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Monday, August 19, 2013

West Point Triathlon: Complete

Friday afternoon I decided to call Enterprise just to make sure the rental car we were picking up 
the next day would accommodate my bike (with or without wheels). Well, it was a good thing 
I called because not only would the bike not fit in the little compact I had reserved, Enterprise also
 informed me they were closing at noon that day and would not able to pick us up from the train 
station at 12:28pm and more importantly not be able to rent us the car as they would be closed. 

With panic mode activated, this little planner tried not to freak out too much and decided to check 
out my Enterprise Car Share account to see if there was anything large enough available to pick up
 the next morning. Thankfully, there was. This made our lives a whole hell of a lot easier. The 
next morning we would not only be able to wake up at a decent hour, grab a bagel and pick up the 
car, we were also able to park the car at the valet of my building and load up the car. It really is the 
simple things in life that make it easier.

Our earlier plan was to pack up the bike, the dog, the bags, my gear, subway it to Penn Station, 
hop on the train, transfer trains, have Enterprise pick us up and load everything into their car, 
unload their car, reload it in our rental and unload everything at the hotel. Wow am I tired now. 
Thankfully, Enterprise screwed up our whole situation and life was made easier.

We arrived at Camp Buckner, was able to check myself in, pick up my race packet and timing 
chip all before 1:00pm. The weather was great and we hung around a little outside until we decided 
it was time to go check into the hotel. Surprisingly the hotel was about an 8 minute drive from
 Camp Buckner, the race location. After a quick lunch, quinoa pasta salad with tomatoes, 
red peppers, mozzarella cheese and a light dressing, we headed back out to meet a family friend, 
Michael, for a tour of West Point Military Academy.  It was beautiful...

After our tour, we headed back to the hotel to relax and have dinner. We were both exhausted 
after a long day of traveling, new surroundings and anxiety. The next day was the big day so we 
were both in bed and asleep by 10:00pm. 

The next morning was an early one. We tried to stay calm and relaxed, more for my sake, and 
slowly made our way back to Camp Buckner. The parking lots were spread all around the 
area and unfortunately, as early as we were, it was not early enough to get a close one, which 
meant about a mile walk to the head quarters. Good little Oliver led the way. He was very excited. 

After a warm up, some stretching, speeches and the National Anthem, the race had begun. 
I was in the 5th wave, wearing purple swim caps, trying to keep calm, and getting advice from 
whoever was willing to talk to me, which was a surprising amount. I also watched the waves 
before me to pick up any tricks or hints. 

Then it was my turn.... 

We were off...

The swim was just as I had expected but better because the water was amazingly perfect. 

Mom, Michael and Oliver were waiting for me right off the beach and snapped these lovely
 shot of me looking oh so attractive!

The transition from swim to bike went smoothly. I stayed calm, relaxed, grabbed some snacks, 
and hobbled to the mount line excited to start my favorite part of the race, cycling. 

The ride was great. I enjoyed the atmosphere, weather, everyone was friendly, and the hills 
were awesome. They were not too tough where I couldn't keep my motivation up, they were
 just perfect where I could pace myself comfortably, race down the hill and be prepared for the 
incline or hill. I felt strong arrive back into the transition station. I once again took my time to 
change shoes, lose the helmet and gloves and hit the road on foot. 

About 50 feet into the race I started to feel a cramp coming on my right side. Unfortunately 
for me, the whole first mile and a half was pretty much up hill. The pain only intensified. 
Breathing hurt, drinking hurt, anything I did hurt. I tried to catch my breath, adjust my mind and 
push through but the pain was starting to make me feel nauseous. I finally decided to just slow 
down and finish so that is what I did. I probably ran the slowest 5k of my life but at least I finished.   

I am proud to have finished yet still disappointed. My legs felt great, my endurance felt great, 
my mind was in the right spot but I just couldn't get past the pain and that was the most frustrating part.

Mom, Michael and Oliver were waiting for me right at the finish line which was comforting. 
I heard them announce my name and New York City and I pretty much don't remember 
much after that except pain. 

I remember Michael trying to make me eat a piece of pizza and walking forever trying to get the 
pain to go away and finally saying I need to go sit down. The mile uphill walk (same course as the 
first half of the run) back to the car was almost more painful than the actual run. When we got home, 
I finally laid down and started to feel the pressure release and the pain started to disappear. 

I was exhausted. I took a hot shower to wash away the lake water, tried to eat something but
was still having pain when I swallowed anything and decided it was the perfect time to take a nap.
Two hours later I was feeling much better. My Mom even told me color had returned to my face.
We ordered in Indian food, our favorite, put on a movie and dug in. It was perfect.

I need to give a huge shout out to all my friends and family who supported and helped me along
the way.

Amy: Thank you so much for taking your time and efforts to help strengthen my cycling and running. 
Your words were in my mind the whole time giving me the mental ability to know I could do
what ever I wanted to do and I could do it to the ability I know I am able to. 
Think it, do it, pull through it.

Dave: My bike master. Thank you for tuning up "Animal" and making him somehow easier to 
fly up and down those hills. I hit 32 mph just for you! I though of you during my pain cave moments!

Vinny: Thank you for kicking my butt in our workouts. My quickness and strength has improved and
I owe that all to you. Keep kicking my butt! 

Sara: Thank you for everything. For being you. For being an amazing person. For straightening me out
for pushing me and for always being honest. You are always there for me and I think you for that.

Silvia: You had more faith in me than even myself. Just because of you I knew I could do it. Thank
you for all the texts and emails with encouraging words.

Mike: Thank you for the advice to hop on a treadmill after spin classes. That probably saved my ass.

Aunt Nancy: Even though you couldn't be there, as your ass was getting kicked by a half marathon, 
you were kicking a half marathons ass, you were on my mind the whole time. I knew if you could 
do a half marathon, I could finish this triathlon.You gave me strength.

Michael: Thank you for informing me about this triathlon and encouraging me to do it. If it wasn't for
you and our long car ride up to Chazy to surprise my Mom, I would never have completed this goal.

Dad: Thanks for everything. I could not be more literal.  

Mom: If you were not here to support me, to listen to me, to calm me down, to pick me up, to help me
out, or to love me, I would not have done it. I find strength in you. Literally I did this because of you.

I know I have missed many more people but I do have to get back to work.
Thanks to everyone. I love you guys! 

1 comment:

  1. I AM SO SO SO SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!! Congrats to finishing! I wouldn't have made it out of the water!!!! You are awesome!!!!