I Wasn’t Dead Last!
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!