Sunday, March 24, 2013

This Girl Is On Fire

It's been a full week since I've had a chance to digest the most hellacious rewarding experience of my life. 

{A visitor, school, moving and life in general got in the way... but that's another topic for another blog post!}

I expected to write a blog post-race about the immense sense of accomplishment and success that I felt at the finish line. That is so not what I was thinking as I crawled crossed the finish line. That doesn't mean I'm not proud of myself. It means that the 70.3 is so much more than just one day and one finish line. The days, months, hours, sweats and tears that went into training also constitute the 70.3. There were several hundred finish lines pieced together to get me across the line last weekend. Pain, embarrassment, judgement and frustration clouded my perception across the line. I may have set the bar a bit high for my first one. But I'm proud I finished, proud I trained and proud how I handled my disappointment at how frigggggggeeennnnn looooong that race took me to complete. 

But, a week later, with clarity and a better headspace, I am elated with myself. And ready to do what I need to be faster at the next one. Heck yeah there will be a next one! Augusta 70.3 anyone?? It'll be 5 days after my 26th birthday - sounds like a good way to celebrate a year of tri-ing

Leaving my bike in transition the night before, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Ok I kind of knew, but I was still in a state of denial. 

By the time we moseyed over to the swim start, about 3/4 of a mile from transition, a serious case of the "Holy Sh*t's" had set in. Thank goodness that is normal, once I got in the water I knew I'd be able to finish. I just had to keep going. Which was a tall order at some points on the swim. 

Because of how the lagoon fills from the ocean, the current was in against us for the bulk of the swim. As we approached the last 300 meters, and had to swim under the bridge, I suddenly felt like I was on a swimming treadmill. Forward motion was nearly impossible. The ramp was in sight, but I couldn't seem to get myself there no matter how hard I pulled with my arms. The volunteers literally yanked us out of the water, and I've never been so grateful to run to transition. 

 I had a great bike ride, some lower abdominal pain was a bit annoying, but besides that I just put my head down and pedaled. I had some fun passing people, and not so much fun with a pesky drafter, and even less fun with the head wind on the way back to transition. The course had some awesome views of the ocean and beach, but could have used water stations with water bottles that were actually cage friendly. Or with that little tab under the squirt nozzle removed. I grabbed one last water bottle to take bake into transition (17 miles from the aide station), but that little tab was there. Imagine me, in the aero bars, trying to get the twisty top off, the ripping the paper off with my teeth, all the while trying not to draft, get in anyone's way and still trying to go fast!!! I'm sure I looked hilarious. 

T-Rex biking? Anyone??

Running seemed like it would be blissful compared to the biking. A mile out from transition I couldn't wait to throw the bike away and run. Until I did. Then I went from idolizing running, to despising faster than you can say crud.I indulged in drinking water too much on the first 6 mile lap. I was just fueling the naseau and discomfort I was feeling, rather than overcoming my dehydration. I walked/jogged more than anticipated, until I womaned up and started declining water opting instead to take a small sip then pour the rest on myself. Suddenly I could run shuffle my way for the next 7 miles. 

Suddenly, ok a very long 7 hours later, it was over. Luckily I found some friends who forced me to eat, drink, cool off and sit down. I can get myself across 70.3 miles, but that doesn't mean I can take care of myself afterwards! 

But I can be really happy to see my training partner and swap stories about the race! 

So happy to be done, not so happy about hopping back on the white stallion to ride uphill a mile to get back to the hotel. A shower, more food and clean clothes were motivation enough to get it done! 

So now I am officially a {half} IronWoman. 

A week later and I don't feel that different. The changes that happened to me because of this event happened slowly, over the course of the last few months. I'm excited about this new identity, and excited to mold it over the next several months. Stay tuned, since I haven't blogged in a few weeks I got some major catsup to do : ) Many new and exciting changes in my life are just waiting to be share with you! 

xoxo Sweat&Sparkle

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