Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I am one proud lady. :)

The day after my big ole' failed tri, I accompanied my fabulous husband, Nathan, to my hometown to watch him compete in a 35 mile bike ride. I was certainly more nervous than he was, especially after seeing what he was up against.

Before we arrived, we both knew that most of the cyclists would be on some kind of team, but when we showed up 98% of the participants were on teams and looked super serious. The combination of that and the race disorganization completely added to my nerves. When Nathan finally started (5o minutes later!) it was HOT. Nathan had never trained in this kind of heat, and I was practically dripping with sweat just standing waiting for him to start.

About 8 miles into the 35, he called me. He was super discouraged because he was riding by himself at that point. The group he started with had taken off and the group that started after him had passed him as well. I told him that it was really up to him what he wanted to do, but he should just think of it as a nice bike ride by himself and try and enjoy it.

At this point, I was pretty sure he would be turning around shortly and going back. I mean, getting wayyyy behind that early in the race is pretty discouraging. Personally, I don't think I would have kept going knowing I was pretty out of my league.

I didn't hear from him for another hour, and I was going a little nuts. About two hours after he started I tried calling him and got no answer. A lot of the cyclists were starting to return, and I just hoped that he hadn't gotten too hot or dehydrated.

30 minutes later Nathan called me and the convo went something like this:

Me: (no hello) You ok!?!?

Nathan: I'm close to finishing.

Me: Finishing!?!? Like you did it?

Nathan: Yeah, I did it!

Me: HONEY!!!! You want so fast! It hasn't even been 2 and a half hours!

Nathan: I know. Bye!

Just a few minutes later, Nathan flew by!

(Thanks, sis, for the great pic!)

At this point, I had tears in my eyes. He had done it. He trained for this race while working 6 days a week, braved the heat, and didn't let being last get him down. He did amazing, and I could not be more happy and proud.

Unfortunately, Nathan doesn't think he is going to do another bike race. A big part of that is because he said he didn't feel welcomed at all by the other race participants. I think he and I were both expecting the atmosphere of the race to be one similar to those that we are used to with running.

In general, I've always dealt with runners that have been very welcoming and encouraging. The runners I've been around have always cheered me on, offered support, etc. And Nathan accompanies me to many of my races so he saw this too. The participants at this race were QUITE different. Nathan said that when he put his number on wrong, a group of bikers proceeded to make fun of him for it. And then they continued on by talking about his bike and how it wouldn't make it on the course. All in all, they were pretty much pricks.

And while I could write PARAGRAPHS on how terribly disorganized and poorly run this race was, I won't because obviously I'm not an expert on bike races, but seriously, you don't have water at the start or finish? And three bathrooms for hundreds? I don't think so.

Luckily, Nathan plans on doing some fun rides and helping me getting over my bike fear. I'm just so proud of him so I had to share!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

First tri FAIL!

While training for my first tri in 12 days was fun, it ultimately ended up with me getting a DNF (did not finish). I had a GREAT swim and I was a smiling, happy person as I got out of the pool. The bike portion was a different story though. About two miles in I felt like something was wrong. I didn't know if it was just because I was going up hills, but I felt like the bike wasn't moving the way it should.

I got off the bike and shortly after a race official came up and asked me if I was having problems. I told him yes and he offered to look at the bike. He said it looked like the front brake wasn't releasing from the wheel completely. The course was hilly so I felt super scared to continue on not knowing if my front brakes were ok. Because of that, I decided to pull myself out of the race.

Obviously, this race did NOT help my fear of the bike. It's clear to me that I don't know enough about my bike or how to troubleshoot problems. But even with that, I'm not going to write off doing a triathlon in the future. I feel like the bike won today, and I don't like that. Plus, I REALLY enjoy swimming and I really want to keep doing it.

Getting a DNF for any reason sucks, but I keep telling myself that in my active life, races aren't always going to be awesome, but the benefits of doing these races are worth it regardless of the results.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 7 of I'm Running my First Tri in 12 days and I feel a little "out there"

When I got out of bed today I slowly started getting ready to go to the pool to get a swim in. "Slowly" being a key word in that sentence. Yesterday I had done a 20 mile walk with a friend and was certainly feeling it. But I knew ultimately doing some laps in the pool would make my legs feel better. And hello!! the tri is less than a week away, it's time to get in some major activity!

I get to the pool about 15 minutes after it opens and two of the three lanes are already occupied. I start my laps in the empty lane and it's tough today, maybe even tougher than the first day. I push really hard one lap and stop at the end of the lap to catch my breathe. The guy using the lane next to me is doing the same, and I'm debating about striking up a conversation with him. You know, since I'm a swimming newbie and can use all the help I can get. I kind of glance his way and he has kind of a strange look on his face as he glances my direction. I decide maybe he isn't a talker and I adjust my goggles, catch my breathe, etc.

He starts swimming again and just as he does I glance down to see that my boobs have almost completely came out of my swimsuit. I mean, we are talking nipples and all.

I bought a new swimsuit a few hours later.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm Running my First Triathlon in 12 days.

Does anyone recall a mention in my last post about eventually wanting to start triathlon training? Well, that desire hasn't really left me, in fact it only has gotten stronger in the weeks since the marathon.

Even before the marathon, I had thought about signing up for this Mini Triathlon my sister had told me about. Deep down I really wanted to do it, but between the training burn out and not knowing anything about swimming I had kind of talked myself out of it. That all changed this past weekend. A short phone conversation with a friend that decided to do it got me thinking that yes in fact I should go ahead and sign up. Only thing was, the Triathlon was a mere 12 days away. But I didn't doubt that I could do it. After training for the marathon I do feel like anything is possible. And I did really want to start Triathlon training. The main thing holding me back to jumping into is the cost. I don't have access to a free pool, some of the tri equipment can get expensive, etc. But at this point I thought I could just get by with just buying some goggles and paying some admission charges at a local pool.

So "I'm Running my First Triathlon in 12 days" was on. Day 1 of 12 was in the pool. I had never same a lap in my life, so I really didn't know what to expect out of my first swim. I decided to start with the distance of the actual race of the swim which was 200 yards. I ended up doing 250 yards and my biggest problem was breathing. I felt like I couldn't catch my breathe at all after the first 25 yards. I feel like this will get better though as I just get used to being in the pool. Right after I decided to run the race distance of 2 miles on the indoor track. I pushed hard, and ended up being really happy with my run post swim.

Day 2 of 12 wasn't so positive. I decided to try and bike the race distance of 9 miles on Grants Trail. As you may recall, I had just bought my first bike last month. And if you follow me on DailyMile, you know I had been putting in some good miles on my bike trainer. I was REALLY enjoying the bike trainer and it was good because I was getting used to the bike. I hadn't ridden a bike of any kind in 10 years and I had never ridden a bike with gears. I know that's crazy, but when I did ride a bike as a kid it was always a simple bike that just had pedal brakes.

I was nervous on the bike due to my inexperience, but I really thought it wouldn't be too bad because I was super comfortable on the bike trainer. Oh, was I wrong. I jumped on Grants Trail and was instantly terrified. I felt COMPLETELY out of control. I was on a slight incline and felt completely unsteady and like I could fall off any minute. About a half mile in I had to stop at an intersection and almost fell off the bike because I hit the brakes too hard. YIKES.

I spent the next 4 or so miles terrified. If I went over 13 miles an hour I was completely freaked. I was squeezing the handle bars so hard that my hands were in pain. I did end up riding 10 miles, but I was bummed when I realized I was doing half the speed that I did on the trainer. I thought the bike portion of the tri would be fairly easy, but yesterday made it obvious that is not the case. I am really hoping that a few more rides will get me more comfortable with the bike. ::Fingers crossed:: Tomorrow I'm going to give the bike ride another go and hopefully more swimming on Friday.

The next 10 days are going to be a real test of my physical and mental capabilities but I feel ready for the challenge. I'm excited to push myself a little more! I'll keep you all posted as to how it goes.