looked ridiculous, but I knew I didn’t want to ride and run with wet swim suit bottoms.
8:38am- I grab a handful of gummy bears (for energy), strap on my helmet, and set out out for the bike ride. This was the part of the race I was most looking forward to. I really enjoy biking, however I found out that biking for pleasure and biking in a race are two different things.
8:58am- I am already sick of being on my bike. There were more hills than I thought there would be, and I was getting passed left and right! My bike is not a road bike, it has big tires, so to build up any kind of speed I really had to work my legs. The only good part of getting passed was how many people cheer you on! A lot of people would pass me and give such sweet words of encouragement. “You’re doing so awesome, keep going!”
9:40am- My bike ride is over, and I’ve never been so happy to get off my damn bike! I station my bike back in the transition area, grab more gummy bears and set out for the run.
9:41am- Holy moly do my legs feel heavy. Leading up to the triathlon I had done a ton of practice transitioning between biking and running, but during the actual race my legs felt so heavy, and sore. I walked for most of the first mile. And I didn’t feel any sort of shame or embarrassment. Lots of the women were taking walk breaks! The rest of the time I did a mix of walking and running.
10:18am- I can see and hear the finish line, but it was still a ways out. I was walking, and a lady looked at me from the sidelines and said “you can do this, you can run to that finish line!” And that’s exactly what I did. I sprinted to the finish line with joy!
10:21am- I cross the finish line and a huge wave of accomplishment washes over me! The announcer says: “Congratulations Nadine, now you never have to run again–wait a minute, that’s not right, you should want to run again!” When you register for the race they ask what you want them to say at the finish line, and I listed ‘you never have to run again,’ and I really meant it.
10:22am- I find my friend, who finished long before I did. We make our way to the food stations, and then just sit in the grass, basking in the glory of finishing a race.
10:30am- I grab all my stuff and head home. This photo looks terrible; bad lighting, bad exposure, I look disheveled, but I don’t care, because I earned this picture!
11:00am- I get home and have no idea what to do with myself. I want to shower, but I also just want to sit down. I also want to celebrate, but know that I should stretch and foam roll so that I’m not deathly sore.
11:30am- I’ve showered, I’ve sat, and now I’m ready to meet my friends for brunch. But how do I get there? I don’t want to drive since I know that I will be having a drink with breakfast, so I could uber, but I’m kinda cheap and would rather spend that money on a drink! But do I really want to bike, my legs are already sore? Well the thrifty side of me won out, and I decided to bike. It actually wasn’t bad. I live less than a mile from the place, and I just rode super slow. Since my race numbers were written on with permanent marker, I couldn’t fully scrub the off, so I spent the rest of the day looking like a weirdo with big black numbers on me!
12:30pm- Eating from a brunch buffet, washing it down with bottomless mimosas at Coup d’Etat in Uptown Minneapolis.
3:00pm- Lost count of how many mimosas I’ve had, but so blissfully happy and truly just enjoying the day. I’m not one to partake in Sunday funday, but just getting to hang out with friends, drink, and enjoy the sunlight without any sort of schedule felt so incredible.
3:30pm- Moved the Sunday funday to Muddy Waters and enjoyed more food, drink and company!
9:00pm- I finally biked home, and I am tucked into bed. I am exhausted, but so fulfilled.
And there you have it! My experience with a triathlon, probably more boozing than most people!
A lot of people ask me if I would do it again, and I really don’t know. Maybe? Training was awful, I just hate running. And I only half-assed trained, so I can’t imagine how much I would hate real training.
But I loved race day. The energy, the encouragement, the accomplishment. So at this time, I am not sold on signing up, although it’s nice to know I can complete the race with only minimal training. But if I lost more weight, I think it’d be interesting to see if I had any time differences, kinda compete against myself. Or if a friend wanted to sign up, then maybe I would. Who knows, maybe this time next year I will be writing a post on completing my second triathlon, or maybe I will be writing a post on how to train to complete a successful Sunday funday! Because that’s the training I’d like to do!