Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Danskin Triathlon -- Part 4

This is the part where I share my feelings, so get out now if you can't handle the gooey stuff of life.

The journey is still going on, but the Danskin Triathlon was a huge milestone for me. When I signed up, Kathleen and Annzy signed up too and it was so fantastic to know I wasn't doing the race alone. I've also had amazing support from my family, friends at work, at church, at the gym, and everywhere else imaginable. It has been so uplifting to have people tell me along the way that they know I can do it, that they believe in me. Seriously, the girl at the smoothie bar at LA Fitness in Ballard has been awesome! She asked me every time she saw me for months about how my training was going, how long I had to go, and how I was feeling about it. There was also one woman that I ended up sharing a lane with many times at the pool who was always super positive and supportive. I'm overwhelmed now just thinking about how much love and support is out there when you tell people what you're doing.

I've loved meeting up with Kathleen for years now to exercise, but it was even better to kick it up a notch and meet to swim both at the pool and the lake and cheer each other on. I'm so proud of her for doing this and believing in herself. She's a great example to me for doing this with gusto.

Mostly, it's been amazing to have the DH right there by my side this whole way. I don't think he realized what he was getting into when he agreed that I should do the triathlon. I know he'd like to know how fast he could run a 5K, but he has run every 5K right by my side encouraging me along the entire way. I know I've run faster because of his support. He's the perfect partner for me because he has been great at pushing me and still letting me go at my own pace.

During the race, I was extremely emotional. I was actually surprised at myself how emotional I was. I had been super calm during the days leading up to the race, but once I got to the transition area to put on my wetsuit, I started to get really panicked. It was hot and I was a little sweaty and it was hard to get the wetsuit on. It all went on fine, but i was getting a little worked up. When I finally walked out to the swim start, I had major butterflies in the tummy and anxiety on the brain. Fortunately, there were plenty of women talking and laughing and giving each other pep talks, so that made it easier. Once the swim started, I actually calmed down completely. It wasn't as crowded as I expected and I was prepared. It still seemed like an eternity in the water, but I could see the progress and just kept going on. When I finished the swim, I was totally relieved.

In the transition area, taking off the wetsuit and getting ready for the bike, I started to cry. I was just overwhelmed realizing that I was doing it. I was in the race. And I wasn't going to come in last. Then, I had almost a full hour in my own head while I cycled. That's a long time to be alone in a race, but I really wasn't near very many people for my entire bike ride. Part way in, I realized that it was a lonely sport. There were no spectators on I-90, no one doing any cheering there, just some other cyclists all spread out on the ride. I got pretty emotional again with mixed feelings. I was proud of myself for doing this thing and a little lonely doing it all by myself at the same time. The most exhilarated I felt during the whole race was when I got to the half-way mark of the bike leg. It was half over and I was owning it.

By the time I got to the run, I was just plain tired. All I could think about was keeping my feet moving. When I got to the top of the one hill of the course, I was simply relieved. Relieved that I had gotten that out of the way. Then, I just willed myself to keep going the rest of the way. Once I got close to the finish line, I was so happy to see my cheering section and to finish. Honestly though, it was a tiny bit of a letdown. I think I was too tired at that point to really feel the excitement of what I had accomplished.

Later in the day, I went to see if the times were posted on the Danskin website. They were already there and I could check my times and see that I had met all three of my goals that I gave myself. At that point, I cried again, all alone in front of the computer, by myself. I was so happy that I had met my goals!

And with that, I think I've broken it down every way possible now. You don't have to hear any more about my experience unless you ask.


Layla said...

Just so you know, when I showed up to cheer you on, I started to cry a little! I have no idea why. Later on that day Brock confessed to me that the race made him a little emotional too! And we weren't even participating :)

Holly said...

Well I got emotional reading all your posts on f/b and your blog. There is something about seeing someone set a goal and accomplishing it that is truly inspiring. But your expression of your inner feelings really touched me. Thanks for sharing.

Lefty said...

Thank you for sharing this, Lovely Lady. You are so inspiring to me and I am so proud of you! You did it!

Rager said...

I just gotta say you're awesome Noelle!

Kathleen said...

Just think how amazing the next race will be now that we have the anxiety of the first race out of the way. You are awesome and I'm so glad we've been there for each other!