Saturday, May 24, 2008

COMPLETION: My first Triathlon - a mini, but still very much a triathlon :)

Want to boost your confidence level? Do a race! It's an exciting and fulfilling experience!

I signed up for the
YTri Triathlon two weeks ago, on Ashley's recommendation. "Thank you, girl! SO glad I did it!!" I've been anticipating the race these last couple of weeks, super excited and not one bit nervous, for which I absolutely praise the Lord!

Last night, Russell and I went to the beginners' pre-race meeting, which seriously lasted from 6:00 until about 7:30. It was great information on endurance, pacing oneself, swim/bike/run tips, etc. Then, I looked over at Russell, all smiles :), and asked if we could drive the bike course on the way home, to which he said, "Of course!" We rode it, and I'll save you a long description of the course by simply saying, "It's Mountain Brook...what can you expect? HILLS!"

Anyways, long story short, God gave me the strength to be up at 4:00 this morning, eat, get to the race location by 5:00, rack my bike, set up my transition area and get my body painted with black permanent marker :) by 6:00 and then the ominous waiting period began!

The first event was the swim...in the outdoor pool of the YMCA. Being #181, I waited about 50 minutes until I could jump in and do my 200 yard swim. My turn came, and I jumped in! I did the swim in 3 min. 56 sec. I even passed 3 people! Not bad at all!

Next, the 8.5 mile bike ride! The biking is my favorite and strongest event! So, I quickly run back to my transition area, wipe my feet dry, put my socks and shoes on, my helmet and shades, and unrack my bike. I'm off! Breathing so heavily, too, with excitement and just from getting out of the pool! Everything was going great...pacing myself, passing other cyclists, remembering cadence and gear shifting, when all of the sudden, I'm going up the steepest hill of the ride, and my pedals are spinning at top speed, yet I'm not going anywhere...soon to be drifting back down the hill? So, I look down, assess the situation and discover that my chain's disconnected. Bummer! So, I hop off and start pushing the bike up the hill...actually going about the same speed everyone else is going on their bikes. I'm telling you...steeeeeeeeeeeep hills! I pray, I reach the hilltop, I readjust the chain on the gears, and I'm good to go, praising the Lord all the way back to my transition area.

Final leg of the race: the run. Only 2 miles, but still 2 miles! Ugh! All I can say is somehow I got through it. I was even able to sprint the last bit to the finish line!

My goal going into this race was to finish it in 60 minutes. My final time was 1:00:31! So, I was off by 31 seconds! YEAH!!

I still can't believe I did it! Russell asked me later today if I enjoyed the race, and I really had to think about my answer...we realized that I enjoyed the pre-race and post-race stuff more than the actual race itself. It was hard, definitely a mental challenge. I'm certainly glad I've done it, and we'll see what it leads to. One of the best aspects of this whole experience, however, was "partnering" in it with Russell. He has been the BEST "support crew" I could ever have...right there with me the ENTIRE time...leading up to the race, cheering me on (calling out my name among the crowds!! :)) and taking good care of me post-race! "Thanks, Hun! I want to do an adventure race with you next!"


6:00am, my bike is racked, my transition area perfectly set up to my liking :), ready to roll!

Just passed the finish line! GREAT FEELING!

Brooke Chamblee, a friend through church, and I are champions! I'm darn proud of my medal! ;)

More pics here!

4 comments:

Cindy said...

Way to go!

Darby said...

Shireen,

I seriously think I'd die if I tried to do that... especially the biking up hills!! I loved your "play by play" on the whole race.. I felt like I was there with you... cheering you on! :) We had a great weekend and eventhough it was relaxing it will probably take me a day or two to recover! :) I'm so glad you did so well!! I'm very proud of you! :) I loved all the pics too!!

The deVilleneuve's said...

Congratulations, Shireen & Brooke!!! I am so proud of ya'll! What an awesome accomplishment!

Missy said...

congrats! loved all your pics you sent! JD (Laura's finance) did the same one. She said she saw you lots! Way to go!