Pittsburgh Triathlon – done and done!

I did it!!!!

It.was.incredibly.hard.

Now, almost a week later, I still don’t know how I feel about it. Maybe it is just the letdown of the race being over. People keep asking me if I’d do it again. Ask me in a few weeks.

*Added on 8.6.12* I attended the expo on Friday night, excitement was in the air. I attended the new racers meeting and at first there was just about 50 people crowded around the person speaking and then towards the end it was probably 100. I couldn’t hear a thing. It was really sad. I was so disappointed and felt like I was missing some really key stuff. I was getting irritated, the guy just kept on talking and was clueless to the problem. And all of this right in front of a massive stage that had a speaker system (apparently not set up yet). Once the system got plugged in and he jumpe don the mic, he was down to the USAT rules, which I had already read. So, slightly disappointing. For big events, people should really get the sound system up and running before anything else.

Pre-Race
I tried to keep my nerves down all morning, just visualized myself doing each part, not rushing, just slowly getting through it. I thought there would be at least one of three events that would feel easier than any of the other, that was NOT the case.

Pre-race blood sugar check. I ran my sugars a bit high so that I didn’t have to worry about bottoming out on the course and it worked. Didn’t have any problems on the course!

Getting my transition site all ready. Bike gear and then running gear. I even had a text written and ready to go so that my family knew when I was about to run. I didn’t know if they’d find me mid race, so I had to be ready.

Swimming

Walking to the swim start.

Part of my fan club

More of the fan club

It was a beautiful morning. Perfect.

Lindy’s sign “don’t go here momma.” Translation of the picture: Don’t go to the hospital.

I was super nervous about getting kicked and people swimming over the top of me…I had heard horror stories. It wasn’t THAT bad actually. When we first started, I just tried to find a path in front of me. I’d hit someone’s foot in the water (which was creepy because you couldn’t see anything) and I’d slow down and try to swim in another direction. It got tiring always having to look up to see what was going on, glad I trained well for it. Lap swimming just doesn’t compare.

The first part of the swim was difficult and I couldn’t figure out why. I kept telling myself that I could do this and then a minute later, I was telling myself I couldn’t. It was mentally rough. I felt like I had no lung capacity and it was hard because I probably swam 20 miles throughout my training. Come to find out, I forgot about the current and it was BAD that morning. There were 3 buoys, looked like one big rectangle, going against the current took a LONG time to get to the first buoy.

Pictured above, fourth from the right. Once I got to the first buoy, I was able to speed up and didn’t feel like i was going to die. The current helped dramatically.

I felt really good AFTER the swim. I completed the 1 mile swim in 34 minutes.

Running to my bike transition.

Biking
The best way to describe the 26 mile bike ride was – lonely. I was the 4th from the last person to finish the biking portion, so on my second lap, I was out on the highway all by myself. The bike course was hard because it was a very gradual incline for 6 miles up, then the nice part was traveling down the hill. I got up to 33 miles per hour and couldn’t go any faster. I had to do 2 laps of that. The second lap was sad. I was soo sooo slow. Like 6 miles per hour slow. Then about mile 18, I ran over a big bump and lost ALL of my food. Luckily I had already eaten a granola bar. Again mentally though, I was worried I’d tank in the middle of the HOV lanes.

While I was biking, my fan club was busy getting 2 tickets, $190 worth of parking tickets by a jerk cop. As you can see, the signs clearly state no parking from July 20th – the 25th but of course the date was the 29th, so they thought it wouldn’t be a problem. Ya right. Dale tried to tell the cop he was being unreasonable because of the sign and the cop went OFF on him telling Dale that “he could do whatever he wanted to do.” So glad my husband didn’t get arrested.

Running
Running the 6.2 miles could have been lonely, being the LAST one to finish, but my wonderful sister Liz and her husband Kavan got their exercise and ran with me!!! What a lifesaver. Totally against the rules, but I figured, heck. I am not in this to win it.

We dedicated each mile to someone and then they talked my ears off so that I was distracted.

Dale hopped on his bike with the trailer and followed us, stopping every now and then so the girls could run too. Grandma was with a napping Ruby somewhere in the middle of the route.

Every once in a while, the girls would get out of the trailer and hand me my gatorade. It was really cute AND painful. Lindy wanted to hold my hand and run with me but I couldn’t resist.

Almost to the finish.

Once I finished, I was told to head up to the awards ceremony. I had PLACED third in my category!!

Ha. Somewhat of a joke, but still awesome that I got to go up. I call it the fat girl category. :) Anyone over 150lbs (and proud of it maybe?) was in the Athenos category. I could have taken another hour to finish and still would have finished third. I don’t know if there were only 3 of us heavier girls or we were the only ones that finished but I’ll TAKE it.

4 hours and 2 minutes. Wish I would have known about the 2 minutes -I probably could have scraped that up somewhere and gotten it under 4 hours. So so close.

We did it! And I say we because it really did take a team of people to get me to that point. All the working out that I did, the hours in the gym. So proud of my family and the support that they were to me on such a special day.

So, if I CAN do a triathlon, being a diabetic AND 50lbs overweight…YOU can too!

I don’t know if I’ll do another one. Right now, I’m just content with finishing this one. I WILL have to find another goal to keep me exercising. As of today, I didn’t lose ONE pound after training for a triathlon for 7 months. My body just wants to hold onto its 180lbs. Crazy. Crazy. It would be easy for me to just say “HECK, I’m not losing weight and working really hard. I’d rather just sit on the couch if it doesn’t make a difference.” I could go there easily but hoping to continue exercising because we all know it is doing good on the inside – at least.

Thanks for all of your encouragement -I received numerous texts and calls and messages on facebook.

Couch to Triathlon – done and done.



 

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