Here I am, still alive after it all :)
The following are a few photos my supportive hubby and his parents snapped during and after the event. There aren't any pics of the swim, which I found to be my best event of the three (it was swim, bike, then run), but it was a .8 mile swim in the Susquehanna River just of City Island in Harrisburg. I was nervous about the distance, but with the river's current, I actually really enjoyed the swim...the bike, not so much.
Here I am in the transition area just after the swim, getting ready for the 14.5 mile bike ride:
As soon as I got on my bike I knew something was wrong. Can you tell what it is by looking at the pic below?
Yep, I don't understand how (I'd checked it the night before and morning of), but I had a flat back tire right out of the gate, with 14.5 miles ahead of me.
Needless to say, fear and doubt crept into my mind saying, "This is it. I'm done. I'm not going to be able to finish."
But then my mind shut off for awhile while and I just let my body go through the actions as I pulled over, grabbed the pump my husband helped me install on the frame of my bike JUST the day before, and started filling the tire with air (hoping and praying to God there wasn't a nail or something that would let the air leak right out again.
After filling and testing it, it seemed to be holding the air, so I hopped back on and hoped for the best. I just thought to myself, "I'm gonna see how far this lets me go and then deal with whatever happens then at that moment. In this moment, I need to pedal."
So I pedaled. And around the halfway mark, I realized my tire was still holding up and I was going to be able to finish the bike, which meant I was going to be able to do the run next, and finish this beast! :)
Here I am riding back into the transition area to get ready for the run:
Even though I was happy to have been able to perservere through a flat tire, it set me back so far that I knew coming into the 5K run I was going to be one of the last people to finish:
But guess, what...I finished. And that's what matters. I ended up having a great run time (for me), and even though I didn't place well, I'm simply proud I finished, especially after thinking earlier that I wasn't going to be able to!
My total finish time was 2 hours and 7 minutes.
Here I am scarfing down a bagel afterwards...mmmmm carbs.... :)
And here's my loving husband who, without his support, I probably wouldn't have even done the triathlon.
Thanks Mikey, I love you! :)
So overall, I'd say this experience has taught me two things:
1- When faced with seemingly inevitable failure, keep going, keep pushing forward. Because you'll probably find that that seeemingly inevitable failure was just that - seemingly - whose very definition is: apparent to the senses or to the mind, but not necessarily true or real.
2- I've learned what a profound thing it is to push your body (and your mind as a result) farther, faster, and harder than you thought it could ever go. Discovering that has given me a deeper appreciation for this sport, and a sense of pride in knowing that saying is true: You really can do whatever you put your mind to :)
So, anyone else out there reading this accomplish something they didn't think they could? Any other beginner multi-sport racers out there like me? Or am I the only crazy one? :) Let's talk!