Wednesday, July 30, 2008
My first triathlon was a success! I did very well for the first time. What's amazing to me was the course was not difficult at all! Visalia Triathlon Club President Justin Levine had a friend who served as my personal assistant for the day. Poor thing! He was my lap counter and photographer. I told him to take more pictures of me while swimming, biking, and running, but he was so preoccupied that he totally forgot! Anyways, I'm sure that Justin will send out more pictures to the club later on the week.
The 800 meter/.5mile/36 laps/I don't know how many yards swim was very easy. I remembered what Justin taught me during our group swim practices, 1-2-3 strokes, reach far, count to seven, breathe, and stay one sided. Much to my amazement, I finished the swim in 22 minutes (typically, I average 1 lap per minute, so I thought that I was going to take at least 40 minutes). And for added humor, when Ira said that he was finished, I did one more lap -- I thought that he said "one more" instead of "no more!"
Next was the bike, which was a piece of cake. Although there was some rolling hills along the way. I was averaging 15 to 19 miles per hour flat, 4 to 8 mph climbing. Needless to say, I completed it in a little over an hour.
The toughest part of the course was the run. There were lots of steep hills, especially towards the end of the course. I was never a runner until yesterday. I had never ran a steep hill other than using the treadmill (which I usually trained in). I stopped for at least 10 minutes non consecutively to walk. However, as I reached the last hill, I gave it all, ran to the top, and went downhill. I saw Mike Keller, a fellow member of Visalia Triathlon Club, at the last intersection and we finished together. Oh yes, it took me 40 minutes to finish the run.
As Mike and I approached the finishline, we heard the crowd screaming "Go ____!" or "Way to go #____." It was an overwhelming feeling similar to what I experienced riding my first century in Lake Tahoe as a member of Team in Training. Along the way I heard the announcer saying, "Here comes #414, Melanie Tatco from Lemoore, California! You better watch out! She's charging up a storm!" Meanwhile, I saw the VTC gang (Justin, Stephanie, Ira, Jennifer, Carol, Mark, Susan, Dan, Brian, Scott, Kim, John, and Andi to name a few) and gave them each a hi-5 as I crossed. Once my stomach touched the string, I accomplished a feat that nobody my age or older would ever do.
Afterwards, I called my family. Each of them were extremely proud, including my mommy and daddy.
I did this event on behalf of a friend who died in last month due to leukemia. Last year, I made a promise to her that I would do another sports endurance event in her honor. I know I made her proud!