Monday, May 21, 2012

In it to Finish it!

OK, so I did it! I did the triathlon! I had 2 goals: 1)Finish 2)Don't Stop. And finish I did! It felt so good to cross that finish line. Now, I know you've all been wanting to know alllll about it, so here it goes from the beginning. I spent 2 months training diligently, completely consumed by this thing. I had a strict training schedule that I found online and about 3 weeks in I ditched that and made up my own plan. To be as big as I am, I am actually in pretty decent physical shape I determined. The swim part was 200 yards, which I had done loads of times in right at 5 minutes. The biking was 10 miles, which I had done a few times before, but as you know, I had some bicycle problems. Luckily my good friend Jason let me borrow his bike for the race. The running was 2 miles, which I accomplished a long time ago. The night before the race my mom came in town and we went to the packet pickup and informational session. It was so cool picking up my packet! It had my name on it and everything!
I was very relieved after the informational session, all of my petty little logistical questions were answered. Saturday morning came way too early and I could tell that I had not had enough sleep, only about 6 hours of sleep that night and about 2 the night before, due to my work schedule. So, by the time of the race, I had only had 8 hours of sleep the two nights before, combined, where I should have had 16! This made a huge difference, I could totally tell. Nevertheless, I was up and at 'em and ready to do this thing. This is me pre-race right after I set up my transition area:
There was a lot of waiting around before the race and I was just so ready to get started, but I'm glad we got there as early as we did, because parking was a beast. My race number was 343, but I got to move up in the swim line up because I was a 5 minute swimmer (because I had done it a million times in 5 minutes!). I jumped in the pool with the 200's. The water was freezing!! As soon as I pushed off the wall, I knew something was wrong. My body was in shock. I couldn't breathe. My breathing was so short that I couldn't put my head under water. I had to swim the whole thing with my head out of water! It was awful. I even had to slow down and do breast stroke because I felt like I was drowning with every splash of water that entered my mouth. I didn't give up though-- there were so many people that had to stop and grab onto the rope and stop to catch their breath. It was too early in the race for me give up on goal 2. After the swim, we had to run to the transition area so we could jump on our bikes. The shoes I bought for the bike were perfect, they slipped right on and were very supportive. The biking part was more difficult than I thought it was going to be. Thank God I had the bike I did, but mountain bikes are no good for racing. I thought that I had trained myself enough to at least hang with the other bikers, but everyone was just whizzing past me! There was one point where I was so tired of hearing "on your left!" that I legitimately wanted to scream: "I know, okay! Everyone's passing me!" But I refrained. With every person that passed me, I kept telling myself that the goal is to finish, the goal is to keep going. I learned a lot observing the other racers. One thing was that the bikers kept up their pace up hill. I slowed down sooo much with every hill (and there were tons of hills!). They all just kept on trucking. I need to learn to operate my gears so that the resistance stays somewhat consistent the whole time. Other bikers were so supportive, one woman said: "I'm proud of us!" another one said: "don't let this hill get ya!" Pretty much everyone that passed me said something encouraging. I love my new triathlon community! I was so ready for the run portion it wasn't even funny. Crazy that I would ever get excited about running, huh!? Here's me rounding the last corner on the bike and headed to the transition area for running:
Once I racked my bike, I clumsily put on socks and tennis shoes and headed to the beginning of the run course. I'm not going to lie, it was a little discouraging to see all the people loading up their cars as I was just beginning the running part! But I kept reminding myself of my goals. As I started to run, a guy yelled out "yeah number 343! You look great 343! Almost done! This is the last part!" Then several people started cheering and clapping for me. I forced my self to stop the tears of joy that wanted to shoot out of my eyeballs. There were so many people walking the course, which made me happy. They might have finished in less time than I did, but at least I could say that ran, not walked.
The run course was of course...drumroll... hilly! Luckily, downtown Nashville is full of hills, so I was prepared for it. Crossing the finish line was the absolute most amazing feeling I've ever had:
I was one of the last ones to finish the race, but I finished. I didn't stop. And those were the goals. When I crossed the finish line, hearing the announcer say: "Lori Hinkle from Nashville! Look at that big smile!!" was amazing. And she was right, I know my smile was huge. The tears finally came. I cried so hard when I finished. Now that I've completed a triathlon, I know I can do this thing. I can do this thing, on my own, and I won't let anyone or anything in my way. Post Race:
I finished the whole thing an hour and 53 minutes. The overall winners finished in under 1 hour, so now I know what to work towards. There's a triathlon in August that I'm going to do, and I am so excited! Now that I've done one, I think I'm addicted!


  1. Congratulations on finishing and with such a positive attitude. I am encouraged by you and your motivation and am so very happy for you and this amazing accomplishment! You go girl!

    1. Lori I'm so proud of you!!! That is awesome!