On August 8 I traveled to Elberton, GA to participate in my third Olympic distance triathlon. This one was different from the other two I have done, the swim was in a lake. The other two races were in a river and we swam with the current. So the almost 1 mile swim was scary to me. What made me even more nervous was that I had not swam in the last 2 months. None the less, I made my way to the starting area and started talking chatting with other triathletes. Turns out they were nervous about the swim, the bike and the run. We heard the national anthem and the rules of the course. And then we were off, I started the two loop swim course strong. They had the bouyes set up in a triangle and we had swim around it twice. I made it to the first turn and sighting become impossible. The sun was so darn bright and right in my line of sight. Then my goggles started to fog. I just kept swimming and following everyone else in front of me. Before I knew it I made the second turn and I could see again. I just kept swimming and I made it to the third turn quickly. The second lap of the swim was the same as the first. Sunny and uneventful. I was not the last person out of the water, but there were not too many people behind me.
As I ran to transition I realized that everyone was out on the bike course, there were only ten to twelve bikes left on the racks. I kept my transition time short because I wanted to make up some time on the bike.
I started riding and I began to pass people, I passed a good number of riders right away. By the time I got to mile 10 there were only a few other athletes near me. There was a five mile stretch against the wind and that was hard, but the rest of the course was rolling hills and little to no traffic. I made my way along the beautiful course and ended up making up the time I wanted on the bike.
I made it back into transition and again kept it short. I always ride with my sun glasses on and then take them off for the run. As I was crossing the timing mat to officially start the 6.2 mile run I realized my glasses were still on. I almost turned around to go put them back, but didn’t want to waste the time. So I kept them on.
As I started the run my legs were feeling the transition. They felt heavy and tired and they wanted to stop moving. The first part of the run was on a trail with rocks and bumps, given how my legs were feeling this was not good. My knees did not like the trail at all. I walked a tiny bit but ran most of it. The run was a two loop course and each course was 3.1 miles. It took about a mile to find my legs, which is normal when you haven’t done enough brick workouts. But just after I passed the mile 2 sign they were in full on run mode. There was a woman in front me at mile 1 and I liked her pace. So I did what I always do, I started talking to her. I told her that I liked her pace and I asked if she minded if I stayed with her. She chuckled and said “I don’t mind at all”. We chatted and got to know each other until mile 5, she needed to walk and I wanted to keep running. I was feeling great, the heat was getting to her a little. I kept running and my legs were burning, I wanted to stop, I wanted to walk and I wanted to be done. I knew I had less than 1 mile to go and I knew I could not walk, I needed to keep running. All I kept saying was “one more mile, I have 1 more mile and with every step I take I get that much closer, I can’t walk”. So, I kept going and I refused to stop running. As I got closer I could hear the finish line area and that always makes me happy. I just started to smile and kept on running. I made it to the finish line with a smile on my face and crossed as happy as I could be.