Last February I decided to take on the challenge of competing in the Wildflower Triathlon, one of the nations most difficult Triathlons,which took place in May of 2006. The distance I would cover included a 1.5K (1 mile) Open Water Swim, followed by an intense 40K (25 Mile) bike ride and finishing off with a 10K (6 Mile) Run. I finished this race in 5 hours, since then I have continued to document my journey.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sunday, May 21, 2006; UVAS Triathlon

I finished the UVAS tri yesterday. I have to admit it was not the same when its not a TNT event. I was almost Jealous of all the Iron Team people who were out there because they were wearing their TNT Jerseys. There was a lot of encouragement from fellow racers and people who I knew along the way but it was nothing like Wildflower.

I tried to convince myself that I was not nervous at all but on Thursday I had a dream that I was speeding down the hill and my front tire came off so I pulled up on the handlebars and rode on one tire. Then my back tire popped off so I grabbed my bike by the handlebars and ran with it between my legs until the handlebars came off then I did what any other self respecting triathlete would do...I threw the frame over my shoulders and ran with it when I got to the finish line my cat was already there with a race number and a gold medal on her chest.

Since I was not doing this race with TNT I decided to bring my mom with me. She was shocked at all the preparation I was doing the day before with my 4 waterbottles and my secret recipe to make Gu taste better (Use 2 Strawberry banana Gu's to 1 feul belt flask and top the rest of the bottle with H20) Then came all the gear. I then took my sleeping pills and was in bed by 8:30.

Sunday morning my alarm went off at 4:30 to the sound of heavy rain. This was not good since I love speeding downhill and now I had to be cautious instead of being able to just Kowabunga down. I made a thermos of hot water and a thermos of coffee for mom, packed that in a bag with some snacks, woke her up and away we went.

When we got there I was shocked to see how small the transition area was. At Wildflower where the transition area was daunting this race was capped at 800. I selected my set up area and meticulously put down my stuff.Susan quickly found me and we talked for a bit. It was great to see her and then to see Frank there too :) Susan suggested that I leave my stuff in my bag so it didn't get wet but I figure that I would be wet anyway so I left it out and laid a second towel on top of everything. Once that was done I ate my oatmeal and banana.

About 1/2 hour before the race was putting my wetsuit on when my friend Jayne came walking over in her stylish SVTC gear. No wetsuit for that!!!

Unlike Wildflower, this race had a swimming start which meant that we swam out to a set of buoys and waited for the gun to go off. When it finally did my heart started beating hard but I was able to quickly calm myself down and regain my composure. I passed the first buoy, then the second, the I couldn't find the third but I found one off in the distance so I started swimming towards that. Well...I guess it was the wrong one because someone in the kayak yelled that I was going the wrong way. Ugh!!! She kindly pointed out the correct buoy and I went for it. Then...boom...someone hit me. It was Jayne :-) So we started swimming next to each other when I noticed that she was waving to me at each stroke. Laughing while swimming is not easy but definitely takes your mind off the swim and the fact that I was getting really nauseous from my Amino Vital. Then suddenly I saw the end of the swim. I swam as close to the dock as possible got up and immediately got the dizzies (I was also really nauseous). I shook my head got my wetsuit off and transitioned to the bike. I was still a bit dizzy when I started rolling so I took a cliff shot and immediately started to feel better. I moved fairly quickly on the first part of the bike then at mile 12 the one major hill suddenly hit me. I jumped off my bike and walked it up. I really need to do A LOT of hill work. This is when everyone who I had passed earlier passed me. Once at the top of the hill I got on my bike and was careful as I was speeding down the hills. Then I hit traffic. Ugh...I hate it when they don't close down the streets for us. One car purposely pulled into the bike lane so we wouldn't pass him. Jerk!!! When we got passed the traffic I regained my speed and fairly easily took the final hills before my chain fell off on the last hill (it had fallen off earlier too). I jumped off put it back on and finished the bike where my mom was there waiting. I was so happy to see her that I almost fell off my bike.

The run was a lot of fun. Hearing encouragement from strangers and seeing Shahin, Susan and Frank on their way back from the turn around point. At mile 2 I saw Jayne and tried to chase her down for the rest of the race. I never did catch up to that girl she always seemed to be 100 yards in front of me no matter how hard I tried to close the gap. Way too quickly the race was over and I saw my mom screaming for me at the finish line. Jayne was there too!!!

The race was a lot of fun. Wet…but fun and I finished with the time of 2:57:43.


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