Are you kidding me? A triathlon and I have never belonged in the same sentence. It must have been time for something new! (The "BEFORE" race shot, with goggles and swim cap in hand.)What an unforgettable week this was! I actually DID enter my first triathlon, with the goal of simply finishing it. Take note of the emphasis on the word FIRST, because I loved it so much, that you can guarantee that there will be more. It was a blast. Seriously. My friends Lorraine and Robin had trained and signed up to do the event, which was two days ago, on Saturday. Three days beforehand, I heard about it and basically had a spontaneous urge to join them, so I registered. The only partial preparation ahead of time that I had been doing was cycling in the neighborhood here and there on my mountain bike with some other friends. And doing some micro-laps in our backyard pool. Our friend, Dave, was also there. The three of us women appreciated Dave's encouragement and support, as he's a seasoned triathlete with a wealth of knowledge and tips to share. The four of us had such an awesome morning together, and I cannot fully express what a huge thrill it was to experience this triathlon. We started off with a 400-meter swim, followed by a 13.5-mile bike ride, then a 3.3-mile run. My emotions were so high on the last leg, that as I was running/fast walking the last mile and a half to the finish line, one elderly woman peered over her fence on crutches, shouting out a cheer of encouragement to me, and I was struck with an overpowering surge of gratitude that I had chosen to take this exciting journey, not really knowing what to expect. Seriously, my heart was bursting with joy, thinking of the many things that I am thankful for--to be able to walk, to run, and to not have plantar fasciitis, in either heel, as I have had in the past on multiple occasions, to not be suffering much from the stress fracture in my left foot that has never completely healed, to live in Austin where the weather is so mild and beautiful to be able to jump into the Guadalupe River and not feel even the slightest chill, to have been able to purchase a tripped out, rockin' 2009 Fuji road bike the day prior, and feeling the resistance of the wind against my face as I had zipped past the orange plastic cones while police officers and volunteers assisted in the race. I wiped a few tears from my eyes, being so happy to be in that moment. You'd never know that I was the very last person to be finishing the race, but it really didn't matter to me. I was thrilled with what I was doing and knew that the next triathlon I will sign up for, I'll do even better. Below is a self-portrait photo of my marked legs, with my entry number of 172, relaxing in the tube, as numerous door prizes were being distributed, and everyone anticipated the race results.
Here are a few shots of the small venue beforehand, with about 200 registered participants.
As it turned out, Lorraine finished first in our age division of 45 to 49, and I finished third, and we both got medals. Dave got 2nd in his 35 to 39 range, and Robin finished 6th out of eight in her age group, 50 to 55. The little chip timers strapped around our ankles stayed with us the entire race, with our ages inked in black Sharpies on the backs of our right legs. Our race number was on each of our thighs, both arms, and on one hand. Our bikes were labeled once with our race number as well.