Done and done. You know, that Olympic distance triathlon thing I have been worried and stressed out about for the past 3 months. On April 12 I showed up at Boulder Beach in Boulder City at approximately 6am and was mostly ready for it. Actually, I was stressed and just plain excited about the fact that in a few short hours I'd be able to cross 'Olympic tri' off my list and be able to eat lots of delicious food. Sadly, it didn't really go as planned and now that I've had a solid week to think about it and talk about it and get over it I'm more than happy to discuss it.
I swam 2 days before the race in the lake hoping to get a feel for how cold it would be. I thought that although it was cold, it was nothing I couldn't handle and that it wouldn't be too big of a deal. HA. Not so. The swim portion was cold. So very cold. I am a good swimmer, I've considered myself very comfortable in the water forever and yet in the last 10 or so minutes of my swim I was DONE. I was sick of being cold and my hands and toes had gone completely numb. All I could think about was being warm and being excited to move onto the bike portion so that I could be in the sun.
As I made it out of the water and up the hill to my transition spot, my family was there to cheer me on and while it helped, I was also a bit of a mess. I made it to my spot and was shaking so badly I could barely get my socks on. I had trouble standing and I just wanted to stop. I was having trouble taking deep breaths and although I knew I needed to hurry and keep going I was a little over it. But I made it through my transition, up the never-ending transition hill and thought to myself, 'enjoy this.' HA. This marked the second time that the universe decided that this tri was not going to be my best. Within a couple of minutes of being on my bike I developed a side stitch that ran the entire length of my right oblique. I swear to you I could not take a deep breath to save my life. No breathing means that the portion I look forward to the most was going down the drain. I will tell you now, more tears were shed on this tri that I have ever shed on any workout. It was hard, it sucked and while it eventually got manageable, it was the worst ride I've ever had.
Now that I had a 1500m swim out of the way, and a 24.8mi bike ride done I only had one portion left: the 10k run. You should know, while I have made the most improvements on my running since I began training, the run has always been the hardest. I'm just not the best runner. I came to terms with it a loonngg time ago and now it's just the way things are. I knew that it would be a difficult run but that I'd be fine. And let me tell you, the run portion was rough. It was HOT and the first 3 miles were completely uphill. Thankfully, I had a girl doing the exact same pace as me in front of me and I simply focused on keeping her close. If I could keep her in my sights, I was doing fine. After an hour and a half (again, worst time I've had) I finished and you get that picture up top there as the result. After seeing that picture I thought, oh it was obviously better than I remember it, look how happy you are! But really, I'm smiling because I'm done. Because I don't ever have to do that again if I don't want to, because Chris was at the end with 4 tylenol and because I was going to get a medal saying that I finished instead of giving up (which, I did not get).
This was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, hands down. It was painful; emotionally, mentally and physically. And yet, I'm grateful for it. This race taught me that no matter how bad it gets, I can do it. I am strong enough to not give up and no matter how many tears are shed during that race, it's all good. It's nothing I can't fix at the next one ;-).