What a day, What a day!
First Triathlon, First Race Report. Let's see where do I start and finish (because I don't want to keep you all too long). First things first . Thank you, Jesus! I finished. All Glory to God!
Yesterday, I rode the bike and run course. I must admit it caused a bit of angst. So, my prayer last night and this morning was "Lord, please replace my anxiety with peace and help me to remember where you've brought me from..." He did it!
I awoke at 4:30am this morning without an alarm! Can you say "Ret 2 Go"? I slept relatively well last night. Considering the night before a race can sometimes be a 'tossing & turning' kind of night, I was well rested. First timers desire: get my transition all set up and perfect real early (and yes, I toiled over what it looked like compared to everyone else's nice and neat area).
When we arrived, it was still dark. Women were walking bikes down to transition. I wondered, do I look as 'new' as I feel LOL. But, I felt really relaxed. When we arrived at transition, I was met by a volunteer who marked me up. I think I pulled my bib # out of my bag 3 times to confirm my number. #148! The volunteer assured me it was ..."ok" .... I've seen many a pic with those lovely sharpie markings on my friends and let me tell you, a sharpie never felt so good. SharpiED up. I felt OFFICIAL ;-).
I started seeing familiar faces right away (Dave, Holly and Chuck). It helped soooooooooooooooo much. Everyone was so helpful. I wasn't left to my own NOVICE devices to figure things out. I am tickled about how much I kept rearranging my transition area. I wasn't going to be alone with figuring things out. Chuck H. helped me find my rack & helped with all my transition questions. Then, I really felt a boost of all things good when I saw some of the women/men with whom I've trained and/or consulted during my TRI quest (Brandi, Margo, Nicole, Crystal, Viviran, Teresa, D, Coach I). I have been following Margo via FB in all her greatness for quite some time. I was thrilled to meet her today. She gives the best hugs ever! :-) There was so much support and encouragement all around me that I couldn't help but to feel comfortable! I met Meredith Atwood who wrote the book, Triathlon for every woman. I read her book last night as I settled into bed. I flipped directly to Chapter 11 - The mental game because those bullies in my head were trying to make me think I was crazy for TRI~ing. Lots of gr8 hugs and well wishes at the beginning of a race does the psyche good!!! Between potty breaks, pictures, and conversation about nails and such (Margo & Brandi) I really didn't have time to get nervous.
Brandi and I made our way to the beach to take a dip and a stroke or two in the water before the race began. I was so glad that I'd attended two clinics in the very lake where the race took place. Goggles on top or underneath cap? Wait, I forgot my earplugs. Darn it - my goggles are fogging up. Uh-oh mind started racing over the place but still no knots in the tummy. Before we left the water, we said a quick prayer. It was almost GO TIME. As we were standing in our waves, I chat with folks around me. Still felt good...! In fact, I was right next to the overall winner. When she told me afterward that she won 1st overall, I was like 'what'? lol ... I might have been a bit nerve wrecking to her with my CHATTiness. She was probably "in the zone" ;-) & I might have been disruptive. Sorry :-D... blame it on NEWBIE energy. Kevin stood with me and talked to me the whole time before our wave was called. If you know Kevin, he's always full of jokes. Again, no time to be nervous. There were a couple of women from Atlanta TRI club in my wave. Before the swim started, I saw another friend, Yolanda. SUPPORT & Camraderie ROCKS!
When I stepped into the water and before the horn blew, I heard "CARLETTA" ... Turning around I saw my BGR Powder Springs Pretties (Nina, Deedra, Diandrea, Stella, Mimi) and Derrick. Still relaxed!
SWIM: (17 min..not too bad when I just badly wanted to finish in 30 min)
Horn blew ... and I walked as far as I could before I started swiming. I breathe bilaterally, but I didn't do it not even once on the swim :-). I did alot of breathing to one side, doggie paddling, and flipping on my back. But, I never felt too winded. I did start to get a bit of a pain in my side midway through but I kept at it. I saw a few friends in the water & said "you can do it" ;-). Talk about feeling relaxed in the water. The neve of me to swim and talk .. lol! It wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared. I didn't give much thought to the fact that at no time soon would I be able to put my feet on the ground. I thanked God several times for what He's done for me. When I rounded the last buoy, every fiber of my being was screaming "YEAH, GIRL"!!! Stroke, Breathe, Stroke, Breathe, doggie paddling with no cares in the world. When I exited the water, I saw my running pals, Kevin, Kj, and other friends. Thumbs Up &
I finished the swim!
Still felt so good!!!! On the way into tranisition, I was met by a photographer from Marietta Daily Journal. We chat all during transition ...
Ummmm T1: 4 minutes, 10 seconds. The good news is I enjoyed our conversation. I was slow and in no rush AT ALL lol. I showed him my BONDI BAND (Think this is hard, try chemo). For the survivors ~ we fight HARD! Still felt so at ease. No pressure...obviously not when you spend 4 minutes in T1 (LOL). The veterans are probably cringing at the thought. The bad news is ... there is none! On to the bike!
BIKE: (1:00:26) Thrills & No Spills
Thank you Podium Multisport for one heckuva bike. PINKY did a great job carrying to and through the route. As I headed out on the bike, I saw another one of my running pals, Kimber. I really took my time on the bike. I didn't go exceptionally fast, probably put the brakes on more than I needed to but enjoyed the scenery while truly 'smelling the roses'. I had a little talk with Jesus all during my bike ride :-D. Rounding the corner, I see Tony with the little thingamajiggie camera. Big Grin. Feeling good! A 1/4 mile or so down the road, I saw my friend Cheryl and my Atlanta Tri club mentor, Robin. She has had to answer questions far and wide from me & help calm my fears with a big dose of reassurance. I shouted to each "Hey, Cheryl ~ Hey, Robin" There were 2 hills that gave me fits. But, I didn't get off the bike. "KEEP IT MOVING, Girl!!!!!" When I got to mile 6, I started thinking almost 1/2 done. I thought, "...girl, barring any bike malfunctions, you ARE going to be a triathlete." I heard Brandi pass me with a "GO CC". That girl rocked that bike! Way to go, Brandi. Around mile 10 or so, I passed a biker with a tshirt that read "CELEBRATING 10 years CANCER FREE". Man, if I could have HIGH 5'd her, I would have. As I said 'ON YOUR LEFT", I say way to go !! ONE YEAR CANCER SURVIVOR. After I saw my fellow cancer survivor on the route and where I hope to be one day ~ 10+ years cancer free, I felt awesome! That hill that I spent last evening concerned about ~ was not an issue.. the hill that I didn't give a 2nd thought to earlier in the route ~ real tough. Goes to show, sometimes I can focus on the wrong thing & not the RIGHT ONE ;-). Rounding the corner on the final stretch of the bike, there was the best, loudest cheerleading crew ever (Deedra, Diandrea, Kimber, Mimi, Nina, Stella, Kevin, Kj, Yolanda). I had the nerve to BLOW kisses as I passed.....after thought: girl are you REALLY taking your hands off the bike to blow kisses ~ms. fall down biker ;-). I cruised into transition. Feeling Gr8!
T2: (2:13) Holly gave me a big smile as I entered transition (Holly is a certified coach & I had a lesson with her OWS a couple of weeks ago). I still chat a bit & was in no real rush. But, I was 2 minutes less chatty (:-).
RUN: (48:54) My running pals held me down and traveled the run route with me. I chat, laughed, and appreciated the time with those ladies. Again, I probably was a bit too chatty and not all that focused But, when you're just happy to be 2/3 of the way through a first TRI, there is NO pressure. I trot less than I walked. But, my overall pace wasn't too much slower than my trotting pace (smile...hmmmm....probably need to improve that trot pace, a bit). Hills, Hills and a few more hills... Trot down, walk up, walk, walk, and walk. I figured I might walk more than trot & that's what I did. No ProblemO. Last 1/2 mile, I can not even begin to tell you the emotions that I started feeling. When I rounded the corner and saw the FINISH LINE, I felt magnificently blessed! Tears started. What a journey! What a mighty God we serve!
There were hugs, tears, and cheers at the finishline. THANK YOU to everyone who gave me hugs and well wishes at the finishline. I was a bit teary eyed, so I can't even begin to say who I hugged. But, your support is meaningful then, now, and always.
I am a TRIATHLETE!
Thank you Atlanta Tri club for the contest and the training. John and Bethany you've been a constant source of encouragement. Fellow Tri club members who embraced and encouraged me. Podium Multipsorts, Matt and Andy thank you for fielding every question possible and gearing me up! Thanks Dave and Big Peach Running Co - Brookhaven for my running shoes .. love 'em so much they became biking shoes today as well :). Thank you NOMSA,Coach I for spending quite a bit of time with me @ Lake Lanier in the water and on the bike.
Thank you Kevin and Kj being a rock solid support system. Getting up early this morning & snapping lots of pics today. To all my Cadiz friends and fam (and friends via Cadiz) you've never stopped supporting me (never doubted that without your votes I wouldn't have won the contest) & I appreciate you very much!
Thank you Cheryl and Yolanda for coming out and staying till the end with great pics and cheers!
Thank you Tony for chronicling this adventure! Fall and all .. ;)
Thank your Robin for mentoring me! I hope I was a good student ;-)
Thank you Margo for being the superstar you are .. that interview today was fun!
Thank you Nicole and Chuck for being awesome new friends. I adore you both.
Thank you Kim G for the initial lesson with clips (and for not getting mad that I fell) :-)
Thank you all the BGR Powder Springs Pretties for walking, running, praying me through and to from day 1
Thank you Brandi for training with me and sharing your expertise on the trail, in the pool, or lake .. we got it done.
Thank you Gary J for endless advice and support and colleagues who were great encouragers.
Thanks to all the volunteers today and organizers that made this first TRI an awesome experience.
Thank you to all my new friends I've met on this journey who absolutely inspire me daily with their own personal triumphs. What a great sport!
Y'all lastly, I am a bit tired so if I failed to mention you please charge it to my head (my tri brain is running on fumes) and not my heart.
Hugs and love, CC xoxoxoxoxoxo