Beki's Blog

My life and the journey to self-awareness

I tri’ed, and I finished!

That’s right! I finished my first triathlon!

Since the event took place about 2 hours from our home, Daniel and I drove down on Friday. We checked into the hotel and drove to Folsom Lake. We needed to get a successful swimming session in, in cold water. Plus we wanted to ride the course. For race day, the course was 2 laps around a 6.5 mile loop. Daniel and I rode the lap once and headed for the lake. We got our wetsuits on and in we went. It was encouraging to see children in swim suits playing in the water. But it was still cold. We should have checked out the run course… We left the park feeling pretty confident about Sunday, race day.

Race day 4/18/2010
5:45am – time to get up. Transition area opens at 6:30am and is first come, first served. Holy crap of dawn, Batman! It’s friggin’ early! We had packed our bags the night before, so we grabbed the bikes and our bags and we were off! I ate a bagel on the way. Still about 3 hours away from start time.

We got our bikes into the transition and our mat and gear laid out. It was still pretty cold and I was really trying to not panic about what we were there to do, so we walked back to the car and sat there for a bit with the heater on.

Transition Area

Around 7:30 our friends that were also competing and our friends and family that were there to show support had arrived. I was trying to remember to drink water. Because of my nerves, I couldn’t get my protein drink down. I did drink a cup of coffee. If I thought I could have, I would have had about 4 more cups – but I was a stress ball of nerves, so I thought better of that.

Daniel’s wave went around 9:05. I got in the water and frolicked as was recommended to me (thank you Christie!). I got out of the water tried to talk to my friends and family, but was really attempting to not have an anxiety attack. I got back in the water and out about 3 more times. While I was still waiting for my wave to get the go ahead, I looked over and saw my sexy man out of the water and running towards the transition area. 20 minutes! What a stud!

Now it’s my turn. OMG. I can do this. What am I doing? Arrrghh! I waited a few seconds and let most of the women go ahead. I was almost immediately out of breath. I couldn’t put my face in the water. I tried to keep the rest of my swimming form. I was almost out to the first buoy and I was simply exhausted. I called over a volunteer on a kayak and held on for a bit. I couldn’t tell you if the volunteer was a man or a woman, but I remember how kind and supportive they were. I caught my breath as much as I could and kept going. I got about ½ way between the 2 buoys and needed to hang on again. This time was a bit harder for me. I started to cry. At this point, I was behind everyone else and knew that I was going to be the last one out of the water. And I was only halfway done. Again the volunteer was super kind. I hung on for a bit and was off. I had to hang on 2 more times before I made it back to the beach. As much as I was upset that I was the last person out of the water, I never once thought of quitting. My original goal in the swim was to finish it in 30 minutes. I finished it in 31:03. Not too bad, especially for zero proper swimming form and hanging on 4 times. Open water swimming is NOTHING like swimming in a pool!

Here I go...



I made it out of the water!

As I exited the water, I really had to keep myself from crying. I was so happy that I actually finished the swim. But I knew I wasn’t finished. No crying, Beki. I didn’t run up to the transition area, I walked quickly, but was really trying to get my heart rate down, and keep the tears at bay. I knew the bike course had some hills and I didn’t want to get on the bike and already be out of breath. The transition went pretty smooth. Well mostly. I wore booties over my feet for the swim, with the main purpose of keeping my feet clean after the swim. I took the bootie off and the put my bare, wet food on the sandy ground. D’oh! 6 minutes and 13 seconds after exiting the water, I was off on my bike!

Off for 13 miles of cycling

The first lap of the course felt hard. I am sure that it was because I was so exhausted from the swim. It was a hilly and winding course with really pretty views. However, I didn’t notice the scenery. Just the road in front of me. The majority of the time, I didn’t know where on the course I was in relation to the end. The second time around the course felt easier. There were less people on the road my second time around, which was a bit disheartening, but I really tried to stay focused on getting back to the transition area. About 10 minutes before the end of the ride, 2 wild turkeys crossed the road in front of me. Weird. About 2 minutes before the end of the bike ride, I see Daniel going the other way. Wow. This (amazingly wonderful, sexy and stud of a) man just finished a triathlon, is worried about me and decides to hop on his bike to make sure I’m okay. It’s not hard to figure out why I call him my knight! My original goal for the bike was 55 minutes. I finished in 56:27. I was pretty happy with that.

I'm finished with the bike!

Daniel rode in to the transition area with me. He told me about the treacherous run I was about to embark on. (Of course, he didn’t call it treacherous, he loves me too much.) We had heard that run was difficult. Once I heard that it was a trail run with some hills that could be walked up the same pace as running, I dumped my goal of finishing the run in 40 minutes. Well, that this was a difficult run was putting it mildly! It was a 90% trail run, with steep sandy hills that were full of deep ruts. At one point there were huge boulders I had to climb over and then there was a stretch of running on sand. Are you friggin’ kidding me? I ended up walking maybe about 1.5 miles out of the 4. But I never stopped moving. The thing that irritated me was that I had plenty left in me to run 4 miles. Just not those 4 miles. I don’t think parts of that trail could be run at all. By anyone. At any time. I started to feel myself cry when I could hear the announcer. I knew I was almost there. Again, I was able to hold the tears back. I finished the run in 53:09.

Only 4 miles to go!

I finished! My time was 2 hours 28:36. As I crossed the finish line, Daniel, my friends and family where there cheering me on. I cried, there was no controlling it. I was overcome with emotion. I felt so proud of myself. I did it. I really did.

I made it!


Pure relief, (& have I mentioned I have the best man in the world?)


The official time doesn’t include transitions. I was able to (and I really have no idea how) use the chronograph on my Timex Ironman watch to time the entire race. I was only 45 seconds different from the official time – which I added to my swim.

Official times

And I’ll do it again. Only bigger. In July. Just watch me!

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April 23, 2010 - Posted by | Me, triathlon | ,

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