Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Woman of Steel Triathlon

So...for "FUN" Jennie and I decided that we would do a Triathlon together in 2009. The result: The Women of Steel Triathlon in American Fork, UT. After 4 months of training, I woke up early on May 16th and tried to eat a healthy, protein-packed breakfast to fuel me for the race. I was so nervous that I only ate a half of a peanut butter and banana sandwich and a glass of water before heading out the door.

We got to the the race early and set up our transition areas. Then we got our bodies marked with our age on our calves and our bib number on our arms. After that I spent the next hour in and out of the bathroom trying to "calm my nerves". If you've raced before, you know what that means! :)

Soon the time came and I we lined up for the swim. With 600 contestants, it took over a half hour before I even got my turn in the pool, and let me tell you...it was the craziest 8 minutes and 31 seconds that I've ever experienced in a pool!

I jumped in 12 seconds after the person in front of me and started to swim. After about 3 strokes I ran headfirst into the legs of a 52 year old woman. (I know this because our legs were marked with our age). I quickly tried to pass her on the right only to find that there was already someone there passing between the lady and the on-coming swimmers in the same lane. Unfortunately, they were evenly matched and I was faster than them both so I spent about 2 minutes getting my faced kicked behind them before we all reached the wall at the same time and I quickly kicked past them.

Finally I felt like I had space in the pool and I started to swim hard to make up for lost time, when all of the sudden another lady behind me grabbed my leg and yanked me backwards whilst propelling herself forward! Quite the strategy! Too bad for her, she panicked when she got past me and had to stand up in the pool. I passed her...again...and swam my last lap to the wall. I popped my head out to make sure I was in the right place just in time to have my butt grabbed and hoisted out of the pool by a NEW lady who had crept up behind me! Wow! I nearly fell out of my swimsuit in front of EVERYONE! exciting times!

After picking myself off the cement I started running to the transition area. I was more tired than I thought I would be and was shaking pretty hard. I dabbed myself dry and started getting dressed for the bike ride and everything seemed to be going well until I tried to pull my shorts on. I had stuffed a big Maxi pad in them earlier to create padding to protect me from the bike seat and it didn't seem to want to stick any more. There were tons of people staring over the fence at me while I pulled my shorts on and off 3 times only to find that the pad had popped out each time and adhered to some part of my leg or shirt. I finally gave up, ripped it out, and decided to bike without padding!

The first part of the 13 mile bike course had two horrible hills on it. One small one to trick you and then a huge one to kill you. I made it up both with burning legs and then picked up speed on the flat part. Soon came the downhill and I peddled the whole way down, matching the speed of the cars on the road! At the bottom of the hill I turned the corner and then!!! Started up the evil hills for the 2ND time! This time was rough. Almost all the bikers were walking and my legs were shaking so bad that I almost got off and walked as well. I felt like it would have been faster. But then this super buff Lance Armstrong lady sped past me and yelled "You go girl! You're working this hill!" HAHAHAH! She was the one working it but that's all I needed to keep pushing. I made it up and then down again and started back to the transition area again after 55 minutes and 19 seconds on the bike.

When I got into the dismount space and went to jump off my bike I found out that I couldn't lift my leg any more. I biffed it in front of everyone and lamely tried to use my hands to pull my leg over my bike so I could officially dismount. Then some dude yells "Yeah! Run to the transition area. You got this!" ...hmmmm...nope....no running...can't feel my legs...bad idea...

Needless to say, when I dropped off my bike and started the running portion, I was NOT running! The course took us right back up the same horrible bike hills and I decided to walk the whole way up! Then this lady who was walking with me said "K. We're gonna start running at the second hill and when we get to the stop sign at the top of the hill we're gonna cheer for ourselves!" She was crazy but I listened and when I reached the top I cheered! Then we walked the flat part for some recovery since we were planning to run the whole second half of the course. When we got to that point, my friend cramped up and though I wanted to wait for her she told me to run as fast as I could to the finish...So I did. I walked/ran the 3 mile course in 37 minutes and 34 seconds. Not bad for walking half!

So here are my finishing stats:

Estimated Swim: 8 minutes 30 seconds. Actual Swim: 8 minutes 31 seconds
Estimated Transition One: 5 minutes. Actual Transition One: 4 minutes 52 seconds
Estimated Bike Time: 1 hour 15 minutes. Actual Bike Time: 55 minutes 19 seconds
Estimated Transition Two: 5 minutes. Actual Transition Two: 1 minute 21 seconds
Estimated Run: 40 minutes Actual Run: 37 minutes 34 seconds

Final Finishing Time:1 hour 47 minutes 39 seconds! Yeah. I ROCK!