Friday, February 22, 2013

Taking it Day by Day

I have two races this weekend.
Race on the Base on Saturday and Steelman Challenge on Sunday. Two races back-to-back.
I am just going to take it day by day....race by race.
I'm only going to concentrate on tomorrow's race and leave Sunday's race to, well, after tomorrow's race.
Race on the Base
This will be my 4th year to compete at Race on the Base.
My first ROTB was Feb. 27, 2010.
It was my first triathlon.
I had been signed up for Tinsel Triathlon a couple of months prior to this, but my friends and I bailed out because it was sprinkling and my son warned us not to ride our bikes in the rain - TOO DANGEROUS!!!!
So I was really excited about ROTB.
My friends and I went even though it had rained the night before and it still looked stormy.
I didn't know what the heck I was doing. All the triathlon information I had learned from reading books and attending clinics departed from my head the minute I entered the fenced off transition area.
I set up my stuff in transition the best I could. And newbies that we were, we hung our big flowered balloon by our bikes. Several parts of transition were underwater, but the rain was holding off race-day morning.
After setting up transition I made numerous trips to the porta-potty.
The run started on the tarmac at the Los Alamitos Joint Training Facility and within running a mile it was drizzling. Another mile and it was sprinkling. The run went through a small stream that went up to my knees.
My feet were drenched.
"What kind of crazy event is this triathlon-thing?" I remember thinking to myself.
I sloshed my way through the end of the run and made it through transition.
The timing mat from transition to the bike course was underwater. There was no way around it....I had to run through the huge puddle. Now my bike shoes were drenched also. By now it was raining.
I couldn't see anything.
I took off my bike glasses and tucked them into my shirt.
I still couldn't see anything.
Rain was pelting me. I squinted my eyes to see through the rain. I started laughing.
This was crazy!!!!
There were a lot of people riding around me that were grumbling and saying stuff like "This sucks!"
"I LOVE THIS," I yelled!
I was drenched but the bike ride seemed flat and fun....until I rode my bike to the other side of the tarmac and was hit by full force in the face wind. My bike speed dropped dramatically...from beginner slow to almost no-go.
My legs were screaming and if I started to cry no one would notice because the rain was still pelting me.
Another turn on the tarmac and the wind was now at my back....back to beginner slow, which to me felt fast.
Three loops on the tarmac and the ride was done.
By now I didn't care about wet shoes or clothes.
I ran through transition and parked my bike and ran to the pool. The pool at the base is gorgeous and 50 meters. I had never swam in a 50 meter pool before nor a pool with a DEEP end. I had been swimming in a gym pool where the deepest part was 5 feet. Within 30 seconds (or less) of trying to freestyle, I couldn't get enough air and I had horrible cramps in my legs.
I flipped over onto my back and backstroked the entire 200 meter swim. I looked up into the sky and said over and over to myself, "I love swimming. I love swimming."
And then it was over and I climbed up the stairs and ran over the timing mat. I stood there while a nice volunteer took off my timing chip and another volunteer gave me a finishers medal.
Results were posted.
I wish I could report that I had an awesome time for my first triathlon.
I can and I can't.
My chip did not work and I had no time - for the record.
 I did have an awesome time for the experience of my first triathlon.It was fun and exhilarating and exciting.
I wanted to do it again.
So I did.
2011 - I came in 8th place in my age group with a time of 1:35:57. (some freestyle, some backstroke, some breaststroke)
2012 - 8th place again. My time was 1:38:01, but the run was increased from 3.1 miles to 3.7 miles. (all freestyle)
Tomorrow's race is going to be great!
I will be riding my new tri-bike.
My son (who's been sick all week, but is on the mend) will be competing in his first triathlon. Yes, the same son that warned me of the dangers of riding my bike in the rain.
My husband and a friend are also competing.
Yep, tomorrow's race is going to be great!
But it is going to be hard to beat the greatness of that first ROTB triathlon.

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