Monday, September 08, 2008

Lake Las Vegas Triathlon Report

My husband David and I finished the Lake Las Vegas Triathlon on August 30! It was our first triathlon (sprint) and it was AWESOME! This is pretty much straight from my journal so it's L-O-N-G.

The short version -

Basically, we both LOVED the triathlon and are already talking about the next one. David's goal was to come in under an hour and a half and he did it! He finished in 1:24:47! He rocked! Yeah, baby! I was hoping to not get a flat tire and come in under 2 hours. I finished without incident in 1:54:53. We entered the husband/wife combined time division and we came in 6th out of 12. We are so motivated to come back next year and represent a little higher on the list. :) It was really hard, but so, so awesome! We're hooked!

If you want more details, here they are -

David at 6:35am, excited to get this party started!

We stood in line for probably 20 minutes to get our timing chip anklets, our bodies marked and our spots in transition. A lady Sharpie Marker-ed 283 (my number) on my right arm and 29 S (my age and sprint) on my right calf. David was 251 and 32 S. We were lucky enough to find two spots next to each other in the transition area madness.

The race was in the Lake Las Vegas Resort, which happens to be amazing. We want to live there, specifically in one of the houses on the bridge. :) Race day was beautiful. I have been watching the temperatures in Henderson, Nevada all summer. The highs are always in the triple digits and I've been wondering why we signed up for this. Saturday happened to be "cold" (low 90's) and overcast. Perfect.

The race started in waves. David was in the first wave - sprint men under 35. My wave was 3rd - sprint women under 35. Before the race began, I kept losing sight of David among all the other men wearing bright green swim caps and black biker shorts. :) It was thrilling to see him get set to go. When the announcer said "Go", I cheered and waved for David and got REALLY pumped for my turn. I knew I'd pass him coming back in as I swam out. I wouldn't see him of course, but it was nice to know he was out there somewhere ahead of me.

You can see me (6th from the left) messing with my bright yellow swim cap and pigtails.

Six minutes later I was in the water. I held it together pretty well, but I definitely panicked. There were so many people all around which made the water choppy and once I couldn't see the bottom anymore I felt really chlostrophobic. I knew the swim would be a mental challenge for me. I didn't set any records in speed or style with my face out of the water 95% of the time. Something to work on for the next race! When I got out of the water my parents and sisters were there cheering me on! I high fived them all as I ran by. The run back to the transition area took a couple minutes. It was so far to run after such a hard swim. I took my time in transition, even put on some chapstick and facial moisturizer! :) I know.

My official time to swim 500 meters and run back to transition was 15:21 and my first transition time was 2:07. David's was 11:01 and 2:19. I was faster in transition! (My one bragging point!)


The bike segment turned out to be my favorite part. David's too. The bike route was 3 laps around the resort. It started with a crazy hard uphill, followed by segments of flat road and long downhills, one 90 degree turn and a shorter uphill back to the transition area. Near the end of my first lap, David caught up to me, about to start his third lap. It was so awesome to see him! He told me that just up ahead, our whole family was waiting! He raced on ahead of me and a few minutes later I saw them! All my cute kids were there with my parents, sisters and a few friends. I LOVED seeing the kids cheering and waving their "Go Mom" and "Our Mom Rocks!" posters. They had the same phrases on the reverse sides for Daddy, which I'm sure they waved just as frantically when he passed by. :) I wanted to hop off and hug them all! For sure, we had the biggest cheering section.

Halfway up the long hill the second time, I thought how glad I was that I only had to do this part one more time. It was hard! The rest of the course was challenging, but with enough downhill and flat to give me a few breaks. For future races I need to work on my downhills! I am just so cautious (read: wimpy)! People went flying down the hills as I carefully applied the breaks every few seconds. :) I need to gain some confidence! And I need a bike! Christmas! :)

Near the end of my third lap, I saw David running! He was about halfway through his 5k by then. We waved and yelled some "Yeah, baby!"s and "I love you"s to each other. I loved seeing him!!! My family was just ahead so I waved and yelled some more. Thrilling. I loved those moments.

Just before entering the transition area, I got off my bike onto my wobbly legs. I couldn't even walk! I sort of marched my bike in, swapped my helmet for my hat and headed out on my run.

My official time to bike 10.6 miles was 55:22 and my second transition time was 1:43. David's was 40:55 and 1:37.

The run was definitely the hardest part. After swimming and biking for over an hour, I didn't have much left for 3.1 miles! I ran/walked the first half mile or so. It started uphill, then there was a nice long downhill which would have been a good place to run, except I got cramps. Then I walked the whole way up the long hill in the desert to the first water station/turn around. I stopped to drink and stretch for just a few seconds, then I ran! I ran down the hill I had just come up, then jogged up the hill I had just walked down. I felt pretty good from there to the end, but I ran slowly the entire time. After the second water station I ran to my family. I stopped to hug and kiss all five of my babies. They were so cute! Their excitement for me was thrilling joy! I felt so happy and so proud of myself. I'm a mom of FIVE!!! And I'm a triathlete!! And they were there, watching me and cheering me on! And their Daddy had run by and high fived them all just a short time before. As I ran, olympic distance racers passed me going the other direction on their bikes. I kept thinking how I was so glad that wasn't me. I think I'll stick to the sprint distance races. :)

The finish line came out of nowhere, so I didn't have the chance to sprint it in, but it's not like I had much kick left anyway. David was there waiting for me. I was beyond happy to see him. WE DID IT! TOGETHER!!! We hugged and kissed and high fived and congratulated each other. It felt so good to be done. It felt so good to have accomplished this crazy goal together.

My official time for the 5k run was 40:23. (I could have easily shaved off that extra 23 seconds if I didn't have so many kids to kiss! Totally worth it though.) David's time was 28:56. My overall time was 1:54:53 and David's was 1:24:47.

The whole experience was amazing. It was physically and mentally challenging from the first day of training to the finish line, but I never had thoughts of giving up, ever. I just knew I would do it. I'm a changed person. I am physically stronger than I've ever been in my life. I've faced some of my fears (and am determined to overcome them!) I am more confident. I'm proud that I've shown my kids how I can work hard to accomplish a huge goal. And I've loved their excitement for me! And David and I are closer than ever. He's been my best support and biggest cheerleader. We've pushed each other and we finished this thing together. It was so hard but so worth everything we put in.


erinmalia said...

congrats rebecca. you guys certainly look tough.

-erin (emily's sis)

Alicia said...

Congratulations! What an accomplishment.

emily said...

i liked reading it again, here. i'm now contemplating a tri, but don't think i can do the whole swimming thing. i'll have to talk to you more about it.

yes, my sister is right, you guys look - and are - tough. :)

rebecca said...

Hey, I didn't know you and Erin were here! :) Small world! He he!

amydear said...

You have 5 kids?? Wow! You look so young and buff. : ) Congrats on your first sprint tri. Looks like fun.

Anonymous said...

that is just awesome! i've JUST started training for one, like this past week, and would love ANY tips at all for getting started, what i need to bring the day of, what kind of bike you have, really any advice that you'd like to give, i'd truly appreciate it!! congrats on your accomplishment!!

Anonymous said...

oh and advice on your diet and nutrition for it! thanks!

Alex Elliot said...

Congratulations! I did my first triathlon sprint in May and liked it so much that I've done three more this summer/fall. They're addicting!