Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Twin Lakes, Half Olympic Tri

This past weekend I ran the Twin Lakes, Half Olympic Tri, and conquered a lot of fears :) I had quite a few worries/fears going into this race. The race was limited to just 60 people, which is extremely small, I've never done a tri smaller than thousands of people, and this was my first ever Male/Female race. I was kind of worried, would I be intimidated by the men, would they be agressive or would it all be okay. And probably one of my biggest fears was that I would finish last, which I would be okay with if it happened, but I didn't really want to be last.

To make matters worse, going into the race, all week I was extremly sick, instead of resting up and downing liquids and getting all pysched up for the race, I was sick sick sick, and begging at some points to even wonder if I was even going to be able to race.

The race location had a very special meaning to me, the race was at the Twin Lakes, in NW Iowa, and it's kind of where my mom grew up, but the cool thing was my grandma who meant a lot to me, always took us there to go swimming, down the slide, all in good fun! I wanted to do something in a good memory of her :) The race also supported the Christian Camp that was there, where my mom even went to camp as a kid.

Because of it's size all of the race packet pickup, and race was on Saturday, which made me a little nervous, not getting our info until Saturday morning but it seemed to work out okay. I stayed at my parents house on Friday night which was about an hour and a half away and then got up early like a normal tri and headed to the site. We were the first to arrive around 5:55. I checked out the very small transition site, It was seriously home town tri, the transition site was wrapped off in caution tape :) classic! After that we waited for the packet pick up to start around 6 and I got my number and my t-shirt and some goodies, they had pretty sweet goodies for a small town tri, but then I set up my bike, and my gear in the transition zone, which was on grass, in a location that I thought would be pretty good spot. I had a great spot right out of the bike and I didn't even walk the transition zone to know where my bike was, it was simply to small.

Becuase it was their first tri, they were very adimit about checking all the small details, it was the first time I've ever had someone inspect my helmet for a rating that is required to have to race, and the first time i've ever had anyone inspect my bike end caps. but thankfully all of my stuff was okay.

After setting up we then had to drive over to the Christian Camp, where the race began and ended. I had scoped this out earlier when I drove home, and was wondering how in the world are we getting in the water. Normally you enter on a beach, but this was different, there was no beach connected directly to the water. I chit chatted with a few girls for a while before the race directors and referee gave their little speach.

It was kind of neat, This tri will always hold a special place in my heart, the referee gave his speach, and then one of the guys who was part of the christian camp lead us in a prayer to just bless our day, and ask to keep us all safe, etc. I felt so blessed, that it was on their hearts to share their faith with all who were there even if they were just there to run a tri, but also I just felt blessed to have God at the forefront of my race. And then I guess the girl who was supposed to sing the national athem didnt' show up, so the race director ended up singing it, and he was fairly good. And then... off to the races, the guys started first in the first wave with a 3 minute head start. and then the women followed. They even had a TRUE old fashioned Shot Gun Start! LOL

The swim went fairly well, but I didn't feel the greatest, so I did a lot of breast stroke, and back stroke, but my swim time according to the my watch was around 18 minutes, which definitly isn't my best swim time, but it was a longer swim, and the waves were increadibly choppy and we were swimming against them the entire time, so I was okay with it. Also I think they could have used a few more bouys, it was hard to sight off of the bouys in the water since there were only two, the first one was fine, but the second wasn't nearly until the finish and until then you only had boats on both sides, so I think i did a lot of back and forth swimming which added to my distance. When I got out of the water, I heard my mom yelling, what a amazing sound :) I LOVE my parents, and they are of course my biggest fans!! My dad told me that I was number 7 of the women out of the water, out of 24 women! I'll take that!

I didn't think that I would see my parents until sometime on the bike, becuase of the set up, but because it was such a small town tri, and the course was an open course, they were there chearing for me and and, get this... taking pictures!!!! of me getting out of the water!! I told them they had to get decent pictures because there was no professional photographer, and they surpassed my expectations! Instead of giving them my digital camera I gave them each a disposal camera, but my dad didn't evne use that, he used his digital camera and my mom used her disposable camera that I got her, I haven't seen the pictures from there yet, so we'll see.

The run from the beach to the bike transition area was quite a wase, but not horrible, not as bad as the subaru tri. I quickly got into transition put on my stuff, looked around, hey, there are still MEN in here, so I knew that I wasn't to far behind or at least not in the very back yet! I had some troubles getting my bike out! oh my, the bar it was on sank as people put their bikes on it, so it was a little complicated and probably slowed down my transition a ltitle but it was okay, I got out, and off on the bike I went.

Once I got out to the bike course, it was HORRIBLY windy!! I mean absoultly absurd windy wise. It was even worse than the danskin and every way you turned you had a head wind, yuck! I didn't feel very good on the bike either, I felt like vomiting, I was hot, overheated, and I think just not still feeling that great from the week, I took the first lap slower than I would have liked to try and adjust myself, but only 1 girl passed me and I ended up passing two others. This tri was harder because there wasn't 100 people around you and you couldn't challenge yourself off them, you had to challenge yourself against you, there were times when you wouldn't see ANYONE for minutes, at times I would wonder if I was on the right path. Although they had LOOOOTS of fans and volunteers.

There was even a set of girls and a Mom as a volunteer, and as I went past them they yelled GIRL POWER!! I gave them a big thumbs up and continued, they kept me going, and other fans along the way, people I had no idea who they were were chearing me on, so it kept ya going, it was just a really fun place to race, and great memories. IT was a two lap course so on the second lap I felt a little better and went a little faster, I passed a few more people, but also one or two more people caught up to me, which made me challenge my self even more. On lap two there was an older volunteer who was standing at a coner telling us to turn, and she yelled, take your time, you're doing great, keep it up, she sounded just like my grandma! it made me smile. According to my bike timer I did the bike in about 43 minutes, which isn't bad, it's even faster bike than my Danskin, so I was happy with it. My Average speed was around 17.8 MPH :) not to bad for my 5 dollar garage sale find :)

Then.. on to the run.. YUCK!! I was really hopping that since it was a small town tri they would let me use my music for the run.. nope, nada, bummer!!! I trained from the danskin to this race, pretty much just running, hopping to improve my run time. It's the one thing that I struggle the most on. I also always get way to hot on the run, and it just ends up being bad, so this time I thought I would try taking a water bottle wtih ice water in it.

the run was on a trail that had some minor hills, which wasn't horrible, but it seemed really really long.. Several people passed me, but I was okay with that, and in facat, i saw at least 6 men pass me!!! MEN!?!? they started 3 minutes ahead of me, so I didn't feel so bad, just means, running is my weak one, but I am working on it. And of course, it felt good when people were running adn even though they were passing me, they said keep going, good job, you can do it! i love tri's cause everyone is sooo supportive and encouraging! I was towards the middle and I saw my parents driving on the road next to the trail yelling GO LESLIE and taking pictures, it even made me laugh, they were great, they even stopped up later on the trail before a water break to take more pictures, ohh I am soo glad they were there.

Towards the end of the run, a Lady who was 35 was running next to me, and I stopped to walk, I do a 10 minute run followed by a 4 minute walk a lot of times, and she was like, oh I'll walk with you, and we talked, she was great! It was her first tri, and she has 3 kids under the age of 10 (hey dana, maybe you should do one, seee you could do it!! :)) and was talking about the tri, while we walked at a fast pace, then we ran together, encouraging one another, and then walked a little, then ran, etc.. it was great!! She was great! We finished just seconds apart, and she gave me a huge hug afterwards and said keep it up, I was so proud of her! My run time was just under 44 minutes or so, not horrible, for me, adn improved from the danskin, but it still needs work.

When I crossed the finish line tons of chearing and loud noises, it was true excitment :) and then I fell to the ground pouring water over and over my head, hey I even got a finishers medal, how cool!! then minutes later, there was chearing again, what? I wasn't the last one? They annouced here comes our final finisher!!! NO WAY?! I looked to my mom and exclaimed, I WASN"T THE LAST ONE!! and she smiled, and then the final guy crossed, yup thats right, I finished in total time 8 minutes ahead of the final finsher!! yay!!!!

We finished watching everyone finish and then we got to each breakfast!! mmmm pancakes :) in the line a guy said great job out there to me, I was like.. huh, thanks, he was like, thats amazing, and he said he had passed me on the run etc.. i was like yeah.. and it was just neat to hear someone compliment me on my tri, even though I know I didn't feel that great. but it was cool, and the other newat thing was there was a lady who said I had awesome biking form! I passed her, she was telling my dad how I zoomed by, LOL. I guess its good to hear these things soemtimmes :) I had so much fun, even though I didn't feel the greatest. I even got a certificate and a polo shirt for finishing, tehy went out of their way to do amazing things for us.

And I even posted one of my best times yet! 1:51:46. how? I dunno only by God's strength. There are a few things however that I needed to jot down :)

Reminders! - WEAR SOCKS ON THE RUN! - Don't try out new things, like a new watch, get used to it first :)


At 4:18 PM , Anonymous Dana said...

Way to go Leslie!! Thanks for the play by play!

(And I caught your little add-on... um... maybe in 4 years when I have a ten year old how bout? :)! )


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