Sunday, August 1, 2010


Sunday was the triathlon that Ashley and I have been training for, for 7 long grueling months. This is the race that motivated us to many firsts. We started and completed P90X. We learned that we could actually run 1 mile and even competed in multiple 5k races around Colorado Springs. Ashley learned to swim 1/2 mile without stopping or feeling like she was going to drown. We bought road bikes and learned how to change a flat tire. Ashley committed to eating healthy from day 1 and lost around 13-15 pounds. We become strong enough to do doubles: swim and then bike or bike and then run. Since January we put training for this triathlon top priority over everything else in our lives.

Tri for the Cure is a "swim, bike and run to benefit the Denver Metropolitan Affiliate for Susan G. Komen for the Cure and to end breast cancer forever." So much effort went into the race to make all of the women of different shapes and sizes and of different athletic abilities feel and believe that they could finish the race. An overwhelming number of volunteers, friends and family supported and rooted for each and everyone of us along the course. Because of the support and the great cause that this race benefits, I will most definitely participate in this event again next year. If you are thinking about doing a triathlon this is the perfect race for a beginner.

Ashley and I entered the race as Buddies, which meant we were guaranteed to be in the same heat. We got to Cherry Creek Reservoir around 5:30am, scoped out the perfect transition spot and set-up camp. The transition spot is very important. This is your home away from home where you run to and from multiple times. We were lucky to be on the outer rail only 3 bike racks down from the port-a-potties. Our transition area looked like this (thanks Dan for all of the great tips): our bike was on the rack facing in the direction of the bike start. On our bikes we had our water bottle and pouch with our tire changing tools. We taped an opened package of Shock Blocks near the handle bars. We had our bike/run shirt with our number already pinned on draped over the handle bars and our bike helmet and sunglasses ready. On the ground lay our hand towel with another water bottle to wash off our feet and a larger towel to dry them with. Our socks were rolled up ready to be put on. We put the no-tie shoelaces in our shoes so we didn't have to worry about tying them. We had our running hat and gum ready for the run. We also left flip flops near the exit of the swimming area to put on to make the run back to our bikes easier. I was very pleased with the layout of the transition area and the ease of it all. What added time to the transition was the distance from the transition area to the next timing chip mat at the start of the bike and run course. Because we were in the Buddie category we were the last heat to go out so we had about 1 1/2 hours to wait. We were able to watch the other heats go first and see what they did. But it also added to the anticipation and nervousness of it all. For those of you who know Ashley and I know that we are best friends and very close. We hold hands when we get scared and cling onto each other for support. We have always had this close relationship and I am very lucky to have a best friend that is truly like a sister. As you can imagine we were extremely nervous in the holding area waiting for our heat to enter the swim. We were holding hands and one girl said to another, "see I told you some of them would be here." This made Ashley and I laugh out loud! [Ashley and I waiting to enter the water] [Starting the swim]

  Anyways, they finally called our heat and we stepped into the water waiting for the horn to go off. We took the outer edge hoping to get away from the mass. For the most part it worked. But everyone seemed to stop at all 3 of the buoys. This was the most difficult area to navigate around. My goggles didn't help either. They fogged up and for the most part I couldn't see my surroundings very well. I should have listened to Ashley and got the slightly larger triathlon specific ones. Other than that the swim went pretty well. I finished it in 18:26.
[Me putting on my flip flops] 

I then ran out of the water put on my flip flops, took off my cap and goggles and ran to my transition area. I put on my shirt, helmet, sunglasses and grabbed my bike and ran. The hard part is you have to run your bike to the bike entrance which adds extra time to your transition time. the bike course was actually not that bad. There was really only one big hill. I was very grateful to be on a road bike. It allowed me to speed past so many people. I was a little worried about making sure I had enough legs left for the run. If I could go back and do it all over again I would push myself a little harder in this event. I think I had a little more in me. I finished the bike in 41:27. I jumped off my bike and ran it back to my home away from home. I put on my hat and Ashley was right there behind me ready to go. We jogged to the run start and took off. Our legs felt like concrete, but we pushed ourselves the entire way. We didn't stop once to walk. The way up the damn was slightly uphill. Obviously the best part was the way down and I even had some kick left in the end. The run was grueling, but thinking back I really don't remember it being that bad! I finished the run in 30:21 with a pace of 9:47.
[Ashley and I after the race]  

My overall time was 1:39:01!!

Before the race day, I questioned if I would become addicted to triathlons like so many claim to become after their first. A day later, I now see why. I have thought about the race many, many times. The memories I have is not how hard the swim was or how my legs felt like concrete in the run, but how much fun it was. I truly had a great time and it felt great to accomplish something as big as this.

I am proud to say that I am a triathlete!