Sunday, August 8, 2010
First Triathlon! Super Sprint in Manassas, VA
Yes, I completed my first triathlon. No, I do not consider myself a triathlete by any means. I was pretty nervous the night before but thankfully had my friend Laura to distract me on the drive out to Manassas and to help me get set up in the transition area. I also befriended the participants behind me (shoutout to #373-375: Roger, Ardemis and Pat!). I struggled in the swim and had to switch from a freestyle to backstroke to finish (but hey, I finished!). I fell so behind that I rushed through my transitions - no rest for the weary! When I first came out of the pool to my bike, I felt pretty disoriented and underestimated how sunny it would be. Fatigue, heat...overall discomfort started to plague my ride. Thankfully my zen moment came on the bike about 6 miles into the course. I was riding down a long straight, the sun beating down on me, my legs getting tired but pushing through the fatigue...so I took a deep breath and realized, "oh my God, I'm really doing this." I relaxed a little, my legs still spinning, but looked around at the grass and buildings around me on the GMU campus and focused on the sounds of the birds and insects with no one directly ahead of me or behind me...and just enjoyed the ride.
I've been pretty disciplined with my 5 am Pacers fun runs and swimming on an almost daily basis. Training has given me something to focus on that also makes me feel good and look great - I've lost 10 lbs! The past month and a half has been really hard for me emotionally and everyone keeps saying how things will get better with time. Unfortunately time has been moving like molasses but the training has been a great way to pass some of it. Today the training took on a new meaning as more than just a time-killer. As I struggled to keep my energy up on the bike and get my legs loose again on the run, I focused on the finish...I looked forward to the moment I could say "I've done it, my first triathlon." It didn't matter how short the distances, I just wanted that sense of accomplishment. Finally at the finish line, I breathed a sigh of relief and relished the moment.
I'll never forget that moment on the bike. Running races and triathlons are the epitome of individual sports which I always thought as isolating but in that one moment whizzing past the scenery and in my own zone, I realized, "it's all you, Kath. You've got this. You're gonna be ok." For the race. And in life.