I’m a triathlete!

July 23, 2012

I’m officially a triathlete.

I’m so proud to be able to say that. When I first had an inkling to sign up for a triathlon, I thought I was a joke. I had no idea what I was capable of, but wanted to prove to myself that I can do things I didn’t think I could, and that I can’t let fear stand in my way. So, I registered for a Sprint Triathlon at UBC: 700m swim, 20km bike ride, 5km run.

Pre-race time I was a mess. I was so nervous. Driving out to UBC I thought I was going to die of nerves. I was so glad I had scoped it out the day before, because once we arrived it felt better that everything was familiar, and as I expected. I got my bike checked in, and carefully laid out my transition gear. After that we headed to the pool to check in. The line for getting my race package was so long, and before I knew it, I only had 20 minutes till race time. I rushed to change and get ready, only to find out they were running 1/2 hour behind schedule. Thankfully though, most of nerves I had left outside the pool, and I was able to chat with a few other competitors. One lady, was especially kind. She reminded me that it’s just me and the race, and no one else matters. That I just needed to focus on my effort and time, and to do my best. It was so nice hearing that from a seasoned triathlete, especially since just before another ol’ timers advice was to stay out of the way of faster people, eek!

We were able to watch the first heat go, and I was a bit nervous because several of the competitors panicked once in the water. But once the race marshal gave me the go ahead to enter the water, I was completely at peace. It felt so good to be moving, and doing something that I was completely comfortable with and had trained for, for weeks. It was amazing to climb out of the pool and feel completely ready to hop on the bike. I was calm, and focused and didn’t feel stressed or panicked.

The bike transition went smoothly as well.

Before I knew it I was out on the bike course and getting a good pace. Unfortunately, the course was made up of a lot of up-hills and down-hills, and there was a lot of wind that I was biking against. But with some self motivating talk, and cheering on from other atheletes, I made it through, and before I knew it was headed to the run.

The first part of the run was gruelling. My legs felt like they didn’t exist – yet were so heavy, and my chest was burning. The cool morning air, vs, my heavy breathing felt terrible. After getting some good deep breathes, and getting a pace on the run, within 5 minutes I felt perfectly fine, and was able to focus on just running. Part of the course took us through some beautiful trails at UBC, it was nice to be able to not focus on the long road head of concrete, but to run on a zig zagging trail through the forest. Getting from 1-2km’s seemed like the longest stretch, but before I knew it, I hit the 3k mark, and then the 4k mark. I was in the final leg of my race. I pushed hard up the last hill, and was excited to see Harold and the boys there to run me up to the final corner. I kept telling myself to keep going, to give it all I had. I entered into the final racing corridor, and heard the cheers and the announcer announcing my approach…I couldn’t believe I was here…the finish line!!

As I crossed the finish line I felt amazing, exhausted, but so so proud. I couldn’t believe I had finished. I hugged my boys, and held back tears. Who knew racing and finishing would be so emotional. My offical race time was 1:48:49 which officially completed all my goals: a)I crossed the finish line b)I didn’t come in last c) I finished in under 2 hours.

A big thank you to everyone who helped me accomplish this goal. To all my training buddies who joined me at the pool, for a bike ride, or for a run. The biggest thank you goes to my family! My boys are very accustomed to Mommy going to the gym, or heading to the pool, Caleb even runs around saying “Mommy, gym. Mommy, bike. Mommy, swim!” Thank you to my amazing supporting husband Harold, who when I first mentioned a triathlon, he was so, so supportive. He never waivered. When I felt like quitting, he reminded me of my goal and said I was doing great. When I needed to hit up the gym, he made time in our schedule, and sacrificed us time. He was the number one reason I was able to train and complete my goal. I love you, Harold. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

 

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One Response to “I’m a triathlete!”

  1. kvdg Says:

    Way to go Alicia! What an accomplishment!


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