I Wasn’t Dead Last!

Delaware Diamondman Triathlon

Yesterday, I completed my first three-sport event, the Delaware Diamondman Triathlon organized by Piranha Sports. It was a sprint distance: swim six-tenths of a mile, bike 17 1/2 miles, and run 2 miles. I’ve never before  attempted anything like this, and I’m so proud about having finished that my excitement is actually dulling the pain from my substantial muscle fatigue this morning.

Some stats from the race:

  • My overall time: 2:32:28
  • Sprint winner’s time: 1:09:37
  • My finishing place: No. 206 of 214 competitors (5 of whom dropped out without earning an official time)
  • Finishing place among women in my 35- to 39-year-old age category: No. 14 of 16
  • My rank during the swim: No. 185 of 214 competitors
  • My rank during the bike: No. 206 of 214 competitors, averaging 11.5 miles per hour
  • My rank during the run: No. 201 of 214 competitors, running each mile at an average pace of 12:42 minutes
  • Number of 60-year-old women who passed me during the run to finish 2 minutes ahead of me overall: 1 (you go, Annie!)
  • Finishing place among women in my Athena (150 pounds or more) category: No. 5 of 6
  • Number of sisters also competing for the first time who came within 8 minutes of a medal in her category: 1 (way to hustle, Michelle!)
  • Number of Half-Ironman distance competitors who passed me on the course: at least a dozen. Amazing athletes… They biked 56 miles in less time than it took me to finish the Sprint swim and biking distances combined.
  • Number of really skinny girls who spit at me while passing me on the bicycle portion of the course: 1
  • Number of fellow competitors who cheered me on: at least 2 dozen, including Half-Ironman leaders who looked like cartoon super-heroes and said “Good job–keep moving” as they flew by me. They seriously should have been wearing capes. I didn’t know humans could look like that, no matter how long they spend at the gym.
  • Number of spectators who cheered me on: easily 100, especially toward the end when they could see I was a first-timer trying my hardest just to finish. I was so thankful for the support. If only I’d retained even a semblance of cognitive function during the race, to say thanks directly to them…
  • Number of times I thought about giving up: 1, at the start of the swim, when a fellow competitor accidentally kicked me in the head
  • Number of rest breaks I took on the course: 0 (if you don’t count walking about 10 paces of the run while drinking a cup of water)
  • Temperature of the lake we swam in: 68 degrees
  • Thickness of mud beneath my feet while wading into the lake: at least 10 inches (gross!)
  • Number of months I had to train to be able to complete the event: 6
  • Number of pounds gained in those 6 months (yes, gained–it doesn’t seem fair to me, either, and please don’t tell me “It’s just muscle,” because I really don’t care when I look at the scale): 4
  • Number of Advil I have taken since noon yesterday: 6
  • Number of limbs where my race number is still emblazoned in permanent black magic marker: 2
  • Number of race bibs I plan to frame, with great pride: 1

Despite finishing as an official “straggler” and being terribly sore this morning, I feel so good about the accomplishment that I have already decided to compete again next year. Yesterday’s mantra was “Don’t finish dead last.” I think next year’s will be “Finish within sight of the back of the pack.”

Hey, I’m a goal-setter, but I’m also a realist. A tired, aching, ecstactic realist!

10 comments

  1. Dear Kim,
    Congratulations for finishing the gruelling event. I knew you could do it. JR and I are soooooooo very proud of you.
    Love you,
    Rikki

    P.S. You sure about doing it again next year?? I never took you for a masochist. No seriously–you go girl!!!

  2. You rock! I bow to you, Kim. I’m trying to get my lazy tail moving again to do a 5K this fall. I really don’t want to be beaten by my will-be-by-then-13-year-old daughter. I suspect I might, though.

    Oh, and we (C1 and I), as skinny girls, totally disrespect the one who spat at you. Gross. And not sportsmanlike at all.

    1. Interestingly, the two really fat girls who passed me did not spit at me the way the really skinny girl did. I wonder what that means in terms of psychoanalysis…

  3. Congratulations Kim! I knew you could do it! Isn’t it just a fab feeling of accomplishment? You totally rock! You have accomplished more than most dream of and you should be very proud of that. Thanks so much for the stats, what a great way to share your experience.

    1. LJ, you were totally right. Even though I was one of the slowest people, I absolutely felt fantastic. So much so that I’m even thinking about investing in a true road bike for the next race (and maybe even doing another triathlon next month here in NJ). If you want to talk about the ones in Florida, I just might say yes!

  4. Congratulations Kim – thanks for sharing your experience. I am inspired and I love the stat format. You are unstoppable. Bravo!

  5. KIM, I’M SO PROUD OF YOU! As an over 60 lady I would never pass you….as an overweight Lady I would never spit on you ( in fact I would probably have had to find the spitter after the race and sone something a tad more gross to them….) I’m so happy for you that you are experiencing that high of self discipline and accomplishment…..but I’m not jealous….I gained that same 4 lbs in the past six months just by eating snickers bars……and it is all stomach muscle!

    1. Thanks Leen!

      I was so proud of that 60-year-old lady… I had met her at the start of the race, and she was so nice that I actually cheered for her when she ran past me. (If you define “cheering” as saying “you—go—girl between huffs and puffs of oxygen.) She looked about 45. Not an ounce of fat on her. I don’t think I could survive one day on the dietary discipline she must have been following for 30 years…

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