Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chelanman Triathlon

Where to start? The triathlon weekend was so amazing. We traveled to Chelan for the event, which in my opinion is the perfect setting for a triathlon. The park where everything starts is grassy, shaded, has a play area for kids, and happens to be less than two miles from my Dad's house. In fact, from my Dad's house you can look down lake and see the park, and with binoculars see the racers.

Saturday was the day of the "big" races - 10k run, Half Ironman Tri, and Olympic Distance Tri. All day long there were runners and bikers going past the house. The race spirit was in the air and we could feel it! This would be the first triathlon for all three of us racers (me, Brian, and our friend, Jonnie) so we were anxious to see the experienced athletes. We headed down to the park to take it all in and get as many tips as possible for our race the following day.

Saturday night we went down to the park to drop off our bikes at the transition area and pick up our race numbers. The wind had been picking up all afternoon and by the time we got to the park it was like nothing I had ever seen in Chelan. The water surrounding the shores of the park looked more like an ocean than a lake. For the most part it was un-swimable, except for the few who decided to ride the "surf". It was entertaining to watch, but also a little concerning, as conditions like that would certainly make our race near impossible, if not canceled.

After attempting to sleep all night, we got up early Sunday morning to eat our pre-race breakfast and get our final belongings together and head down to the race. We got there about an hour early to set up our transition area, get our wetsuits on, stretch and try not to pee our pants from excitement.

Brian's heat was first, at 8:10, Jonnie was next at 8:16, and I was last at 8:50. Brian and Jonnie opted to do the half-mile swim, while I chose (wisely, I must say) to do the quarter-mile. The water was choppy, but nothing like the night before.

For the swim I opted to hang back at the start, and swim on the "outside" of the pack. That was on the advice of experts who suggest it is better to lose a little time and swim a little further, than get stuck in the congestion of the other swimmers. What I learned is that I should have had more confidence in my swimming ability, because I ended up getting frustrated as I was constantly trying to navigate around other swimmers and pass them.

I came out of the water feeling great, smiled for my fans - er, family, and had a pretty quick transition to bike. The bike ride was great, and I was surprised at how many bikers I passed considering I was on a mountain bike with slicks - not the most optimal racing bike. I had a head-wind the whole 6.5 miles out and was looking forward to the tail wind on the way back in. But right as I turned around, the wind stopped. Bummer! Another bummer was the dead deer around mile marker 1 that had been baking in the sun for two days.

As I rounded the final corner on my bike I could hear my fans cheering for me, then I hopped off the bike and ran (okay, probably walked) it down the grassy hill to transition, threw off my helmet and took off for the run.

The run is my weakest event, and the first quarter mile is through the park. With lots of people around. I just kept thinking to myself, "you can't walk now, you'll look like an idiot". So I ran my little heart out through that park, and then up a ridiculously steep hill out the park - someone's idea of a cruel joke. I did end up walking up most of that hill, but not before I saw Brian coming down it and in for his big finish, and reaching over to give him high five as we passed. I took one or two more short walking breaks on the way out on the run (not by the deer, though) and then ran the whole way back for my finish. I actually felt pretty good, even passed a couple people, and finished with a smile.

Final times

Brian - 1:40:39 (1/2 mile swim, 13 mile bike, 5k run)
156th overall out of 311 participants. 78th out of 96 Male participants. 17th out of 20 Male participants on his Age Group (35-39). Brian had a rough time in the chop of the swim, but still made it back in under his "worst-case-scenario" time. He rocked it in the bike and run.

Shana - 1:32:27 (1/4 mile swim, 13 mile bike, 5k run)
101st overall out of 299 participants. 60th out of 229 Female participants. 8th out of 35 Females in my Age group (30-34).


Trying on caps the night before:

Setting up our Transition Area:
Brian, Jonnie, Me:

At the start of Brian's swim:

Brian coming out of the water:
Brian at Transition 1 (swim-to-bike):
At the start of Shana's swim:
Shana coming out of the water:
Shana leaving T1 and heading out on bike:
Brian coming back on the bike:Shana heading out on the run:

Brian coming in to the finish:

Shana coming in to the finish:
We did it!

11 comments:

jmae3 said...

Yea! I didn't realized that Brian did this too! How fun for a couple to encourage one another along the practices! Can't wait to see Emma's pics!

Jonnie said...

Over the top and definitely one of the best experiences of my life. I'll never forget it! We're forever triathletes!!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats Shana! I am so proud of you.

Renee said...

How cool are Y'all??? Great JOB!!

I am so impressed :o)

Jen said...

This post and Emma's (Biniam's) are FANTASTIC!! I was thrilled to read it ~ almost as if I'd been there to cheer you on in person! Congratulations on a GREAT accomplishment!! Three cheers!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! What great pictures to share in wonderful accomplishments.Congratulations to all that went...
The two boys(Isaiah & Noah) left at home had a wonderful time on Sunday too - mastering the kiddy pool in the Miles backyard.
Love Mom, Barb or Grandma

Laura B. said...

YAY!!! Great job...you look fabulous!

jenn lee said...

so inspiring...you make it look fun and easy:) so proud of you guys!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!! Great job!! I was looking forward to hearing how it all turned out. [:-)
Rachel in Idaho

spoonerbyrd said...

You're the bomb! And I must say, your abs look great in your suit! (The photo where you are standing near your bikes!). One sexy mama.

SimplyGrove said...

Amazing amazing!!! Congrats!!

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