Friday, July 9, 2010

The Napoleon Triathlon Challenge...
My First Triathlon!
Wow it's been a long 11 months leading up to this one event! A long 11 months of workouts....some twice or even three times a day!....A long 11 months of sore muscles....A long 11 months of questioning myself....And now it's here and over with! I can say that I've learned a tremendous amount of things about myself...big and small.....and those 11 months have made me a stronger better person than I have ever been!
I spent the week leading up to the tri wondering what on earth was wrong with me....I wasn't nervous...I was sleeping....SOOOOO unlike me! I'm a total worrier...always have been....I must say that I come by that one quite naturally....I am my grandmother's granddaughter through and through! I finally decided that I must not be worrying because I was totally ready for this...I had put in alot of training hours and I could do this.....
Huh WELL......then I drove the course.....stupidly the day before....I know I should have done it before....I don't even have the excuse that it was too far away it's a few minutes from the house.....I was scared now......I'm sure that I've mentioned living in NW Ohio that there aren't any hills in our area....NO HILLS! That is what I trained on...that is what I expected...and that was what I was ready for....SURPRISE! The next town over has hills....and I'm not talking the little grades that I'm used to I mean "HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WOW THAT WAS A HILL!!!!!" hills! I was really really scared....I was sure that there was no way that I could do this....Now I was clinging to the fact that I just want to finish this thing....
I went out for my little teeny tiney brick to get warmed up and check out the equipment....and I decided that I would see what I could do! I went the way that I knew offered the most elevation....they are little grades....not hills....not even close....but I needed to know that I could totally crush those and be ok....And well I did! I felt so much better! I got home and found an email from my coach telling me, "Oh you will be ok!!!!! Just don't be's a hill 4 everyone. Shift into your easiest gear and just get over's just a piece of road :)" I know the just get over it meant to get over the hill.....but I took it as "GET OVER IT!" And it was the best advice ever! I spent a quiet evening getting things all set and packed and the nervousness was gone! YAY!
The next morning after a surprisingly good night's sleep we got everyone up and ready and was off.....We got there and I went to get marked while J got my bike together for me, (still not nervous)....I set up the transition area soooo carefully.....(still not nervous)....walked around....(still not nervous)....Then I heard my friend Jen! Oh my goodness! She had said she was coming and I had told her not to! She just had a baby a couple of weeks ago....the last thing she needed was an early morning and standing around waiting for me! But I have to say it was incredible to have her there! Race meeting (still not nervous).....Line up for the swim....(still not nervous)....Wait forever to get in the water! (still not nervous)...I even found myself telling the girls behind me that it's ok it's just a swim go do your best! Have fun! Seriously did that come out of my mouth!!!!
So the swim...totally not my strongest portion....I wasn't too nervous about anyone hitting imagine my surprise when I felt someone grab my ankle....not touch but grab and then PULL! She pulled so hard that she pulled me backwards in the water managing to undo my time chip device! I was totally surprised but surprisingly not scared by the whole thing.....We were almost at the end of the 1st lane so I just grabbed my time chip put it back on and kept going.....I had a plan...I would swim a lap take a couple of seconds....and swim another.....I had a plan and I followed it! I was proud of myself....not a great time in the water but Hell I swam it! Which is way more then I would have ever expected to do! And for that matter more than I can say most others did....I was so shocked to see so many people instead of pausing to catch their breath they literally walked the entire swim! (the pool is all shallow....allowing them to walk). The best part of my swim was hearing the kids and J cheer every time I got to the end where they were! It was amazing! At one point Isobel said, "Hey Mum you need some milk?" and offered me her sippy cup! That one got quite a few laughs around the whole pool!
I was so proud of my transitions that day.....They were organized and relatively quick and I passed a ton of people in the transition areas! Only one minor freak out in T1.....I got out dumped baby powder on the feet and started to put my socks SOCK! Where the F is my SOCK!!!!! I only had one sock....Oh well....put it on the foot with the orthotic in the shoe.....I found the other one off my I was getting that first sock on...(someone must have bumped it). I was off and out there! Dreading the hills a little but ready to go! Before I knew it I was at the first and the biggest of the hills that I would see that day! I shifted down....and I attacked it! I was up it and not out of breathe or tired at all!!!! Damn I CAN do this! I rode that course with purpose and a drive that I didn't know that I had! I never slowed up....or backed off....If I went down I hill I shifted and pedaled even faster! I went up a hill and I shifted and tried to keep my cadence as close to what I'd been riding at as I could! I totally had a blast! I was so not expecting that! It was fun! FUN FUN?!
Well the transition went great! I felt good and I smiled at everyone that encouraged me! I felt so excited that I don't even think I thought about this is the last part! I started out really good and thought man if I can hold this it would be great! Well I couldn't I started to feel like I was going to lose my cookies! Wow never felt like that while I was running I've had cramps but never ever have I thought that I was going to vomit while I was running....maybe at the end of a race but never during! I kept going and then the feeling passed thank GOD! Before too long though I started to feel this strange cramp across my shoulder, collarbone, and going down my arm....I decided that maybe I should slow it down a little....UGH! I shouldn't have....because I know once I slow it down that I never get it back! I kept going....and that is about all I can say for the run....I kept going.....I had 1 really interesting thing happen out there on the run and 1 not so pleasant experience....The not so pleasant? There was a water turn around 1/2 way on the run.....I decided before I got there that I would grab 2 cups of to sip and one to drench myself with.....As I approached the water area I noticed the woman had 2 but she was standing in such a way that I would only be able to get 1....I asked her could I have 2 cups please? She looks at me like I'm a complete moron and says...."Uh Why?" I had so many things go through my head....and what came out was definitely not my shining moment of sweetness...."Uh....Seriously!? BECAUSE I WANT TWO FRIGGING CUPS OF WATER!!!!!!!" She looks at me shrugs and says.... "uh ok" I quickly shrugged off the incident and headed back..... The really interesting thing? I was running back and I had the same older guy behind me that had been behind me the whole way....He came up next to me and said..."Hey you think that I can do this thing....?" I looked at him and said "ABSOLUTELY!!!! I'm not going that quick let's stick together! Let's finish this thing!" As I looked at him I thought that I recognized him but wasn't quite sure.....Then it dawned on me! MY CHEMISTRY TEACHER! "Oh MY GOD are you Mr Schumm?" He looked at me a little confused and said Yeah....? "Oh my goodness I'm Laura! The pregnant girl that had her C-section the day after your final a couple of years ago!" He starts laughing and says "No way! Don't take this the wrong way.....but you look alot different then you did then!" "Well I would think so! I was on partial bed rest and well extreeeeemmmley pregnant at that point!" It was so good to see him and show off the outcome of that pregnancy when we were all done! Never would have expected to see him there!
After I finished running with Mr. Schumm I started thinking about this whole thing....Oh my god I'm doing it I'm almost done with A TRIATHLON!!!! I started thinking about what I was running back little girl who was going to finish it with crazy little husband who cheers really loud by the way!....and some of the most amazing friends that I could ever have! I had done this thing...I had put in the hours! I had sweat....cried.....laughed at myself....and conquered some major fears on the way to this! And now I was just a tiny bit away from making it happen...I almost wanted to go slower just to make it last a little longer! I didn't.... I powered my way up that last hill and noticed that J had come out to yell and run a few steps with me! Wow am I lucky sometimes!
As I turned the last corner I saw Jen and Kam.....Jenny....Kaitlyn.....and Sam....I kept looking for Belle....and there she was! "Come on Honey finish this thing with Mum!" And finish it we did!
I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone! It's not just a sport! It's not just about's about finding out who you are and what you can do! And the best part! It's about finding out that you can do things that you didn't even think you could do!
The sweetest thing said to me that day? That goes to Jenny! "You inspire me! You inspire me to be a better person Lulu!" Let's just say some tears followed that one!

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