I'm a triathlete

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sad panda has been replaced by ...

Triathlon panda!

Swim: .5 mile

I'll admit it: I was really worried I was going to be the dumbass who'd ruin this sign.

The fears didn't get any better this morning. (Look at all those people! And the wetsuits!)

As per usual, I totally freaked out in the water. All of the splashing and the flailing limbs and not being able to see the bottom of the lake and just feeling incredibly small in what seemed like a gigantic body of water really got to me. For a second, I thought about dropping out. And then I remembered that glorious thing called the backstroke: Yes, folks -- I backstroked half of that swim. And then I started thinking about the fact that I was backstroking a triathlon. And then I couldn't stop laughing. And then I was totally fine and ended up swimming the rest of the distance like a normal person. My swim time was absolutely horrible, and I'm almost certain I was the very last person from my wave out of the water, but whatever. It was comedy and I didn't drown and that's all that matters.

Bike: 21.7 miles

The swim-to-bike transition was pretty easy -- just threw on my shoes and socks (since I have lame paddle pedals, I was wearing running shoes) and strapped on my helmet and off I went. I think I was just so grateful to leave the swim behind me (what I love about the triathlon: there's no dwelling on the previous leg because you have to focus on the task at hand) that I didn't worry too much about the fact that my longest training ride was only 11.6 miles. (Seriously, I was not exaggerating when I said I was ridiculously unprepared for this event.)

My strategy? Enjoy the ride. And I did. I feel like my bike and I are in this new, young relationship -- the getting-to-know-you stage, if you will. So today's ride was another date -- deeper conversation this time, maybe covering more serious topics perhaps, but still a flirty little date as we rode past vineyards and funky mailboxes. (Apparently, the residents of Ukiah really enjoy decorating their mailboxes.) And it was fun. I found myself smiling the whole time. And I did get to pass a few people, too, which was nice. (By the way, I have a feeling my bike and I will have a long-term relationship. This is definitely more than just a crush -- she's hot and smart and athletic. Swoon.)

Run: 3.1 miles

Because my swim was so ridiculously slow, almost everyone was already running by the time I got to T2. As I was riding up, I thought to myself: Why are they all running funny? What the hell is wrong with them?

I soon found out. After an insanely fast transition (hooray for not having to change shoes), I started running. (Keep in mind that I did zero brick workouts prior to this. And I also hadn't run in more than a month due to my stupid tendonitis.) Talk about awkward: My legs felt like lead, my feet felt pigeon-toed, my ass felt like it had something stuck up it and my strides were so short it was like I was shuffling. I told myself just to put one foot in front of the other and reminded myself that this was my sport, this was what I loved -- and most importantly, this was the one thing I had been looking forward to doing all day.

The course started off on trails and wound down a hillside. After about a mile, I started feeling like myself again. I began to pass people. And not a single person passed me. I finished strong and really, really happy.

My overall time was pretty slow -- I think it was 2:36 or something like that. (It's not posted online yet, so I can't double-check.) But I don't really care -- I had a blast. And I think I'm hooked -- I definitely want to do this again.

Only next time, maybe with more swim practice.


Average A said...


Michaela said...

Thanks! It was so much fun! Can't wait until my next one!

Layla said...

Yay, I'm so happy for you! Happy tri panda!! I can't even imagine surviving that swim, so you are a permanent badass in my book. Congratulations!

DT said...

You are SOOO Awesome! Like Layla, I want to call you the Bad Ass Triathalon Panda like the Bad Ass Honey Badger. Bad Ass Triathalon Panda don't give a shit. She even swims backwards.

Michaela said...

I may have to find honey badger tattoos for my next tri.

stefanoSTRONG said...


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