Wednesday, September 5, 2007

8 Hours of Tri-ing!

Oops! So, I just realized that I had downloaded the pictures from my most recent race, but never posted them! So here's the report from my first (and probably only) triathlon of the season! But don't worry, after the Chicago Marathon, I've decided to shift my focus from marathons to triathlons and can't wait-already-for next summer!

Anyway, so the Colorado Springs Tri Chics all started when I got this email from Helen asking if anyone would be interested in competing as a team in this 8-hour triathlon race. And me, always looking for a grand adventure, jumped at the opportunity! Plus, it would ensure I'd get to race this summer, so I was in. I trained off and on, around my marathon training and mountain climbing as much as I could but I was really just looking forward to having fun at this event, and we certainly did!

So the day started with the alarm going off at 3:45am. It's a good thing I'd done some pretty early hikes this summer...3:45 didn't really seem that early. (I think this is a sign I'm going insane...) Anyway, I packed up, met Dee and Helen (for the first time as well) at Dee's house where we loaded up into her XTerra and we headed off for Denver, well Aurora actually.

We made great time and got to Cherry Creek State Park right around 6am and met up with our other two teammates, Susan and Beverly. We finally figured out where we were supposed to park and set up our "pit" area. Helen brought this sweet tent that kept us cool and out of the hot hot hot sun in those long afternoon hours! This is Beverly's picture that she so eloquently calls, "The Set-up"

I'm not gonna lie, I was a little nervous, and the butterflies were definitely fluttering around, but once the race started, it all turned into adrenaline.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the race, let me explain it for a minute. It's basically a race against time. For our race, we had 8 hours to complete as many complete triathlons as possible. It was a 1/2 mile swim, 9.2 mile bike and a 2.8 mile run. Competitors had the opportunity to compete solo or as a team. We opted, obviously, for the team and for many reasons, I'm glad I did, but most of all because I got to meet and compete with four fabulous and very talented women : ) So I wasn't actually racing for 8-hours straight, but we were as a team, make sense? Anyway, aside from being a little disorganized, it was a fabulous race, and I'd love to do it again next year!
Ok, enough details and onto the race!
I got this picture just after the gun-the first swimmers racing down to the water to begin the race! There are the leaders! The water was beautiful!
And here's Susan, in the white cap, coming up from her first swim of the day.
Here I am, getting pumped for my first event...the bike! The course was actually pretty nice, and other than almost getting lost, I did pretty well-29:34

And I'm off! Catch me if you can...I dare you!
Here I am cooling off before my was hotter than hot early in the afternoon just before my run and the water made all the difference in the world! For 2.8 miles, I ran it in 23:05. Not bad, for a distance runner!
Cool transition shot. Dee's ready to take off for the water!

So, by this time of the day, around 2pm, the clouds were continuing to slowly creep in from the mountains and we were afraid we might get some lightening. Now, those of you who know me, know that I'm a swimmer at the core and having just bought a new wetsuit, I wanted more than anything to try it out and see what it was like. My team knew this and so after discussing it for a bit, they decided to send me out for my swim before they closed the waterfront. I couldn't have been happier! After my run, I raced back to the pit, peeled on my wetsuit-no easy task after a sweaty 3 mile run, by the way-and waited for Dee to come back from her swim. I had no idea how I was going to do in an open water race. I knew how I would have done in a pool, but open water with currents and waves from passing boats, there are a lot of unknowns. Well, after less than 20 minutes rest from my run, Dee tagged me in and I ran down to the water and took off. The water was a perfect temperature, though it did take my breath away for the first 50 yards or so. But as soon as I got into my groove, it was like I was flying through the water, passing people left and right and it felt great-I could have stayed in there all day! I finished my two laps and ran up the hill and tagged Beverly in for her next swim. I looked at the clock and realized that I'd swam it in somewhere around 15 minutes, and I was elated! I was expecting to make it in around 18 minutes, so to come in a little under 15 was far more than I ever expected!! Me in my wetsuit-I just had to!

It was a wonderful race and a fabulous day, but it of course eventually came to an end. Here's Helen, our final runner, crossing the finish line to officially complete our 8-hours of Triathlon!

The Colo Spgs Tri Chics with our medals! From left to right, Beverly, Dee, me, Helen and Susan

So the race was over and we had a bit of time to kill before the awards, so we went back and grilled some dinner, which was delish! We hung out for a while, I know I tossed around the idea of skipping the awards ceremony, but we decided to stay, and it's a good thing we did...we took first in our division! Yeah, we rock : ) This was our award which our fearless captain, Helen will proudly display in her home for us!

A great day and a great race. Thank you wonderful ladies, for making this such an enjoyable and memorable experience. I'm looking forward to future races with you all!!


Jennifer said...

Wow Mindy, looks like an awesome race! I'm so glad you got to do that and that it was so much fun!

Heather said...

Congrats! I didn't realize you were doing a triathlon. That looks like an awesome day! I think I may be inspired to try a tri next summer.