Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lake Metroparks Pirate Triathlon

     Well, what a good way to start my triathlon career :)  Ended up placing 1st in my age group, got a nice little pirate trophy haha! :)  I've worked long and hard, over multiple years to get where I'm at now.  The only difference is I stopped running so much and started swimming and cycling even more, to balance everything out.  Alright so I guess I'll just go right into talking about the race! 

     So, Rachel Nypaver told me about this triathlon during our 50mi adventure race in May.  She said it was pretty cheap and would be good practice for the Olympic distance I'm doing in 3 weeks in Sylvania.  And for $20 of course I signed up!  It was an hour and 15min away from Brunswick.  On the East side of Cleveland.  LoL, so my parents drove me (Thank you!) along with one of my best friends, Davea :)  I was very glad they stayed to watch the whole thing because at transitions they yelled out for me!  Anyways...I got up at 5:07am.  Left by 5:45am, got coffee along the way and were off!  I arrived at the race at 7, started at 8.  (My wave went out at 8:15 though)  Anyways, I had to wait in this long line to pick up my race #, which left me only like 15 min to set up my transition and go to the bathroom.  When I finished setting up transition, ran to the bathroom (this is when I already went once lol!)-huge line for the ladies of course.  I met this girl, her name was Colleen, and we started chatting and I told her this was my first tri ever.  She then asked if I had an extra swim cap because she forgot hers.  I did-but the race was going to start soon and we didn't even get in the restroom yet!  So we hurried up, ran to transition, I tossed her my extra cap (I brought it in case mine ripped), and went running to the beach.  The kayakers went off first (yes, if you couldn't swim, you had the option of kayaking in Lake Erie-pretty cool!)  Then, male swimmers aged 34 and under, followed by males 35 and older, followed by my group, female swimmers 34 and under. 
     I swam in high school and have kept it up over the years, so I knew I should start out in front.  Got a nice spot in the front, and as soon as the alarm sounded, us females were off!  Now, of course, everyone started out fast, so I had to swim as fast as I could to get ahead, and many burned out after the first 100m or so.  Now, with Team Toledo Triathlon Club, we get to swim open water practices all summer (there's 16 of them) and we have the option of swimming 500m, 1 lap around the lake (1500m) or 2 laps (3000m) so of course I swim 3000m hehe :) and this other girl were right next to each other...she was quick so I stayed with her until......WE CAUGHT UP WITH THE MALE WAVE!!  She was able to find a way through some males and I couldn't squeeze through, so got caught behind this one guy, then eventually swam around him, tried to stay with the fast girl, but ended up finishing RIGHT BEHIND that girl.  Anyways, the swim felt so short compared to what I normally do in open water!  It was so fun though.  I think it was my favorite part :) 
     We had to run for a little bit up the beach and to the transition area-my heart rate was skyrocketing because I was breathing hard and man oh man, I was shaking!  My hands shook as I tried to double knot my running shoes (no cycling shoes for Roseann yet!)  I remember my friend Dan Bellinger said that if I really raced the swim portion, I would be shaking afterwards, and yes...I was :)  So, I drank 3/4 of my water bottle of gatorade (because I can't drink on the bike yet LOL and I knew it was short distance so I planned to drink a lot before and after :)  and then put on my garmin watch (no HR monitor, would have taken too long to put on), my shorts and shirt with race bib.  Mistake #1-wear a shirt more fitted.  The one I had was flopping around in the wind lol.  Anyways grabbed two more cups of water out of transition from volunteers, and ran out with bike!  Hopped on when got to sidewalk (volunteers told us when to get on) and powered up this short, but very steep incline!  So, me, used to riding in flat Toledo area, only practiced shifting on SOME hills here.  Nothing compared to that hill.  LoL, so, I felt like I was going to fall over if I tried shifting (I'm also borrowing my friend Chris's tri bike and am extra careful.)  So I hopped off towards the top and started running with it until I was over the hill lol!  (mistake #2, practice shifting on hills A LOT) andddd mistake #3-slowed down on all the turns (there were quite a few...) because I'm not comfortable taking fast turns yet.  Oh and I can't go aero yet because I'm scared.  This week I will, don't worry, along with riding through turns and not slowing. 
     The run.  Ohhhh gosh the run.  Is my worst lol.  I am strongest on the swim, second strongest on the bike, and the run is horrible.  Which...I like running more than cycling, but maybe swimming the most.  For as much as I love running, I'm really not that great of a runner lol.  Which is ok, but ah!  Some ladies passed me up on it.  I actually was surprised on how well I personally did on the run though, my legs felt like jello during the first half mile, but after that they were fine.  They still didn't feel as normal as during a normal running race but with the swimming and cycling of course they wouldn't. 5k time was 25:38 (according to my garmin) which, my 5k PR is 24:19 (but then my PR for 10mi is 8:39min/mi LOL not far off from 8:0-something min mi for 5k.), so not too bad considering the bike and swim.  Clearly, I think distance is more my thing.  And clearly, perhaps triathlons are more my thing :)  I love all 3 sports anyways and always have a hard time choosing which one I love most.  Oh and I saw Colleen at the finish-she gave me my cap back, and saw I won my age group, and said, "Well..congratulations, you won your first triathlon, now the sky is the limit for you!" :) 
     Now, I need to thank a few people.  1)  My friends Chris and Nina for letting me borrow their tri-bike for half the summer (Chris's knee is injured, getting better, but won't be ready to race this season, he did considerably well at Glass City though-3:19 for his first marathon, then 2 wks after had knee problems :(  2) Rachel Nypaver for telling me about this race and I should say her and her sis Sandi are a great source of inspiration for me because they win ultraendurance running races around Ohio, and they are young, like me!  (Hard to find friends around my age who do this stuff!)  3) Team Toledo Triathlon Club and the Medina County Road Runners Club-they are all a source of inspiration and were very welcoming when I first joined :) 4) Oh and boyfriend Mike for helping me so much on the bike :)  Thanks :)  5)  Dan Bellinger.  He is always encouraging me and being an older person who still runs ultraendurance races....amazing.  6) Parents and Davea for supporting me today!  7)  God.  Which leads me to the next paragraph (read only if you want-I never force religion on people and am friends with people from all walks of life with all different kinds of beliefs!!  We shouldn't judge.)
     So...I am Christian.  Of the Catholic type.  lol.  I hold it very close to my heart.  It's great, once you have that personal relationship.  Anyways I'll try not to go too deep on the internet :)  So, if you read my blog about PT'll see I struggled during it.  Well...when my friend Sammi took me out one day we went to Barnes and Noble (we both like to read...) and I picked up this book, "Quarterlife crisis" which I bought and read-funny how things are sometimes...but one of the stories was about a guy who went all the way through PT the very end, then decided to quit because it wasn't for him.  (, right? Sign there..)  Anyways, I saw this book called, "The Grace to Race."  By Sister Madonna Buder.  A Catholic Nun.  She was...oh I think the book said 83yrs old, still racing triathlons.  And, I believe she wins her age group a lot.  Anyways...I asked for it for Christmas.  I have high respect for nuns.  LOL-I think they're pretty sweet, caring people.  When I read it...I felt like I could relate to her.  She starting racing later in life after a priest told her to go for a run on the beach when she was going through some emotional times.  Anyways, just the way she really was...graceful.  She prayed before each race.  Soon, people caught on..and wherever she races...she has a whole group of Christians surrounding her, praying with her before the race.  And you know what?  She mentioned in the book the Sylvania Triathlon that she's done a few times I think.  I'm doing this one in 3 weeks.  I live here, in Sylvania :)  How cool.  I hope to meet Sister Madonna Buder one day. 
     "Running does change people's lives. When I first entered the religious life at the age of 23, I was set apart from the world. Once I began to run and to compete, my path opened wide to include the whole world. God's ways are not our ways." Sister Madonna Buder  Amen. :)
     There are a few athletes I know who are Christian.  Ryan Hall is.  Kelly Clark, pro snowboarder is.  So, I will continue to pray wisely and thank God everyday for a working body who is able to do this stuff and truly appreciates this awesome life and opportunity that was given to me.  I may not win any triathlons ever again, but I do think that maybe I have some talent in the sport and I will continue to do my best in each race and train smart and hard  :)  I feel I have FINALLY found something I am relatively good at.  Today, after the race, my mom and I were relaxing at home in our pool-she said, "Oh I could recognize your stroke, your graceful swimming stroke that looks like no other, it was easy to spot you."  And, "I wish I could call your elementary school teachers and tell them your accomplishment."  She said when I was real young, my 1st grade teacher and gym teacher were worried about me, asking my mom if I at least liked to ride bikes or if I even could.  They were worried I would be so uncoordinated because I was so shy and not good in gym.  I always got picked last in gym class.  I admit, I'm not that good at most sports they played in gym, besides softball.  And I hated running back then, too.  I love swimming and riding my bike and rollerblading, though, which of course they didn't have in gym.  My mom told them I'd be fine lol.  I should thank my parents....when me and my sis were young, I was about 8-10 my dad started taking us on 15-20mi bike rides.  The whole fam.  So...endurance things are kinda normal for us.  It was my Dad, then me, then Kristen, then my mom following us.  Slowly as I grew older (and I have a competitive spirit...) I was able to speed way ahead of my Dad :)  On our mtn bikes.  haha!  This is getting long.  Sorry.  The passion gets to me....haha :)  Thanks, all :)
     Oh!  One more thing-when fall comes, I get to swim on a Master's swim team at BG with one of my Kinesiology teachers lol!  Said he'd introduce me to the coach and I'm excited to start!  woooo I bawled my eyes out when swim team ended for me in high school.  Could of swam college, confused senior, glad I didn't because then maybe I wouldn't have found the major of exercise science at BG and wouldn't have been given my current opportunity.  Glad I ran the marathon 2 yrs ago, learned as much about running as I could, still learning, since it's my weakest, glad I found Team Toledo Triathlon Club, and glad I got this assistantship for grad school in the exercise sciences, and am ready to focus a little more on swimming this fall.  So...I think everything in my life so far was leading up to this point.  Everything happens for a reason.  Oh!  Signed up for a 5k swim in august in Lake Michigan.  I love this.  There's nothing else I'd rather do with my life.  Train.  And learn about training and the human body and how exercise is so good for it with the different systems of the body.  I believe that if you have a passion, and you follow that passion and work very hard, you can reach your dreams.  Some of mine have come true already :)  Sorry if there are typos.  It's getting late.  Don't know where I'm going after my grad program.  That's what I like about my future.  Like being free and living in the moment.  Free-spirited with an open, honest mind :)
 "Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. This is what we do. This is what it's all about.". Patti Sue Plumer US Olympian

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