Surviving my first Triathlon

Lets start from the beginning, shall we? I have this friend, sometimes we are more like twins, and she is also my training partner. She convinces me to do these crazy things – like sign up for Triathlons. Well, now I can’t thank her enough. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have made it through training. But when I start something, I finish it. When the buzzer went off and I pushed off the wall to start my 500 yard swim, the same thing went through my mind during lap 2 – when I panicked.

Yes, my worst nightmare (next to drowning, of course) happened. The adrenaline of race day, the swishing of all of the people in the water (mind you this swim took place in a pool), and the fact that there were 4 people to a lane circle swimming hit me all at once. I can’t even tell you what exactly happened, but I no longer was able to breathe under water as I took each stroke. I tried and tried, even stopped 3 times during the swim, but once the anxiety hit me, that seemed to be it. I talked myself down, I tried to calm my breathing, but nothing worked. SO, I tried my backup – the breast-stroke. I still couldn’t get my breathing rhythm under control. So I just swam with the crawl stroke – without my face in the water, and it was exhausting. But I finished my laps, ran to my bike, and shook it off.

I cut 20+ minutes off my bike time from training and ran hard to SOMEHOW crush my goal time of 2:00 hours. I finished my first Sprint TRI in 1:56:42. I conquered those killer hills, had my transitions set up great for successful and smooth transition times and ran to the finish line to find my huge support system cheering me on and as tired as I was, I couldn’t help but sprint it to the finish. It was amazing and despite the swim, I am hooked on Triathlons. I know with different training, I’ll rid myself of that swim anxiety on race day and go on to set and crush more goals.

So, if you’ve ever thought about doing a TRI, DO IT. You can do it. I promise you. I trained hard for all parts of it and do you know what got me through that killer swim? My training and endurance. Surprisingly, my 8-week training (btw – I totally suggest Triathlons for Women by Sally Edwards) was a lot of fun. I didn’t have to find other things to do, because (duh) there is built-in cross-training! What’s better than that?

Set goal. Work hard. Crush goal. Repeat. #fearless2014  

 

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