I Did my First Duathlon!

love2eatinpa, 08 July 2010, 36 comments
Categories: Triathlon training
Tags: , , ,

First the good news – I finished!

The bad news – the swim was really hard. Like, this-close-to-giving-up hard.

Let me walk you through…

I was totally nervous throughout the day. Major butterflies in my stomach. It was 100 degrees out so I made sure to do my best to eat and drink appropriately for the 7:00 pm start time.

I was picked up by our friend Tom (not his real name, trying to protect the innocent here). Tom has done this duathlon and numerous other races many times, and he is a great athlete. In fact, he won his age group and came in 21st overall last night! Big props to Tom! How lucky was I to be driving with him and getting his advice??!!?

We go get there and go to the registration table. I’m pulling my wallet out of my purse and look what I found…

Is my daughter awesome, or what?!?!? What a great surprise!

So the 1/4 mile swim was point-to-point in a lake in New Jersey. The men were set to go first, followed two minutes later by the women. You had to wade about chest high into the water to start. At 5’3″, most people’s chests are at my eyeball level so I had to hang back instead instead of wasting energy treading water. In fact, Tom advised me, as it was my first time, to completely hang back and count to 10 after they blew the horn for the women to go so I would be free and clear, highly unlikely to be whacked or kicked my anyone. Great advice. (In hindsight, I realize that I swam further than I had to, but I digress.)

The water was really warm, like a bath tub, which was fine with me as I’m always chilly. So the horn blew for the women’s start. I delayed (I didn’t count to 10, maybe got to five, before I felt like I had a clear shot) then off I went.

The water was really murky and brown. I could hardly see anything, which oddly enough did not upset me. I planned to start of slowly, at my own pace, and I did. But after about 20 or so strokes, my arms started to fatigue/hurt. Crap! So I went to my plan b of breaststroking and mixed that in with my freestyle.

Have you ever seen that movie where I think it’s a child is running down a hallway and no matter how fast they run, due to movie magic, the hallway actually gets longer and not only does the child not appear to be going forward but are in fact losing ground? That is how I felt. The finish ahead of me looked SO far away, but I was determined not to throw in the towel.

So I flipped between freestyle and breast to try to get past the fatigue in my arms and move forward. I tried to look behind me and saw pretty much no-one. I hated the fact that I was last. (Yes, I am competitive!) Even the lifeguard in the kayak was paddling along parallel to me outside the swim area. This did not bode well, but I was determined to keep forging ahead. On another quick turnaround, I did see a few other women behind me, which made me feel a little better. I have only been swimming for six weeks, so I was ok with this.

About 2/3 of the way through, I stopped. I just had to. I had to catch my breath and take a rest. It was a big help as the rest enabled me to finally make it to the end of the lake. I would have kissed the sand but didn’t have the strength to bend over, and feared that if I did, I wouldn’t get back up again.

Of course at that point, one of the race photographers snapped a photo. I don’t know if I was grimacing in fatigue and disappointment about how hard it was, or if I was deliriously smiling because I was done that portion of the race.

So I went to the transition area and did a pretty decent job of taking off my swim cap and goggles while putting my wet feet into my socks and sneakers, grabbed my hair band and race belt and off I went. When I started the run, I saw 18 minutes and change on the time clock and thought how crappy it was that it took over 18 minutes to swim when I was hoping to not be more than 15 minutes. Ugh!

It took a mile or so to get into my running groove, but I did and was able to run pretty strong. There were people pretty far ahead of me and I was able to pick off about six of them at some point during this 5K portion, which made me feel good.

When I crossed the finish line, the time clock read 47 minutes and change. I was hoping to finish the race in 45-50 minutes, so 47+ was great. Tom was standing right there to congratulate me on finishing. He reminded me that the women started at least two minutes later so I really did finish in 45 minutes. I was excited. When I went online this morning to see the results and the photos, it turns out I did the swim in 14:06 and the entire thing in 44:15. Woohoo! Photos aren’t available yet. When they do get posted, if I look semi-human in them, I may post them on another day.

Unfortunately, in terms of the race, I did lousy, I came in 93 out of 104 participants. But you know what, I’m fine with that. It was such a great experience and I was really happy with how I did.

As for why my arms fatigued so quickly, there are a couple of excuses reasons why that may have happened. 1) I NEVER work out at night, always in the mornings, so that may have thrown me off some. 2) while waiting for the start, I was standing in chest high water using my arms to keep me upright, so perhaps in those five minutes, I was using up some of my arm strength. 3) I started a good 20 feet behind the starting line, so I swam further than I needed to. 4) because I am only six weeks into my training, while I tried to taper before the race, it’s quite possible that my body was still pretty tired from my weekend workout as I did not do a full taper, which I will do for the tri next month. Lastly, it just might not have been my night.

But you know what, whatever the case may be, I have only been swimming for six weeks (did I perhaps mention that already?), and I COMPLETED MY FIRST DUATHLON!!!!

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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Comments

36 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. amanda
    08 July 2010, 5:14 pm

    First off, I wanna say congrats on your race and be happy you finished. That has how I have been with my runs the last few weeks due to this heat. Normally I would get mad over more than a 10 min avg pace mile but nope…not anymore. There is poor air quality and I am running in over 80-90 degree plus weather at 8am!! I hope we get to see some pics but I know that race photos always turn out so weird.
    amanda´s last blog post ..The LoneStar State

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, amanda! my 5k time ended up to be 28:48, which i think is about a 9:20 mile. trust me, just as you were saying, i was thrilled with that!! i’m hoping for at least one decent photo out of the five or six i think they took.

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  2. suzanne
    08 July 2010, 5:19 pm

    You are absolutely amazing!! congrats on doing your first duathlon!
    suzanne´s last blog post ..No cooking today –

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks so much, suzi!!

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  3. Karen @ Waisting Time
    08 July 2010, 5:29 pm

    I think you are amazing!!!! You set out to accomplish something and you did. And I love that you say you completed your “first.” You will only get stronger and more experienced with each one. And your daughter is too cute:) Obviously you are doing something very right there.
    Karen @ Waisting Time´s last blog post ..I can’t believe I ate the whole thing

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, karen. i was really close to just dropping out during the swim, it was like everyone was doing fine but me. but i’m not a quitter and i’m so glad that i perservered.
    her note was such a pleasant surprise. i do stuff like that to her and it was so sweet that she did it for me. i wished could have hugged her right then!

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  4. Lisa
    08 July 2010, 6:01 pm

    Congratulations!!! That is soooo cool. And thanks for the detailed update. I am considering a duathlon/triathlon for next year. Question: are you a strong swimmer normally? And did you train for it in a pool? I’m wondering if I will have the same fatigue.
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Happy Fourth-

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    lisa, you would rock a duathlon or triathlon! i just started swimming six weeks ago and i know you are a fish. and yes, all my training has been in a pool so far and i had no idea how that would translate to the open water. that is why it was so important for me to do this race, even though i technically wasn’t done training for that distance.
    my bread and butter is my running. i’ve been a runner for 13+ years. i’m not fast by any means, but i’ve got the muscle memory and feel much more comfortable while running.

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  5. Cammy@TippyToeDiet
    08 July 2010, 6:25 pm

    Woo-HOO! /

    Who cares where you *placed*? I’m impressed that you *finished*! Way! To! Go!
    Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog post ..Sweet Heat Relief

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    aw, thanks, cammy!

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  6. Kyle
    08 July 2010, 6:34 pm

    I am SOOOO thrilled for you…super duper congratulations! You have GUTS girl… and I felt the same way about my two official running races, the 5 and 10K, but frankly, I think that showing up and competing put me far ahead of many others and is very uncharacteristic of me to compete in these type of things.

    So so great…did I say that already?!?
    Kyle´s last blog post ..Big Brother is Watchingand watched my new PR-

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    speaking of guts, i thought mine were going to come out during the swim, kyle! it was brutal but i just couldn’t give up despite how hard it was for me. and yes, showing up and competing, from what people tell me, is more than a lot of people do.
    it’s great that you stepped out of your comfort zone as well. will there be more road races in your future???
    thanks again for your support!

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  7. Michelle@Eatingjourney
    08 July 2010, 7:05 pm

    you rule. I am so proud of you. WOOT!!!!!!
    Michelle@Eatingjourney´s last blog post ..Honouring Your Soul

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, michelle!!

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  8. Sarah
    08 July 2010, 7:21 pm

    Many congratulations on completing your first duathlon! I’m a horrible swimmer, so I’m pretty impressed with your results. Nice job!
    Sarah´s last blog post ..Body for Life

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thank you, sarah! i wasn’t ANY kind of swimmer until i made the committment to do the triathlon and started training six weeks ago. i always backed away from any swimming competition because i have never done more than goof around in a pool.

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  9. Diana
    08 July 2010, 7:33 pm

    Great job! That is quite an accomplishment. Especially to come in under your goal! Awesome 🙂
    You said you still have some time before the tri, right?

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, diana! it’s funny how personally i felt like i did really well, but compared to the rest of the participants, i was lousy. it’s all in the perspective, right? =)
    and yup, the tri is in, ulp, 5-1/2 weeks!!!

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  10. Jody - Fit at 52
    08 July 2010, 8:51 pm

    Holy crap!!! I am impressed big time!!!!! I could not even see myself doing that! Pat yourself on the back for all you accomplished!!!! I MEAN IT!!!!

    AS for that note from kiddo .. LOVED IT!! And I bet by the info you gave us we could figure out who Tom really is if we wanted to.. 🙂

    REALLY, You rock!!!!!!
    Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog post ..What Decision are You Going to Make

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    my gosh, thank you so much!!!! and trust me, if i could do it, you could do it. i would have said the same as you a few months ago.

    and no, “Tom” isn’t my husband if that’s what you were thinking. my husband would get a kick out of that thought! while he does go to the gym and is strong as an ox, i’m the competitor out of the two of us. =)

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  11. Lisa
    08 July 2010, 10:15 pm

    Congrats!! That is an awesome achievement. Love the note from you daughter…how sweet 🙂

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, lisa!!

    [Reply]

  12. MB
    08 July 2010, 10:55 pm

    Congrats on the race. You did great. That note from you daughter is the sweetest thing. It’s definitely a day to remember and cherish.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    it was definitely a memorable day, mb, thanks!

    [Reply]

  13. Miz
    09 July 2010, 5:23 am

    CONGRATS!!

    thats fantastic and fantastically inspiring.
    Miz´s last blog post ..Post-pregnancy secrets for a flatter stomach guest post

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, mizfit!!

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  14. Food Addict
    09 July 2010, 12:15 pm

    what an accomplishment!! Congrats!
    Food Addict´s last blog post ..Hiding in my Fat

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thank you!

    [Reply]

  15. Janell
    09 July 2010, 6:36 pm

    Congratulations. Love that note too – how special did that make you feel?!
    Janell´s last blog post ..Life Goes On

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks! the note made me feel very special. took my mind off the swarm of butterflies that were in my stomach.

    [Reply]

  16. Bobbie @Anonymous Fat Girl
    11 July 2010, 5:06 pm

    I am so incredibly proud of you!!!! Congrats! And what a sweet letter to mommy! 🙂
    Bobbie @Anonymous Fat Girl´s last blog post ..A case study of Jif peanut butters – natural peanut butter vs all the rest

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thank you so much, bobbie!

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  17. karen@fitnessjourney
    11 July 2010, 8:01 pm

    This is so amazing! The fact that you finished and it was the first time you’ve tried this type of event is absolutely inspiring.

    BTW, that note from your daughter is about the sweetest thing in the world, I get the feeling that it really helped motivate you with the high temperature and all.
    karen@fitnessjourney´s last blog post ..Little Known Facts

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks, karen! it was such a great experience and such great practice for the triathlon next month. now i know that, as hard as the swim was, that i can do it.
    yes, her note definitely helped me to forget about my nervousness and focus on bigger things, like setting a good example for my kids. =)

    [Reply]

  18. Margarita Tartakovsky
    12 July 2010, 12:39 pm

    Just wanted to second the congrats from everyone! 🙂 This is so inspiring. I can’t believe you trained for such little time for the swimming portion, too.

    Personally, lakes freak me out. I think it’s awesome that you were able to get past the mental stuff (which is just as tough as the actual physical challenge, I’d imagine).

    And your daughter is so sweet! I love that you posted a photo of the letter.

    Congrats, again!! I’m so proud and happy for you. 🙂
    Margarita Tartakovsky´s last blog post ..Body Image -amp How to Honor Yourself

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    margarita, thank you so much! i’m not a huge lake fan myself, but it was just part of the race, there were no options. i wonder how it will compare to the bay i’ll be swimming in for the triathlon…

    [Reply]

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