I was in a triathlon! Specifically, the fourth annual Tri-Jesus Triathlon in Quincy, Illinois, on June 14, 2003. I went with two friends from work, and we picked this particular event because (a) it's small and (b) Monica used to live in Quincy and had friends we could stay with.

It was a sprint-distance tri, which is shorter than Olympic distance--in this case 400 meter swim, 13 mile bike (a little over 20k), and 5k run. I planned ahead of time to walk the running part because of my bad knees, but I did manage to run a few short spurts. One of the websites I looked at while trying to psyche myself up for this said that beginners/amateurs can usually finish in 1 1/2 to 2 hours, while professionals can do a sprint tri in an hour. And indeed I finished in 2 hours 6 minutes (the fastest man finished in 1:03 and the fastest woman in 1:12). And I didn't fall down at the end!

I placed fourth among all the women in the swimming part of the event but that was probably a mistake--I really tired myself out and only saved a minute. The biking part was really hard--there are a lot of gentle rolling hills around Quincy that cease to look gentle when you're in your lowest gear and are only halfway up.

The weather was beautiful--sunny but not too hot or humid. We saw a good bit of wildlife (and some bad bits, too). We spent the rest of the day eating and sleeping and eating some more.
A few days after the tri the three of us were back in the pool at the Y and Monica noticed that my race number was sunburned onto my arms, which caused much amusement.

Before the tri. L to R: Michelle, me, Monica. (Not pictured: the mutant ninja butterflies in my stomach)
Me coming from the pool, heading toward the transition area. Although it may look as though I'm jogging energetically, I was actually just trying to breathe and walk at the same time (without my glasses on, to boot).

My Butt in the transition area. In the background you can see Michelle zooming away on her bike.









We did it! We finished! When you cross the finish line the first thing the race volunteers do is hand you a towel soaked in ice water and it's the best thing ever!
posted 6/20/03