Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tri in July Sigourney, Iowa

You may ask, where is Sigourney, Iowa? I asked that same question. It is 53 miles Southwest of Iowa City. It's a small town with a great mini triathlon.

About a month or so ago my friend Tracy told me about this triathlon race. My first thought was "No way, because I don't swim." My main fear was swimming in an outdoor pond or lake with many others swimming at the same time and pushing my head under as I flail around helplessly and drown slowly. That is the main reason I haven't ever signed up for a triathlon. She let me know that this tri was so much different than the rest. First of all it's a mini sprint (330 yards of swimming, 6 miles on a bike and then a 2 mile run) and you swim in an outdoor pool and everyone starts 30 seconds apart, so your chances of being pushed under the water aren't as likely. I told her okay, but I was worried about the swimming part, plus I hadn't been on a bike in at least 4 years that I could remember, so that would be challenging for me as well. Running isn't strong for me either, but since I try to do at least a 5K race almost every Saturday I felt that I would be fine doing that.

Over the past few weeks I have tried to swim laps, but not knowing how to breathe properly has been an issue, plus not having the right swimsuit or goggles wasn't a good thing either, then lastly the NOT KNOWING HOW TO SWIM can create many issues when trying to swim. My swim portion was rather frightening for me. I started out too quickly because of excitement, then when I saw that the bottom of the pool dropped by 10 feet I freaked out and my head came up out of the water, I then swallowed water and panicked a little. I then decided that I was going to do this no matter what and flipped to my back and did a back stroke for the rest of the swim.

After exiting the pool I ran barefoot to the bike. I quickly put the bicycle helmet on, dried off my feet, put on socks and my shoes, then got on the bike to start the 6 miles. I did well on the bike, especially considering that I don't have my own bike and have only ridden a bike about 5 times in the last year. I was borrowing Tracy's bike and I had only ridden it for the first time the night before. There were hills to ride, but nothing too crazy. I finished the 6 miles in 23 minutes and then ran to put my bike up so I could start running.

The run felt so weird. My legs were like jello and it was extremely difficult to put one foot in front of the other and run. I felt like I was going so slow, but by the first mile mark my time was just at 10 minutes so that wasn't too bad.

When I finished I felt amazing and I'm glad I did this race. I highly recommend this race to anyone who likes to do triathlons, but to those especially who need a good first time tri!

My first goal was to finish. My second goal was to do this entire thing in under an hour, my third goal was to do this race in 50 minutes or less since last year's top 3 in my age group all had 51 minutes or less so I figured I could have a chance at placing in the top 3 if I just had a 50 minute time.

My final time was 55:18 and I placed 4th out of 6 in my age group of 30-39! I was 4 minutes and 13 seconds away from being 3rd place. Not bad for a first time out.

13 is my lucky number and when I saw this sign on the way to the race,  I just had to have a picture!

There were big painted rectangles on the grass and this is how I laid my stuff out for the transition between events.

Here I am in Tracy's triathlon suit that she let me borrow,  showing off my number that was written on my body for the race.

A really awesome triathlon bike that I was sure Jason would want, so I took a picture.

Tracy and I before the race!

Just before starting the race

Getting ready to start the race.  You can see a variety of swimsuits and triathlon suits in this picture.

Tracy took this picture of me through the fence of me waiting in line getting ready to start my swim

a picture of me struggling to swim.  I'm so glad I was able to finish this part of the race.

running to the bike

getting ready to ride

just finished the biking portion.  

some of my first steps of the running portion of the race.  My legs were so heavy.

Running in for a great finish!

After the race!

Amazing post race food.  There was breakfast pizza from Pizza Ranch, cookies from Subway, then bananas and water from a local grocery store were all donated for us!

After the race and a shower, Tracy and I posed in our race shirts!

If you double click on this picture you can see some  of the race results bigger.  


Janessa said...

That is awesome! So are you going to do more in the triathalon department? Way to go Michelle!

Lokodi said...

Way to go girl! That was awesome. I can't believe you did that. Very impressive. You should be very proud of yourself. I think I would be good at the swimming and nothing else. I hate biking.


Michelle said...

Thanks Lindsey and Janessa. This race sure challenged me for sure. seriously had a some type of panic attack in the water, it wasn't going well.

As far as doing more in the triathlon department, not for a while and the reasons are these: I can't afford a good racing bike. I don't even have a bike, I had borrowed Jason's bike to train, then my friend Tracy's bike to do the race and until I have a bike of my very own I don't want to plan another race like this because I woke up this morning with severe back pain.

Tracy said...

Very cool Michelle! I am SO PROUD OF YOU!! I'm glad I was able to be part of this event with you.


Merrilee said...

Wow! A triathalon is something I have never dared do! Great job! Maybe someday I'll get over my fear of swimming and give it a try!

Michelle said...

Tracy I am so glad you talked me into this race. It was an incredible experience and taught me that I can literally do anything I set my mind to do. Because of you I was able to finish. Thanks again for everything!

Merrilee, I know that you could do this. You could be just like me and do the back stroke to get through the swimming part. You are a true athlete and have done some amazing running, so I know you could do this!

Deb said...

Awesome job! I love to hear stories like this. It keeps me motivated. I'll keep checking in. I found your blog when I was searching for the Flying Pigs Duathlon, your family blog came up. ( I'm from Ohio too, and recently completed my first triathlon.) - Deb

Mike and Adrianne said...

Good job Michelle! You really amaze me. I am a terrible swimmer...