Count 'em: One, two, three, four, five.
Actually, there were another 20 or so people that dropped out and didn't finish the race, so I think that should count for something, too.
The winner of the race did it in 51 minutes. My total time to swim 1/2K, bike 15K, and run 5K was 1:55. Charlie's total time was 1:48, but he could have shaved 30 minutes off his time, easily, if he hadn't stuck with me on the ride and run. Our swimming time was about the same at approximately 17 minutes, but he waited for me on the bike and then, ran backwards for almost 2-miles so he could talk to me while I staggered along.
This action on his behalf both touched and infuriated me.
"Oh, so sweet that my husband is running backwards to talk to me!"
"OH! WHAT THE HELL. He's running BACKWARDS to talk to me!"
The swimming portion of the race was a lot of fun, until I was a few hundred yards off shore and the theme song of Jaws popped in to my head. And then a huge strand of kelp got wrapped around my foot and I took a wave in the face and thought for sure I was going to die.
Swimming in the ocean is so unbelievably, totally different than swimming in a pool. Not only can you see in a pool - but you don't have currents that pull you off course if you're not paying attention. Or, completely paranoid about a sea creature having your leg for breakfast.
My transition time from swimming to running was pitiful. I don't know what the exact time was (we won't find out until they are posted on Wednesday), but I sat down on my towel and leisurely ate a tube of Power Gel before carefully lacing my shoes and hopping on my mountain bike with knobby tires and pedaling off with wobbly legs and a salt crusted body.
I think I only saw two other people on mountain bikes. It seemed that everyone in this race could have graced the cover of a fitness magazine with their rock-hard bodies and sleek equipment. Throughout the event I kept thinking "You know what we need here are more chubby people on one speeds. How can the chubby, out-of-shape people of the world feel inspired to do triathlons if EVERYONE looks this good?!"
We completed the ride, and my second transition was about as slow as the first. I savored my Power Gel, had a little drinky-drink of water, folded my stuff and put it away, fixed my pony tail, put on a hat, took another sip of water and then took off jogging.
Charlie and I ran and walked together for the next three miles, and were so excited to see that our good friend and neighbor, Dawn, had ridden her bicycle 20-miles to come see us. Having someone there to cheer you on - or encourage you with cookies that they wave in front of you before riding off on their bicycle (as the case may be) was such a good boost.
"Who wants a cookie? Come get it!!"
Overall, we both know that we could have done the race a lot faster. Sure, it would have helped if we actually TRAINED more than we did and if we didn't do things like sit down on the side of the course to re-lace our running shoes, or slow down to look at new houses they were constructing in front of the beach. But the important thing is that we did it, we had a lot of fun, we finished and we are ready to do it again. Mostly, we are really proud that with four children under the age of four, we completed our first triathlon, in under two hours.
When we returned home this morning, Charlie signed up for another triathlon in early October that he'll be completing by himself - and I'm planning to compete in another triathlon in mid-October by myself. We've decided to split up during the next race because one of us will need to be with the children.
How am I ever going to improve my time if I'm constantly distracted by my husband running backwards?
(Challenge Yourself iPod giveaway update: after getting up with the children this morning at 6:30, Mom was in bed sound asleep by 8:30 tonight. I'll post the results within the next day or so, once she has the chance to help me select a winner.)