Give it a TRI (Part II)

5AM on race day came around quickly and we were up and moving before the sun…

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Getting dressed in our tri clothes and making sure that we had everything we needed for today’s big event…for example, our time chips!  Breakfast was overnight oats with some fruit, half banana, and of course some Tazo Awake Tea.

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We headed out to meet the shuttle buses to the Rec Plex and checked in the with home to see if the BOY and my dad were on their way.  There were A LOT of people awake so early…women participating in the race and their friends and family ready to cheer them on.

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I got another look at that dreaded swim and the life guards that would save us if needed!  Did I mention that I have never swam across a lake?!?!  Luckily, there would also be swim angels who would be waiting with noodles.

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My mom met some new friends along the way and we bumped into some people that we know in the transition area.  There was an air of nerves and excitement as we set up our transitions and did some last minute checks.  In most races, participants only have a tiny space, but I was lucky to be next to a wide stretch of grass.  I was not the only one who took advantage of the extra space.  I have always been an over-packer!

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All smiles before the race!  We all headed to the beach for the swim start.  My mom was towards the beginning with a 7:04AM start and I had until 7:40.  I used that time to stretch, use the bathroom, and stress out about the swim.  Happily,  I bumped into a friend who helped me take my mind of the swim race for bit.  When the time came, I waded into the water with my peers and confidently made my way to the front of my wave.  Sally, the national spokeswoman, kept things light and the swim angels led us out into the water at the sound of the horn.  Unfortunately, ego and emotion got the best of me 5 strokes in and I began to panic…I had tried to pace with the fastest of swimmers, forgetting my slow and even rhythm.  There were bodies everywhere and I was overwhelmed with fear…a startlingly contrast to last weekend’s swim in Green Lake.  I had trouble catching my breath and continued to have moments of panic.  I used the breaststroke to catch my breath, attempted to swim again, and found my head psyching out my body.  At about the halfway point, I felt as if I had been in the water forever (or at least 30 minutes).  A quick glance at my watch revealed that it was less than 10 minutes and the other side of the lake was looking a little closer.  I gave myself a STERN ‘talking-to’ and reassurance that I was capable of making it across this lake.  I pulled it together and calmly swam the last half at my slow and steady pace.  I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled to see the BOY waiting for me when I ran out of the water.  He ran with me and cheered me on into the transition area. 

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I transitioned to the bike and headed west on my 14.1 mile ride.  Around mile 5, I saw a familiar tri suit on an adorable sea green bike.  I screamed out for my mom who was happily pedaling along.  I enjoyed the bike ride although there was some strong wind at the start. And finally, I made it to my favorite part, the run.  I forgot to untie my running shoes ahead of time and was a little slow on my transition…lesson learned for the next tri.  I saw my dad and the BOY as I passed by beginning my run.  A little while later, they also saw my mom.

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I finished my race and grabbed as much water as possible. It was HOT!

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Still catching my breath…then ready for some photos!

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Here comes my mom…dancing her way to the finish!  What an inspiration!

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We headed back to the hotel for some celebrations.

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And then to Buffalo Wild Wings for some fried goodness and beer!

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A quick trip to Woodman’s and then we hit the road for home.

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It was an amazing weekend and such a special race to share with my mom!  I definitely recommend the TREK Women Triathlon Series for newbies and veteran triathletes!  It is such a positive and inspirational event.

My final RESULTS:

Here are your results for the 2011 Trek Women PPRAIRIE Triathlon:

Swim 00:15:32
Bike 00:49:22
Run 00:23:06

Total 01:35:42

You finished 13 out of 97 in your class 30-34 and 102 out of 1093 finishers.

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