Yesterday I mentioned how proud and inspired I was by Jill finishing her 1st event after going through everything she did. Well, as a follow-up, here's her race report. This is why I LOVE coaching:
"The training was tough - the toughest thing about training for a triathlon is fitting everything in. There's not enough days in the week to learn 3 different sports, gain endurance in each of them and do them well enough to complete a race in all three. I realize now the challenge of multisport events, even if it's a short distance event. I would like to do another event, but I don't see myself doing this type of event on a regular basis. And I won't sign up for another one until I get the swimming figured
During the last month of training for the Austin race, I put everything I had into it, since I had lost so much training time this season. I basically burned out on it. So, when I went to the Austin race, I was really ready for it to be over and to have some of my life back. When the race was cancelled, it wasn't over. However, my mind had already prepared for it. I never really did get back into training (in my head). I didn't have the same level of commitment to the event and as a result, I lost some ground, particularly in the swimming.
In addition, I have been feeling extremely fatigued the last couple of months and mentally drained. This was probably from a combination of things - the injuries, illnesses, etc. I've had to overcome this year, the intensity of my training during the training time I was able to fit in (always playing catch-up, so I was probably pushing too hard), and the stress at work the last couple of months. Driving to the race, I felt so exhausted, I wasn't sure I would be able to muster enough energy to complete the race. No matter how much rest I try to get, I can't seem to get rid of the this feeling of complete exhaustion.
Despite my fatigue, I was determined to get this over once and for all. For those of you that don't know this about me, I am not an exercise fanatic. I am not one of those people that enjoys exercising. I am a junk food junkie and couch potato at heart. I was the type of person that when people talked about healthy food, etc., I always thought to myself, "I'd rather enjoy myself and die a little earlier than work hard at eating right and exercising and end up getting killed in a car wreck or something anyway, Everybody dies of something." About a year and a half ago, I decided that I would change my lifestyle by exercising regularly and making healthier eating choices. The reason I decided to change was not a newfound fear of dying of some horrible disease - it was actually a fear that I wouldn't die and would have to live in a body that I had not taken care of. I've been watching my mom live a life that I don't want to live when I am her age (early 70's) - with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, a breast cancer survivor, etc. I am not afraid of dying - I don't have children, so there is really no one relying on me for support (except my dog), but what if I don't die.
Then I have to live a life that's restricted by what my body can tolerate; I see too many older people with too many health problems that limit their activities.
So, I'm getting everything ready for my first triathlon, checking in, getting bodymarked, setting up my transition area, putting numbers on bike, helmet, and race belt. So, now I'm ready. I head down to the beach to get ready for the athlete's meeting. I wait for my wave to start and off I go. I can do this, but then the nerves kick in and I'm actually in the water and just like 80% of the time I spend in the water, even when my face isn't in the water, I feel like I'm suffocating. I'm gasping for air - if I'm
gasping for air without my head in the water, how do I put my head in the water? I couldn't do it. So, I just move my arms and legs the best I can and I keep moving them, going nowhere. Several times they life guards corrected me moving in the wrong direction. I was all over the place. I was probably swimming in circles - I don't even know - my mind was definitely not in the right place. But eventually, I did make it out of the water, with much patience and help from the lifeguards. Got tangled in the
buoy on the way by, but he got me out of that too.
Then for the walk to the transition area - what a walk. I was beating myself up, but at the same time preparing for a decent transition so I could salvage something from the race. I stopped and rinsed off at the shower (obviously, I wasn't racing for time) and headed in. I felt pretty good about the transition - I didn't hurry or feel rushed - I just tried to focus on getting through it smoothly and onto the bike. But I didn't see where I was supposed to go. There were people and cones lined up where I thought I
was supposed to go, so I asked the policeman and he pointed me through the people and the cones and off I went. I pedaled smoothly and quickly in an easy gear, just spinning like the coaches taught us, for several minutes. As I passed TNT's going the other way, I cheered, "Go Team!" and that made the time pass. Soon I saw the 4 mile mark - almost halfway. Then came the turnaround - one nice thing about being last is that you get a police escort - there was a police escort trailing me nearly the entire bike portion. But after the turnaround, it was just me, no one going the other way to cheer. At the 7 mile mark, I was starting to drag and a few minutes later, Pt. Williams pulled his motorcycle up beside me and pointed ahead in the distance. He said, "You see that bike up there (I could barely see a bike in the distance) - you can catch them." As I looked at him like he was crazy, he smiled and nodded toward the cyclist in the distance. I found some energy from somewhere deep inside and started pedaling faster. I hit a couple more gears and before I knew it I was passing the cyclist and cheering her on as I passed. Before I knew it, I was pulling back into the transition area.
I changed my shoes and hat and put my race belt on - another smooth transition. I'm sure I didn't set any time records in transition, but given that I wasn't racing for time, I was just hoping for smooth. I started out on the run and my calves were still stiff from the swim (still are), but I started out slow, or so I thought. When I looked down at my Garmin, I realized I was going too fast. I knew I would never finish well if I kept running that fast. So, I tried to pace myself better. I passed a few people, cheering
them, cheering the people coming toward me, cheering everyone on. It made the time pass. Slow and steady through the water stop, the turnaround, back through the water stop and I was down to the last mile, but no one to cheer on. I was getting tired and really hot. My heart rate was higher than it should have been. But I came across the finish line fairly strong and finally I was a triathlete!
So, this is my story."