I started out too fast, I ran the first mile in 11:11. I felt good, but in hindsight, I should have not used so much of my legs knowing the bike leg was full of hills. The trail was full of mud and exposed roots; the mud made my shoes slick and I ALMOST FELL…Almost. However, I PR’d my 5k time (sub 36 minutes).
|What am I looking at?|
T-1 (transition from run to bike)-I felt clumsy and actually forgot everything in the order I had practiced. "Do I kick off my running shoes first? No, it's the helmet. Oh forget, just get your stuff on."
My legs were heavy. The grass was wet. My cleats were slippery. I had trouble clipping into my pedals. I slowed. I clipped in. I was off. The first 3 miles felt great, it was basically down hill, and then there were hills. Lot of hills. Big hills. Little hills. Long inclines. Short inclines. I walked one because I had to. No shame. Charley horse. Gulped down my "Osmo" to help with charley horse. I prayed it would go away. Chanted “Just Do You!" (thanks Natalie). As I made my way from Chapel Hill to Anneewakee, I felt strong due to lots of downhill and smaller inclines. Since I live in the area, I knew where I was and this gave me a boost of confidence. I smiled. I peddled strong. I checked my the clock. I really wanted to finish sub 2 hours. As I turned into the park, I felt excited. I saw Tony. I saw Dorian. I smiled. I dismounted my bike.
|I'm ready to ride.|
T-2 (bike to swim)
Now I felt proud of this transition, maybe because taking clothes off was easier. My plan to quickly tuck my locs into the swim cap was flawless. I forgot to take off my race belt, but realized it before I made it into the pool area. Feet first into the pool. I’m tired. I breast stroke (my version, because I don't know how to breast stroke...lol) to the first turn, pause at the wall. I cuss. Charley horse is back. I rub my calf and begin my freestyle. I prayed that Charley would go away. He did. Praise God. Turn 3, I actually felt good. I was tired so I started breathing on one side. I hear Tony Brown telling to take it slow. I tried. I wanted to be done. I really don't remember much else until I finally make it to the last lane. I feel myself smiling and push off the wall. I’m saying to myself, you are a triathlete. You did that. I'm crying in the pool. This last 25 meters, I'm sure I was swimming like...like something...lol
|"Just keep swimming."-Dory|
I felt heavy getting out of the pool. I cross the timing mat to cheers from everyone who came to support me. I’m beyond happy. I cry some more. I see a camera and straighten up for a picture, I have a nice finish photo. I now see new faces…Ay Jay and Clarissa came to support me too?!?!! I am in shock that people I never expected to see felt I was worth their Sunday morning.
I am feeling extremely proud, so blessed, and truly humbled to have so many folks supporting me on my journey; in person and virtually. Natalie Reed, you were in my head the entire time, especially when I thought I was last. I did what you said “Just do you!”
I am looking forward to next season, longer distances, and new victories. I have a lot of work to do in all three sports, but with my determination, support from family and friends, and the experience of my coach I can…and will do it.
Oh, guess what y’all? I am a TRIATHLETE.
|1:56:21 the time it took me to finish, I BEAT MY GOAL!!!|