I did it! I ran and I biked. I would have swum (swam?) if not for circumstances beyond my control. More on that later.
So, as most of you know, I started training a little over 3 months ago for a mini-triathlon, called a Try a Tri. It was to be a .35 mile swim in the lake, a 7 mile bike ride, and a 3.11 (5k) run. I am 60 years old and overweight, so this was a daunting proposal, but my daughter was willing to do it with me, so I signed up before I could think about it too much.
I went back to the personal trainer I’d worked with last year and she spent the next two months helping me increase my endurance. I don’t run. Correction. I didn’t run. And I still don’t like running due to a bum knee. But I learned. We got me to the point where I could do the swim in the pool, the bike on a stationary machine, and the run on the track. Not all on the same day, though.
Then I headed out to the lake a few times to practice swimming with waves and in a wetsuit. It freaked me out, but I did it. And I started riding outside and running outside. I managed to complete the bike and run portions outside during practice runs three separate times.
I was ready.
Then they canceled the swim portion due to water quality. I was in tears because that was the easiest part for me. Worse, they added an extra run…the hardest part for me.
The race started and I did the 1.5 mile run pretty well. Got back to the transition area and switched to our bikes. I changed gears too soon and immediately threw the chain on my bike, which my daughter was able to fix. We set off on a bike ride she said was challenging for a seasoned triathlete. It really was ¾ uphill. Seriously. Slow and steady uphill for about THREE MILES, then a steep downhill, then back to the steady uphill and finishing with another steep downhill. It was BRUTAL, but I loved the strong sense of community. All the folks passing me offered words of encouragement. It was awesome!
That was the hardest part, even though it was mostly flat. I was tired, but my daughter stayed by my side the whole time and talked me through it.
Interestingly enough, with a half mile left in the race, I had what had to be a minor panic attack. Difficulty breathing, throat closing up, etc. I thought I just needed water, but my daughter helped me work to open my airways and things eased. We crossed the finish line together, along with her two youngest daughters who joined us for the final few yards.
It was amazing and awesome and exhausting and I’m SO glad I did it. Will I do another one? My daughter says I will. For me, the jury is still out. A week later, I’m recovered except for my knee. I think I need less jogging. And I need to focus for a while on weight loss. It was too hard as heavy as I am.
So hopefully I can lose some more weight, then the first of the year, look for the next competition to motivate me. I want to thank everyone for the awesome moral support I got through this process. It was a very intimidating thing to do and you ALL helped me believe I COULD do it. And my husband was the most awesome of all. He didn’t complain about me working out so much, drove me to the lake and watched over me so I didn’t drown, and got up at 4AM to take me to the race!
Oh, and the funniest part? I’m listed as first in my age bracket…that’s because I was the only one in my age bracket. I LOVE it. 🙂
It took me two hours and ten minutes and my daughter, who could have blown through these distances, stayed by my side the entire way. She motivated me when I was down, both in training and on race day, and kept me going and I am so, so grateful to her for all her guidance with this.
Wow. I really did it. 🙂