Sunday, May 10, 2009

She Swims, She Bikes, She Runs

Hmmmmm, where does one even begin to discuss the biggest thing she's ever done (next to birthing a child)? I really don't even know where to begin. Let me just say that it was amazing. It was fun. It was HOT, but it was DOABLE! I am officially a Triathlete, and I love it. I can't wait to do many more of these events, and I'm officially challenging YOU to join me. Really, any of you readers out there who might be sitting on the fence about whether or not you could EVER do one of these things. Jump off right now, come to our side, you can TOTALLY do this. If me, and all my chubby glory can do this, then YOU CAN TOO! If Dana, who hasn't seen the inside of a gym in years, or done exercise in that long either can pull it together and do this, then YOU CAN TOO! Anyone can do this, and it's soooo worth it. There are people of every age, body type, social type, etc. that participate in triathlons, and you can too. That's all I'm saying. So, now I give you a pictorial of the events.

The night before the five of us went down to pick up our race packets and check out the area. Aren't we all so cute and sassy? I thought so too. We got nifty little bags with shirts, swim caps and little samples of various things. Dixie was giddy as a school girl on Christmas Eve. I was a bit more subdued, more like "hmmm, it's tomorrow." Then I promptly fell asleep in the car on the way home.

The morning of the race dawned BRIGHT and early. I was awake at 5:30 a.m. to have a little egg and get dressed for the day. I had my bag packed with all the necessities and meandered over to Dixies. Here is a little shot of her loading the bikes up on the car. Again, she was allllll atwitter.

All this picture proves is, we had matching shirts and this is why makeup was invented. I mean Holy hideousness.....get me some mascara STAT!

The excitment was in the air. The feeling was palpable, everyone hopped up and excited for the big event. We got there NICE and EARLY to set up our areas, lay out our towells, shoes, etc. Put our bikes up on the racks and just get ready. Here we are, in all our pre-race glory. Don't be scared of us, we're harmless really. No need to fear, Jenny went and got some "real" sunglasses before the race and the nerdy white ones were gone.

I'm putting on my race bracelet here. There is a micro-chip in them and they track your times between each event. In case you were wondering, I was number 444.

This is my friend/cousin Karen K Heslop. If you refer back to my entry "Old Friends are the Best Friends" she is one that I was with. Apparently, when I mentioned I was doing a triathlon that day, she became inspired. And only a month ago, she told me I'd inspired her and she had signed up to do the triathlon too. How FUN is that? She did awesome in the race.

Don't worry, it IS hard to be this hot. This is just before we moved over to get ready and get in the water with our heat. Dana and I chose to do the buddy wave, which for future reference we would not do again. We left 15 minutes behind where our age groups left, and that's a lot of time. Oh well, live and learn.

There I am, getting prepped for the big swim. The water was cold at first, but you got used to it quickly. In fact, it felt reallllly good. I was really ready for the race to start. Finally, 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1,GOOOOOO! I took off and never looked back. It was actually nice to be in open water and have no walls to worry about. I was in a really good groove and I made great time. I passed people from 2 heats in front of me (but to be fair, they were old ladies). Before I knew it, I was back at the dock and getting out of the water. I'd done the heat in 18 minutes, and left quite a few people behind me.

This is as good as I've got to show off the aquatard glory. Jere mistakenly had turned the camera to video at this point, so all I have are 1 second videos. Sorry. It was slightly embarrassing, but I got over it. Truth be told, i actually looked better in this than in my shorts and giant t-shirt later. Anyway, I sauntered over to the transition area (didn't know they counted this in your swim time) mostly because I was a bit shakier than I thought. It took me a second to get my feet under me, but I did it. And now it was ready to get ready for the bike.

I'm just about ready to grab my bike and head out of transition for the bike portion. I actually drank gatorade, ewwww! The moment I got on the bike and started riding something seemed wrong, but I kept going. I just thought that maybe because I always rode the bike with music (and this time I didn't have music) that I hadn't noticed how loud and annoying it was. So, I push onward, and when I got about 1/4 mile into the course it turne and head really up hill on the freeway onramp. Jenny passed me at this point and I said "something is wrong." And then she said "your front tire is totally flat." AWESOME! Are you freaking kidding me? So, I make it to the top and tell the cop up there that I have a flat and don't know what to do. He calls the race people and tells me that someone will be by to help me. So, I wait for what seems forever, watching more and more people go by. Finally, he says that they'll meet me at the bottom of the hill. So, I ride my flat tired bike down the hill and proceed to wait for another ETERNITY. At this point I'm just bawling on the side of the road, 'cause I'm pissed. Literally forever has passed when finally an extremely kind racer stops and tells me she'll help. But, she didn't have tools, 'cause I was riding a crappy old bike. So, she literally stopped cars on the side of the road until she found somone who had tools and was willing to help. This nice man and her totally took my bike apart, fixed the tire and THEN the dumb race mechanics showed up. All in all I had lost FORTY minutes at this point. Let me explain something, forty minutes in race time means people finished the race had lunch, went shopping and came back. I mean really, that is a LONG, LONG time. When I was finally on my way, I was just soooooo pissed. There is no other way to say it, PISSED! But, I peddled on and did what I could. It sucked to literally feel like I was the only person out there. As I was finishing the first loop, coming around the corner to the starting point, I heard a big pop and whoosh. You guessed it, my EFFING back tire blew. So, now I'm standing at the starting point and I'm back to square one. Thankfully, after a minute or two, Dana showed up, having just finished her race, and she handed me her bike so I could finish the freaking race. So, off I went, me myself and I, biking my heart out. As I was finishing my second lap, and I could hear all these people, or see people "cheering me on." I was so mad. The last thing i wanted or needed was to feel like a charity case. It made me so mad to think for one second that anyone thought "Oh the fat girl is still trying to finish." I just wanted to scream at everyone, I LOSTFORTYEFFINGMINUTES, I coulda beat all of you." "This is NOT hard for me, I could do it again tomorrow, do NOT pity the fat girl." Instead I cried and pushed on. The WORST part was coming in from the bike and transitioning to the run. My sweet, sweet family was so supportive. I mean, My Aunts Lucy and Judy were there, my cousins Kim and Heather (who was visiting from Alaska) were there, Jere, my parents, and more all just standing there yelling for me. At that point I was so angry and embarrassed that all i could do was cry. Thankfully, Jenny chose to walk the 3.1 miles with me.

This was a shot of us on the Mill Avenue bridge. We were nearing the finish line at this point. On this part of the race (the whole 3.1 mile part) I developed a blister like you would NOT believe. I have never had a blister, in all this training. I've worn the same shoes, and no blisters. But today, a blister, a hideously huge and excruciating blister. So, needless to say my time was not as stellar as it could have been.

There were a couple of girls behind me that passed me, and I said, a big HELL NO to that. So, I ran the last 1/4 mile in and beat them (and 2 others). Here I am in all my runners glory, getting ready to cross the finish line. I wish I hadn't had the set back, 'cause it sort of tempered the coolness of crossing the finish line. But it WAS cool, none the less.

Here we are....all newly accomplished triathletes. Well ok, Dixie is seasoned, but the rest of us are newbies. It felt awesome to accomplish this goal. We even got these nifty medals. And for the record...Dixie DID say that this was the hardest tri she's done, so that made me feel good. It just means that the Thanksgiving Day one will be CAKE!!
All in all, if you could erase that STUPID 40 minutes lost, it was a fantastic experience. And, minus that time loss, I actually did quite well for myself. I would have finished in the middle/top of my heat. So, that's how I shall see it, because those 40 minutes were NOT my fault. Not even gonna discuss the blister. Let's just say, taking my shoe off that day nearly killed me. It covers the entire back of my heel, top to bottom, side to side. The skin is completely off and it HURTS!! Good thing I'm totally tough!
So, there you have it, a day at the tri. And once again I am putting it out there for you....a CHALLENGE! There is a tri on Thanksgiving morning, that gives you LOTS of time to prepare and it's even shorter than this one. Create a goal, have something to work towards and you WILL be able to do it. And if that is just too much, then just start slow with some simple workouts. Taking care of yourself is important and WORTH it. YOU are worth it. Ah hell, we're ALL worth it.

Oh yeah, here is a shot of my only casualties. I didn't put sunscreen on my legs, and my calves took the brunt. Look closely, can you see the number 36 sunburned on my right calf. So FABULOUS!
Final stats: 26 lbs. lost in training, many more inches (so wish we would have measured). 48 lbs. lost since having Max in October. Here's to another 80 lbs.
Flat tires and blisters,


Lisachem said...

So, so proud of you! Flat tires, blisters, sunburn and all. You did it!!! Forty minutes? Smorty minutes. You finished. That's the impressive and inspirational part. Good for you!!!

Cassie and Chad said...

What a great story! I love that. congratulations on accomplishing this awesome goal. Seriously this is so dang cool! I love that you were able to do it with all of your sisters...Way To Go!!!

Rocketgirl said...

Both tires blew?!!? What a twist -a fabulous story and congratulations!! Regardless of those 40 minutes, I could never have done it. Woohoo!!!

Dixiechick said...

I didn't tell you how impressed I was that you finished even with the tires. That takes a lot of guts. I think I would have been like, "screw it!" But you pushed on and that is freaking awesome! Love you. :)

Dana said...

You really are a rock star!! Here's to the next one....and Dana's goal of beating you in even ONE of the three events *snort* as if! You're amazing. (and funny) Love you!

Wendy said...

I was surprised by how many people cheered us on along the race. Seriously so many. You definitely got screwed on the bike event, I hated that for you!

So glad we had the opportunity to do this together, happy memories were made, and I am excited for our next big challenge.

Awesome pictures. Love the 36 tattoo. Excellent use of the word effing!

Greg and Tammy said...

OK You are amazing!!! I'm seriously thinking about doing the one at Thanksgiving all because of you! That sucks about your tires!! What stupid stupid luck!! Congrats on finishing though!! YOU ROCK!!!

jen said...

I CANNOT believe that really happened. And you finished? I think I would have been a puddle on the side of the road! Kudos to you, and wish I could make the T'day race. Think I might still be recovering from an episieotomy.
And BTW . . .Dixie has buff arms! Wow.

The Maxsons said...

ALi, litterally have been waiting anxiously all day to hear about your triathalon yesterday. SO SO proud!!!! And so impressed and in awe seriously. Wow. I read every word. And I have a hard time focusing on stuff, so feel special! Love you! YOu are amazing!

niKKi said...

I think you girls are awesome, that really really sucks about the bike. You are still amazing and truly an inspiration, heck I might have said screw it too, but YOU stuck in there. GOOD JOB!! It was fun being there to cheer you gals on.

Jenn C. said...

So I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. You are so amazing! Thanks for sharing all of the details. Great job!

Mel said...

amazing. you are my hero :)
I will totally do it with you next year. You really should get paid to're great at it.

Jason and Kate said...

Congrats! I think I would have called it quits after the first flat tire. Way to go! I'm up for the Thanksgiving tri. Where is it?

Crandell Fam said...

Allyson, you inspired me more than anything, seriously. I was in tears for you when you came out of the bike transition, and I am so glad you didn't ever give up. You are one of the toughest and most amazing people I know. Thanks for EVERYTHING you do for me and for Brooklyn all the time, and mostly just fore being one of my bestest friends ever! Can't wait for Thanksgiving when you have a bike that doesn't totally suck.