On Sunday morning, I participated in one of the best experiences of my life. I completed a sprint triathlon (.46 mile swim, 14.2 mile bike ride, 3.2 mile run), and I did it with a huge smile on my face. 😀
(Not my actual time. My wave did not start until 1 hour and 40 minutes after the timer started.)
Let’s back up. Many months ago, a couple of friends and my sisters-in-law thought that we should sign up for the Naperville women’s sprint triathlon. I was totally up for it, signed up, and started pseudo training. I got sick a few times this spring, but us girls encouraged each other, trained together on occasion, and talked about how excited and nervous we were. I got serious about training several weeks leading up to the event, and I think it made a huge difference in how I felt during the whole race…which was awesome.
On race morning Joe and I picked up my friend Katie (who’s hubby sadly had to be out of town that weekend), at 4:45 a.m. By the time we got to Naperville, we had 3 more hours until our wave would start! (We had to get there early before the transition area closed.)
Katie, me, Anna, Lora
But, we enjoyed the morning–getting pumped up, praying together, thanking God for such an awesome experience to be a part of, and hanging out with the family.
The first wave started at 7:00, but we didn’t start until 8:40.
There is the quarry (at 5:30 a.m.) that we swam in. It was actually pretty pleasant to swim in, not like a big scary lake that you’d have to swim out to the middle of and back. In fact, we weaved back and forth through these lane lines, so each time you came back towards the beach, you could stand up, which was a great break for my arms.
Seriously. Don’t mess with us.
Although we were in the family division, Lora started 4 minutes after us since her last name was towards the middle, but Anna and Katie are up there somewhere, and I’m towards the left with the striped blue tank. This is when I got so nervous! Just get me in that water and swimming!
But praise the Lord!!! No one panicked or struggled in the water! For me, it was definitely the hardest part of the triathlon, but not as bad as I had heard or read about. God was seriously looking out of for us, no doubt. Thumbs up when getting out of the water! I just stayed towards the back of my pack, and swam the best I could. Plus they had these “swim buddies” around and life guards everywhere, and I really think the Lord was giving us peace, so it just felt so safe and low key. I finished the .46 mile swim in 18:06.
^Running to the transition area^
We dried off, got our shoes on, and chatted about how pleasantly surprised we were about the swim before we took off on the bikes. The transition time was 14:22—not typical, but we just took our time and waited for each other.
Here is a picture of the transition area. I think there were 2,000 women participating on Sunday!
It was mandatory to walk your bike through the transition area.
I hopped on my bike, and just pedaled away. I ended up riding by myself, but it was such a peaceful and enjoyable ride. I love my Specialized Crossroads hybrid bike I got years ago, and I’ve always loved cycling, so I wasn’t surprised at how much I enjoyed this part of the tri. It would have been fun to chat with the girls, but you had to ride single file anyways, so I think it worked out fine.
haha Katie. I was so excited when towards the end of the ride I saw my family (Joe, Dad, Mom, Katie, Sam, father-in-law and brother-in-law). We had the best cheerleaders!
The bike portion took me 55:04, but it felt like it went by so fast!
I had to make the decision to either stay and wait at the transition area, or just leave for the run, and I decided that I would just go. I was feeling really good, so rather than standing and waiting, and then trying to keep the same pace with the other girls, I thought I would just keep going! I ended up running by myself, which for some reason I just do better at. (I’m not a loner, I swear!) 🙂 I just zone out and really get in a groove, so that’s what worked out.
I finished the 3.2 mile run in 27:22, which isn’t fast for many, but I felt great about it, especially after 55 minutes of biking. I’m so grateful my knees and shins weren’t hurting, and I ran at a much faster pace (8:53) than I normally do, but it didn’t even feel like it. I’m telling you, adrenaline and having so many people cheer for you does amazing things!
These girls persevered, encouraged and inspired me. It was honestly just an amazing morning and I loved being with so many women working towards an awesome goal. I can’t wait do do this again with them next year!
P.S. Could we have picked a better spot to stand in front off? 😉
Here is an awesome verse my mother-in-law shared with us that morning:
“I cried out, ‘I’m slipping!’ and your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:18-19
Thank you to my amazing, sweet, supportive husband who took so many pictures and ran from one point to another to cheer me on and photograph, (even ran with me for a second!). I love you, Joe, and thank you for encouraging and supporting me through this whole season! And thank you to our awesome family who cheered us on. You made this event so wonderful for us!
And how am I feeling today?
I ran for 30 minutes after work! Not sure when this tri high will wear off (did I make that up? I like it), but I’m just still riding the wave and looking for another possible race in my future…