This summer has been quite interesting for both of us. As mentioned in our last post, we had some upcoming goals. We didn't end up doing a half marathon this spring like we were hoping to do, but we have found plenty of other things to keep us busy. As I mentioned in our previous post, I got a bike! And I actually enjoy riding it! Since I got my bike in April, I started riding more and more, and I also decided to start swimming again. All of this cross training has been really good for me since I had hurt my ankle twice in the past 10 months. I feel like I'm mostly recovered from it, but it's been a nice change of pace to swim and bike, and I've been building my running miles back up in addition.
|We've been swimmin'|
|We've been bikin'|
|We've been runnin'|
Anyway, you can probably see where this is going.... I was toying with the idea of doing a triathlon at this point. Alfredo had done several within the past 5 years and I never thought I'd be able to do it because I was terrified of the bike. So I was thinking maybe I'll go for a sprint. I was too scared to sign up, though. I was thinking about trying the High Point Sprint, which is a little over an hour away from us, and it was going to be far enough out (it is coming up on August 10) so I could train for it.
But Alfredo had other plans for me. Back in June, I was surprised by how my training had taken off. I was able to complete more than enough swimming, biking, and running, and I was doing bricks and everything. I felt ready for a sprint already?!?! So SURPRISE! As an early anniversary present (our anniversary is August 14) he signed me up for a sprint scheduled for July 20- the New Jersey State Triathlon. And he just signed ME up. Even though he wanted to sign himself up too, he decided to let me have this race for myself. And HE was MY Sherpa again for once.
Race day has come and gone now at this point, but I'm finally sitting down to type it all up. We traveled to New Jersey the Friday before the race on Saturday. We got there with plenty of time to pick up my packet and walk through transition and see a little bit of the course. I'm glad I was able to do that, because I was really nervous about my transitions. I felt ready in each area, just not so much the transitions. I got a feel for the course and I knew what to expect. Oh, and by the way this was when the entire east coast of the United States was having a heat wave. So unfortunately, they did announce that they were cutting the distance, but it was better than the races being canceled. For the sprint, the swim and the bike were the same, but the run was cut down from a 5K to 2 miles. This way, the hope was that everyone will be done before it gets dangerously hot.
|Found my transition area! Number 795!|
I woke up on Saturday morning and it was already like 80 degrees, no joke. I set up my transition area, and I was feeling prepared. I made my way to the swim start, and I was able to watch the other waves start at 7:30. I didn't start until 8. I took off in the swim, and I was thankful that I had done an open water practice swim FOR SURE. Other swimmers were out there panicking, and I can totally see why. I couldn't see anything, and I kept getting kicked. But after a couple hundred meters, it wasn't so bad. My Garmin map of the swim looks like I was having some issues though....
|Preparing to swim!|
|This is supposed to be a perfect rectangle....|
Anyway, then I came out of the water feeling good. I found my bike in transition easy peasy because I had practiced it the day before. I took off goggles and swim cap, put on helmet and bike shoes, and away I went! I was really happy with my transition, but the distance from the transition area to the mount line was longer than I expected so I was ready to just get on my bike. I was nervous about that too because I get anxious when people are watching me and I have a hard time getting started on my bike. I had a minor freak out trying to get on my bike, but then once I got started, I was off! The bike course was flat and fast like the website said, so I was really glad. I was able to hold my own, and I even managed to average 16 mph! That was my fastest average ever! I came back in, dismounted at the line, then took the long walk back to transition.
Helmet off, change shoes, hat and race belt on, and I was out like a flash. A slow, sweaty, awkward flash. I was excited about the run, since that's where I'm most comfortable. I took off waaaaaaaaaaaay too fast, but then I managed to hold on pretty good. I was able to pass several people who were probably from the New Jersey area or further north, because they weren't used to this weather. But at this point it was close to 90 degrees, and that's what we'd been dealing with in southern VA for the past 2 months already... ew. It was a quick 2 miles, and then I came through the finishing chute.
|At the risk of sounding narcissistic I love this picture of myself.|
Finish line pictures and videos ALWAYS give me goosebumps, or make me cry, or both. It's always emotional to watch someone cross a finish line. But let me tell you what, nothing compares to doing it yourself. The race announcer called out my name (he even said my last name correctly!) and he added that it was my first triathlon and everyone was just cheering so loud I 'bout near lost my mind.
Final reflections: I had a blast doing my first triathlon. I was able to finish the swim, the bike, and the run with confidence. My transitions weren't as terrible as I thought. And most importantly: I figured out which anti-chafing solution would be best for an event like this. No chafing! Oh, and I was concerned about my hair holding up going from swim cap to a bike helmet to a hat during the run. I French braided it and it held up too. All in all, I would say this was a great success. And now I'm still swimming and biking in addition to my running.... So maybe, just maybe, I'll want to do something a little longer...?
After the triathlon, we stayed and explored New Jersey and New York city too. It was such a fun little weekend getaway!
|Just one of the many pictures we took in NYC|
Oh yeah, Alfredo has been training hard and putting in a lot of speedwork to do the Martinsville Mile, coming up on August 17. He's excited to see how he can do then! As for what else is coming up, we don't have anything set in stone yet, but we have a few ideas.
|Oh, and Fat Harry helped me practice my transition set up |
before the NJ tri. I owe my success to her.