Sunday, August 16, 2015

Highlights from Luray International Triathlon

Yes, it's true... I have completed my first true triathlon, with swim!!

The Luray International (Olympic distance) Triathlon was yesterday morning. I'll write a more in depth post later, but wanted to jot down a few highlights while they're fresh in my mind.

1. A few of us camped by the lake the night before the race. There are advantages and disadvantages to camping...

On the plus side, we didn't have to get up until 6am, because transition was actually only a couple hundred feet from our tent. We got to watch the sun go down over the lake...

Lake Arrowhead, Luray Int'l Triathlon
On the down side, sleeping on the ground can sometimes leave you with a stiff back, no matter how cushy your thermarest might feel when you first stretch out on it. Also, the cows just wouldn't shut up.

2. Doing scary things is always better with friends. I was far less well prepared for this triathlon than I was for Philadelphia 6 weeks ago. Primarily in the swimming department. Also, I had had the barfs for two days earlier in the week and was perhaps not yet fully recovered. So, I was pretty nervous. Even though this was not officially a Team in Training event, we had a great team turn out, including Coach Nancy and her assistance dog in training, Kirby... who has been our unofficial mascot all season.

3. The swim was really hard. Starting with knee high weeds as we waded out into the lake to line up for our wave start. I was ready to turn around right then and there and call my race over. Thankfully, I had a teammate in my wave, and she just kept talking to me, so I stayed. I got run over several times by other swimmers. I drank a lot of the lake, and started to panic... so, I rolled onto my back and just kicked for a while, until I regained my composure. Not quite the last person out of the lake, but not too many people behind me.

4. We didn't really train for getting out of the pool and starting to ride. Took the first 5 miles or so to stop feeling nauseous and start feeling like my legs where doing what I wanted them to do.

5. I remembered not drinking enough on the bike in Philly.... and how rough my run was because of that. So I drank every drop I had on the bike, plus more in transition. It's hilly in Luray, and not a lot of shade.... Could have happily been done when the ride was complete!

6. Having run so many marathons, I KNOW that I can run even when I'm exhausted. It may not be fast, it may not be pretty... but I can do it. So, even though I was very tired... I went into the run feeling confident that I was going to complete the event. Unlike 3 hours earlier when I started the swim...

7. I am a bona fide triathlete!! I've got no medal to prove it (because they ran out of medals), but I've got a tiny bright yellow Luray International Triathlon towel that says I did.... And more importantly, I have the inner knowledge and satisfaction of setting a goal and completing it.

I don't know yet if I will ever be motivated enough to do another season of triathlon training (my dogs felt neglected, my gardens over grown, my house a mess, and I never saw my husband)... but I can honestly say "I did it!!!"