|One chocolate espresso bean left. It must be race day!|
|Fooling around before my race with friends and mini dinosaurs (inside joke).|
I ran from the pool deck to the gym where my transition area was set up, and my friends were there waiting for me. They cheered for me, but all I remember was being in a fog, and saying something to the effect of “uggghhh, I’m so wet!” They responded with something like “yeah, you just got out of a pool.” Clever. With bike shoes on and running shoes in hand I started to run from the gym to where the stationary bikes were positioned outside of the track. I resisted the urge to throw up in the garbage can along the way. I came close, but I’m happy to report that it soon passed. It must have been the donut mile that thoroughly prepared me.
And then I faced my next challenge: a 10 mile ride on a stationary Keiser bike. I had no issue getting all clipped in, and then it was just fast legs. My goal was to spin so fast that I couldn’t see the rpm callout on the screen (>140 rpm), but I also didn’t want my legs to combust with spinning too fast. Biking was mentally challenging for me since I wasn’t going anywhere, and it seemed like the 10 miles took forever. There was music playing, but nothing interesting to watch. I’m grateful to Bob, one of the volunteers who came over and a.) gave me a towel since I was very, very wet, and b.) told me to try some one legged drills. This kept my mind occupied for the last 2 miles. I would spin very fast for 0.2 miles with my right leg, 0.2 miles with my left leg, and repeat. And then, boom. 10 miles. Take off bike shoes, put on running shoes and run 2 miles!
I also don’t remember much during the run part of the race. My legs were so darn numb at this point. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been plagued with various minor aches that intensify as I run, but today I didn’t feel any of them. I tried timing each of my laps, but then soon got bored and too tired to lift my wrist and press lap :). I’m thankful for my awesome lap counter because it was hard to remember which lap I was on. At some point in the run, I questioned why I was doing this. Why would I pay money to put my body through this crazy amount of pain? I just had to look at all the awesome people around me. Friends and even strangers were shouting out words of encouragement every single lap, for 16 laps. These people are awesome to be around. I’m also doing this because it’s part of my happy journey. I came from such a low place, and now I’m just so happy. There’s a great amount of satisfaction that comes with setting goals you thought were never possible, and working hard to get there.
After the race, I was able to enjoy burgers and beer guilt-free with a couple of friends at Northbound Brewpub. Since I now know that this is the sport for me, I also made an attempt to sign up for the YWCA Women’s Triathlon happening in August. Because that’s happening.