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Warning: this post may contain more pictures of me than you ever care to see.

My first triathlon is behind me.

And I lived to blog about it.

It was an insane few weeks of surprise vacations, television interviews and last minute training practices.

This is me and a few of the girls who I did the tri with trying to practice our “transitions” (tri talk for the stuff that happens in between your swim /bike and then again between the bike/the run). It may look insane, but we were being coached to do jump squats until our legs reached “exhaustion” and then try to slip on our shoes and socks as quickly as possible. It’s harder than it sounds….trust me.

I had my first bike wreck the week of the tri. Ok….bike “fall-over”. But “wreck” sounds way more hardcore, so I will call it that. My bike chain came off during practice…..ouch.

A few of us “tri moms” blinged out shirts for our kiddos a few days before the race. What would a race be without a ‘lil bling?

Then the morning of the tri started E-A-R-L-Y……4:00 a.m. wake up time. Good thing I love mornings!

My momma and I had bought the 8 girls doing the tri all a balloon for race day. When you tie a balloon to your bike rack, it’s easier to find your bike amongst the 979 other bikes after you are done swimming. But apparently balloons are also code for “hello-i-am-a-newbie” and a few of the more serious athletes got irritated at our balloons. So, I got rid of mine as not to ruffle any feathers. But my Fab and 40 balloons were the cutest.

5:30 a.m. : we arrived at Smithville Lake to check in and set up transitions.

5:31 a.m.: we notice the sun is not coming up, but rather the skies are looking ominous. We started to google the weather and pray.

7:15 ish- the skies open up and pour. Believe me when I say it hasn’t rained in Kansas City in WEEKS. But of all mornings, it rained and rained and rained and it was a COLD rain. I saw women’s teeth chattering. Our transition areas flooded. Phones were ruined. Cameras had to be packed away (so I have very few pictures). It poured. This was NOT the tri weather I had prayed for.

(my friend Ashley and I)

8:15 ish – after another lightening delay, they began to hand out trash bags to try to keep us girls dry and warm. Too late…..

Our die-hard cheering section arrived….the poor things were soaked, but we were so happy to see friendly faces!!!

8:30 ish – after an hour of delays, we are ready to enter the water. By this time, everything seemed “off”….my coffee caffeine-kick was worn off, we were starting to get hungry, women’s lips were blue. But we were so grateful just to get started.

I swam my 500 yards (roughly 1/3 mile) in 17:26. I was aiming for under 18 minutes, so I did that. For those of you who follow my blog, you know I just learned to swim as a grown up in the last year. I may blog specifically about the swim portion of my tri because I think it deserves it’s own post. It was 17 minutes of my life that changed me. It was terrifying and scary and hard and humbling, but I got out of that water grinning ear to ear. I did it!!!!!!

Can I just saying I rocked transition #1? T1 time = 1:41. That’s the amount of time it takes you to run out of the water, put on soaking wet socks, and soaking wet shoes, your sunglasses and a bike helmet, un-rack your bike and get out of the bike area. I loved it!

The bike portion of my tri is probably my most proud event of the 3. I biked 10 miles in 35:37….way under my goal of 40 minutes. Considering the pavement was wet which made me nervous, I was thrilled. I am still deciding on whether or not I am brave enough to graduate up to clip-less pedals or not. For this season, I am content.

Transition 2 is the time it takes you to re-rack your bike, remove your helmet, put on your running belt with your number and run out of the transition area. I did it in 1:09.

Then we headed out to run 3.1 miles. There really is no feeling to describe what your legs feel like when you go from biking to running. Imagine running on legs that feel like jello. Or, just not feeling your legs. It’s so bizarre.

I crossed the finish line after running my 5K in 30:33. I was hoping to run it in under 30 minutes, but I did not walk and felt great until the last half mile.

My total tri time was 1:26….4 minutes under my goal! I placed #290th out of 980 women. Not bad for a woman who swims slower than a turtle.

My boys ran out to cross the finish line with me. Priceless.


Yep, I am getting ready to cry in this picture. I am usually not overly emotional at an event like this, but after crossing the finish line, all I wanted was to find my husband in the crowd. And as soon as I did, I just lost it in the safety of his arms.

He is my safe place and my biggest supporter and I just needed him when I crossed the finish line…..he is truly one of God’s greatest gifts to me. I couldn’t do things like girl’s weekends or triathlons if it weren’t for his selfless love and support.

After the bawling and the flowers subsided, we tried to get several of us to pose for an “after” pic. We couldn’t find a few of the other girls in the mess of people, so this isn’t a complete picture. But, I am sooooo proud of us ladies. I have also made a mental note that I am gonna have to find a better tri-hairdo…..this one isn’t working for me.

And so it is over. After investing a year of my life in learning to swim and watching countless videos and reading literature on swimming…..I still got passed by some girl who back-floated the entire thing without even wearing goggles. Isn’t that just how it works sometimes??? Good for her……you go random goggle-less girl!

And I celebrated the evening away with all of my closest friends and family at yes…..another birthday celebration. This 40th birthday thing just keeps going….I love it!

(Pics courtesy of this beauty)

(Love these women!!!)

I have had a week to ponder and process my triathlon and what it meant for me. Emotionally. As a woman. As a 40 year old woman who can’t swim. As a woman who was always decent in athletics, but has certainly blossomed with age. As a woman who is vowing to stay healthy so I can be around for my kid’s kids. And I urge you ladies….if it’s even on your radar…..consider a tri. The emotional and physical benefits are worth it.


(some of my family including my brother, his wife and their baby who SURPRISED me by coming for the weekend! Love them all!!!)

I have already signed up for my 2nd triathlon. It’s in 5 weeks. And altho’ I was happy for that random goggle-less woman, I am vowing not to get passed again by a back-floater without goggles.


Stay tuned.

Update – Here’s my post about my second triathlon! 


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