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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Tears of Joy

Yesterday I completed my first triathlon with Anne & Dylan (brother in law) on Catalina Island in California. It went better than I could've imagined. For Dylan and I, it was our first triathlon and Anne's 3rd one. Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous yesterday before the race! I looked out at the water, saw how calm it was, and how WARM it was and felt excited for it to start. I was just ready to get it over with.

The part I fretted the most over the past 3 months was the swim--and this was the part that was actually the easiest for me. I did the 1/2 mile swim in just over 11 minutes, which I couldn't believe. I was going to be thrilled to pieces if I did it in around 20 or 25 minutes! The work in the pool with swimming lessons paid off, as I felt relaxed and just switched before freestyle and backstroke. The 10 mile bike was OK--and the run finished the race off, 3 miles. My total time as 1hr 42 minutes, which I was thrilled with--for my first triathlon! I learned how the race is orchestrated and how the "transition" time in between events is critical. My transitions were quite slow, but I wasn't trying to be fast. I just wanted to enjoy myself. And I did.

One of the highlights of the race was my interaction with a fellow triathlete during the run. I ran most of it with a lady who was also doing her first triathlon. She is 52 (our numbers were marked on our legs) years old, and her daughter was running the race ahead of her. We ran about the same pace, and during the uphill part, when I felt like I wanted to start walking, I looked at her still jogging up, looked at her leg with "52" on it and thought "if she can do it, I can do it. I'm jogging too.". As I came around the bend and into the finish line area, she was a bit ahead of me--I could see her finishing across the line. I picked up speed and got emotional inside, thinking about how cool it was that she was doing her first triathlon with her daughter. I thought about how someday perhaps I would do a race with Nora and Stuey and how fun that would be.

Most importantly,I felt strong. I want Nora and Stuey to see how I stretch myself beyond comfort zones and strive to do things which I once thought weren't possible. I thought how lucky I am to have a husband who supports me in such endeavors. So tears of joy came down my face as I ran to Ella, Anne and Dylan after the race. A wonderful sense of accomplisment.

And now Ella wants to train to do a triathlon with us next year! Yeah!


Pictures: Picking up my rental bike in Catalina.
Anne and I preparing all the details of our "transition" area on the beach before the race.


Becca and Jason said...

Congratulations, Zoya!! I've been following along with your training and your story is really inspiring! I'm glad you enjoyed yourself along the way, too!!

Pixie said...

Congratulations Zoya! Not surprising your swim time was faster with the warmer CA water. Look out because I hear that triathalons are addicting!