Sunday, July 4, 2010


#417 is the area code for southwest Missouri.
#417 is odd, but is not a prime number (missed by 2).
#417 is a Triathlete!
#417 is ME!

I did it!
I wasn't the fastest - far from it.
I almost finished dead-last - but I'm okay with that.
I finished.

Had you asked me a year ago if I ever thought about attempting a triathlon, I would have told you 'no'.  In fact, my friend & neighbor did at triathlon to celebrate her 50th birthday last year and even hearing about her Tri I didn't see myself doing it.  It wasn't until my co-worker roped me into it that I gave it any thought.

It's been an interesting road, looking back, and I'm already thinking about next year's event.

This year...
I trained in a new sport, running.
I realized how much I enjoy an old sport, swimming.
I got re-energized about my favorite sport, cycling.
I improved my health and fitness level to one I've not been at before.  I felt great and looked it, too! (bonus)

Then there were the challenges...
I lost my swimming place in mid-May.  The school I was swimming at closed the pool for remodeling.  This left me without regular swim practice for over a month.  I did swim in the lake with the Triathlon Club, but that was more of a "get to know open-water swimming" than training.  The one really good swim day got shut down early because of lightning.  (a good idea, but messed up training, again).

I also suffered an injury at a very inconvenient time.  I'm not a strong runner as it is, so without regular training, I fell back into my non-runner status and had to start all over again.  This totally messed up my run at the event.  I can't seem to run "long" distances without the pain returning (I walked about 1/2 of the course).  So my plan for the next month is no running... start over again in August.
I have promised myself that next year I'll be ready for that 5K run.

During the race I dropped my chain at around the 4.4 mile mark, which set me back 20 minutes to fix it. (Ooooh, this really toasted me... I was doing SO well on the bike).

I went into the race with two goals (three, if you count that I wanted to finish... but that was really a given):
Goal #1 - Thank all the volunteers.
I learned this from the Slow Fat Triathlete, Jayne Williams.  In her book she emphasizes how much work it is to put on a good, safe, event.  It takes a LOT of volunteers.  People who wake up really early and spend their day off helping us swim-bike-run.
I thanked everyone I passed, except one.  This girl was sitting on the ground texting when I rode by, so I didn't say anything to her.  Looking back, I feel a little guilty for not saying thank you.  I'll do better next year. :)

Goal #2 - Have fun & stay healthy.
I've been listening to my body for the last month... what hurts?  what works?  how am I doing?  When you're out there on the course, you have a lot of time to listen (no iPods allowed).  As I thanked volunteers and wished fellow athletes good luck, it was easy to smile and think "what a cool event this is".  I ran this course in "training speed" - not "racing speed" - so that I could make it to the end without issue.
My family was there to cheer me on - and then some folks I didn't know yelled "GO Jill GO" when I ran past them (friends of friends, as it were) - it make me smile and gave me goosebumps.   It felt very good.

So what were my times?
Total race time:  2:18:50
  Swim:  0:24:08
  T1: 4:00 minutes
  Bike:  1:08:46
  T2: 1:13 minutes
  Run:  0:40:48

At the end of the race, I was met by my hubby, parents, sister & her family, in-laws, and friends, congratulating me on my accomplishment.  Aside from a bit of pain in my hip, I felt great.  I had done it.  Through the good and the bad, it was done.

I am a triathlete.

Happy Independence Day to all, too!  I'm celebrating by doing NOTHING... and loving it.

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

What an accomplishment!!!! Yea for you (repeat that 417 times) ;-)