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Triathlon #3…..the one where I became a swimmer

By August 22, 20129 Comments


(Disclaimer:  muscles in this photo are not really as big as they appear!  LOL!)

So if you have followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I couldn’t swim 2 years ago. Well, I could swim with my head above water.
Like a turtle.
A reaaaaaaaaaally slow turtle.
And that ain’t really swimming!

After being a spectator at a triathlon 2 summers ago, I decided I wanted to complete a tri for my 40th birthday (which was last summer).  You can search the word triathlon on my sidebar and read all of my old posts on that birthday!

So, I hired a swim instructor.  Someone had to teach me to put my face under water without plugging my nose.  I literally snorted water every time I took a shower.  Yes…I was that bad.

Over the course of a year, I learned how to swim and I competed in 2 triathlons last summer. Both times I swam my 500 meters in 17-18 minutes. I was thrilled not to drown….but seriously….you could crawl faster than that.

This year I put alot of focus into my swimming. I swam at the YMCA. I swam in our neighborhood pool. I took triathlon swim training class at the Y. I took 7 weeks of lake swimming in Lee’s Summit for tri training. And I went to the lake several times on my own to swim.

I was determined to actually “SWIM” in this tri and not just “NOT DROWN” as I had in the other 2 triathlons. There is a huge difference.

On the morning of the tri,  the group of women I have trained with got there early to pose.

Photo: It's go time! Tri ladies tri!

And I had a dodged a bullet when some stranger noticed that my bike chain was off my bike.  Yikes!

I lined up with the 15 minute swimmers (my goal) and with my neighbor Jodi who was also a first time swimmer.  Since my time on the swim last year was 17 minutes….I thought it would be great to shave 2 minutes off my time.

The lake was soooooooo slimy. So slimy on the bottom that the race volunteers were helping us run in and out of the water because women were wiping out left and right.  So the run in and out was super scary.  And super grody.  And super nasty.  And super everything gross. Trust me on this.

But everything in between the entrance and exit of the swim….was marvelous for me.

The thing you most need to worry about in a tri is the first few minutes of the swim.  This is when  your heartbeat skyrockets out of control, you panic, you can hyperventilate, you freak out, etc.  The first 100 meters or so set the tone for the entire race for you.  You are full of adrenaline and you’ve waited and waited to get in the water and you are so pumped up.  But you have to maintain self control.  So, I concentrated HARD on keeping my heartbeat steady. And I swam.

I like really swam.

I swam like I wasn’t terrified.

No lifeguards had to ask me if I needed help this time.

I never once tread water.

I even swam past someone.

I had some amazing conversations with the Lord in my head as I swam.

I got bumped and didn’t panic.

I rounded the last buoy to swim in to the shore and I felt sad.

Finallllllly….I felt like I was a swimmer….and I was sad this portion of the tri was over.

I swam it in 13 minutes and some change (and so did my neighbor Jodi!)…. which means I shaved 4 minutes off my time from last year!!!!!  Yahoo!

The rest of the morning is really a blur. A blur without many good pictures. Bummer.

I can tell you my bike (altho having the chain put back on) was lodged into a middle gear. I couldn’t shift the entire tri. So, my bike time was a minute and half slower than last year.  But who cares?  I can swim!

And by the time I hit a mile on the run….. I was exhausted.  My legs were dead from biking in one gear for 10 miles.  I never walked….but I ran with the monkey on my back the entire 5K. My run was slower than last year too.  But who cares?  I can swim!

Overall, I finished 2 minutes faster than last year and with that I am thrilled!

At the end of the race,  the love of my life was waiting for me….

With a dozen peach colored roses.

 And he brought these 3 incredible little people to cheer mommy on….

And MY mommy was there….as she is for every big race and big event in my life (thank you Mom!).

And I had friends and neighbors and family at the finish line!

And my day was complete.

Training with these women (and several others who I didn’t get pics of) is such a blessing to me. 

Seriously readers…..find some friends and do something together. It doesn’t need to be a tri.  It could be a 5k or a 10k or a group tri or whatever!  Doing it with people makes all the difference in the world.

I think every woman in that tri is a superstar.

And I think I can finally swim.


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