Saturday, May 02, 2009

Our first triathlon

This morning we did the Tri-4-me, a sprint triathlon here in Denver. It involved a 500 m swim, a 12K bike ride and a 2 mile run. And we survived!

To get ready for the big event we did virtually no training at all. Neither of us had even been in a pool in a year, and then that was just holding Roan in her floaties, not swimming laps. I do not even own a bike, and on my one attempted training ride last week I got a flat tire 3 blocks from the house. The only thing we have been doing on a regular basis is running.

I have to say, it was a lot of fuss and hubub getting ready for this event. So many pieces of equipment and clothing to remember - bike, helmet, swimsuit, towel, gloves, bike pants, swim cap... And then add to that all the supplies necessary to keep a 2 year old fed, dry and occupied for 3 hours. We were up late last night getting everything together, and we were up by 5:30 this morning even though the race didn't start till 9.

When we got to the rec center we went to stage our bikes and gear in what they call the "transition area." This is where you keep all your junk, and it's the place you come back to before and after each event. This weekend Denver is taking a break from the gorgeous spring weather with dismal gray skies, highs in the 40s and rain. Ironic that in a place that gets 300+ days of sunshine, somehow we would be shivering in the cold barefoot in nothing but our swimsuits waiting for the race to start.

But before the race could start we got our RFID ankle chips for keeping your time, and got our bodies marked with our race numbers. It felt so official! All the while Roan was toddling around with her bucket of toys.

Our friends Kelly and Lee Ann joined us at the event. Actually they're the ones that suckered us into it to begin with. They run triathlons all the time, much longer ones too. They are gearing up for a half ironman this summer in Napa, which I think involves a 1 mile swim, 50 mile bike ride and 13 mile run. Yikes!

The order for all tris is swim - bike - run. This is mostly for safety reasons. Although at first blush it sounds "refreshing" to finish up with a dip in the pool, you'd probably drown if you did. Man, the swim sure took it out of me. I managed to swim one lap freestyle at what was a rather modest pace before I had to switch to backstroke for the remaining 9 laps. I couldn't swim without panting, and I couldn't pant with my face in the water. I realized I may not be a big fan of sports that make it difficult for you to breathe while doing them; I noticed oxygen is kind of useful when exercising.

They don't allow you to bring anything into the pool area other than your goggles (which we did not have) so that meant running wet and barefoot through a parking lot in 40* temperatures. Which would've been a lot worse had I not been so heated up from the swim. It wasn't actually all that bad.

Next we jumped on our bikes. Arwen was a couple minutes ahead of me in his swim time, so when I got to my bike he was just on his way out. I did a quick dry off and wardrobe change and was not far behind him. And then POOF just as I was getting going my bike blew a tire. Another flat! Luckily Kelly and Lee Ann had a bike to loan me, or else my race would've been over. As it was, after those few minutes scurrying around I was very nearly the last person on the course. I'm grateful to have had that bike to ride, but it felt like I was on a big wheel, it was sized so small!

After 4 laps on the bike course it was time for the run. That was the hardest 2 miles I've ever done! It felt like I was running on stumps. I had been worried a little about my left ankle, which I've been having a little trouble with (I'm getting a new pair of orthotics which should fix the problem) but it didn't bother me at all. Instead my right foot cramped up! But not badly enough to stop my run.

Kelly and his kiddos came out on that last leg of the course with Roan to cheer us on. That really gave me a boost! And then I saw Arwen coming the other way finishing up his race. Before long I was crossing the finish line too. I was pretty tired, but more than anything I was HUNGRY!! After enjoying a HUGE breakfast we were pooped! We headed home and the whole Vaughan family enjoyed a long nap.

I woke up at 4:30 PM and found that time had no meaning. I was fairly certain I could easily sleep another 5-6 hours. Alas, indulgent sleep schedules are no longer in the cards for us. Roan was awake but there was no way I could get out of bed. Luckily she was content to play with her toys while we summoned the strength to rejoin the world of the living. She recently got a new tool set, which she will immediately inform you is "like Daddy's tools. For to fix it." She would bring a little wooden screwdriver or wrench into our room, give it to one of us, and say "Here guys. This for you. This for you sharing. Ok guys." So cute, our little activity director.


Sandy and Doug said...

You rock! Doug keeps wanting me to do one--but that darn swim thing...Pictures???

Anonymous said...

Nice work guys. Glad Arwen recovered from the Cherry Creek Sneak. I was loooking at the results and one question: How far was the transition from the pool? Lots of 5 and 6 minute transitions, that's weird.

Good luck to your friends this summer, I assume they are doing the Vineman half. Great event in a great location, I did most of the full last year; they'll have fun.