Monday, September 20, 2010

Second Tri

Yesterday, I participated in my second triathlon. I had five weeks between the first and second and spent a lot of time with my trainer focusing on things that would improve my endurance. I can now tell you that I felt a lot better at the end of the second triathlon that I did at the end of the first one.

Over the last five weeks I decided I wouldn't do this one about 35 times (that's at least once a day for the duration). The DH didn't know when I was doing this event and planned a trip with his sons to go see a Raiders game the same weekend. That was the first time I decided I wouldn't do it. I just couldn't fathom taking care of all the race prep and hauling and stuff all by myself. Enter Kathleen, outstanding friend, to the rescue. I asked her if she would help me and she was not just willing, but even excited to be there with me. Having done our first triathlon together, I knew I could count on her support and so I was back in.

Over the next few weeks, there were countless reasons why I didn't need to do the race or didn't want to do the race, or just didn't feel like doing the race. I'd paid the money though, so each time I wavered, I was back in shortly. Then, I started watching the weather. September in Seattle is often beautiful. It starts cooling down and the days are quite lovely -- except when they aren't. The forecast was for ugly storms that day, but you just can't trust the weather report around here. I was in. I was out. I was in again when the forecast was for clouds, but no rain. Then, for a good portion of the night before the race, I woke to hearing stormy, hard rain outside. I was out. I did NOT want to do the race in the middle of an ugly rainstorm. Then, around 3:00 a.m. when I woke up, the storm had stopped. I was back in. When I actually got up, the ground was wet, but it was really nice out. There were high clouds and a little bit of blue sky. I was definitely in. The weather held out for the race. Barely.

The race starts with the swim, so I wore my cycling/running clothes, but flip flops on my feet. There were a bunch of really muddy spots, so I was a bit of a mess by the time I got to the transition area. I had to wash my feet off before putting on the wet suit so I wouldn't get mud all over it. It was an extra challenge, but was actually more funny than difficult. While in flip flops or barefoot, at some point I hit my heal on a rock. I felt it, but didn't think too much of it at the time.

The swim went great and I beat my last time by half a minute. The first transition was quite a bit faster than last time. The bike was fine, but exactly 5 seconds slower than the first race. My second transition was super fast. The run was 3.5 minutes faster than the previous race. Total difference was seven and a half minutes faster. The biggest difference in how I did this race was that I decided not to worry about running the whole 5K run. I walked really fast for a bunch of it. It helped my regulate my heart rate and run faster when I did run. It seemed to be a good strategy. When I finished, I was super tired and my legs were screaming, but I actually felt really good. I'm excited to train more over the Winter and work on improving in all three areas.

Kathleen was there at every leg of the race and it was great to see her at the finish line. After it was done, I went to gather all my gear and we started walking to the car. It was about a ten-minute walk to where she was parked, and while I was walking I realized that my heal hurt where I had hit it on a rock earlier. I thought maybe I had bruised it a little. We packed all the gear in the car and headed home. By the time I got home, my heal REALLY hurt. All the endorphins had officially worn off and I was in pain. Once in the house, I took my shoe off and saw that there was a big circle of blood in the bottom of my shoe and then I saw that my sock had a matching stain. I couldn't really tell how bad it was until after I showered and it was all cleaned off. It looks like I cut it in a little half-moon shape about a half inch across. I had to laugh that my first "sports injury" is a cut from a rock. How silly! I think it will be fine in a day or two though. It already feels better today than it did yesterday, so I'm not too worried about it.

In the end, I'm really glad that I finally decided that I was in and that I finished the race. It was a lot more fun this time around and I was able to enjoy every moment of the camaraderie and support much more than I did last time.

Thanks again, Kathleen, for your help! It made all the difference. I'm pretty sure that I would have decided to sleep through it if I hadn't known Kathleen was up and on her way to my house to pick me up.


Kathleen said...

Awesome job Noelle. You finished strong! I loved being there.

Anonymous said...

You're still my "HERO!" So proud to have you as a sister-in-law. LUV