Sunday, June 19, 2011

I did it!

You simply can't imagine how incredibly nervous I have been for more than a week now, anticipating my first triathlon!  I wrote a little here about facing my fears.  Let me tell you~ it's *way* easier to discuss/write about the merits of overcoming fears than it is to actually slay them.  Way easier.  I should know: I almost bailed out of competing in the Topeka Tinman 247 times during the past two weeks!

After a night filled with severe thunderstorms and my iPhone waking me up every 33 minutes to remind me that there was a "severe thunderstorm WARNING" in my area (I finally put my phone in iPhone "time-out" and placed it face down on my nightstand). Tom and I awakened at 3:30am to eat a quick breakfast and then jump in the car for the 1 1/2 hour drive to Topeka, KS.  It rained most of the way to Topeka and I found myself thinking, "Darn, the triathlon is going to be cancelled and I won't be able to drown swim like I planned!" (I was secretly *very* relieved!)  Much to my dismay, the sky cleared and the race was on!

A word to the wise: Never look at the swim course early in the day.  Once I set my bike up in transition, Tom and I walked over to check out where I'd be swimming and I almost sprinted back to the car (and left)!  The buoys were *so* far away!  Yikes!  Turned out that the storm the night before had completely scattered the buoys.  Once they were in place the course looked much more "doable."


You can't tell from these photos, but I was so nervous at this point that I wanted to throw up!  I kept asking myself, "Why, exactly, did I want to do this?"  I needed to be reminded.  But I smiled anyway~ as I looked at the photos I couldn't believe how confidant I looked!  The photos certainly didn't reflect how I felt!


Here I am surveying the swim course... only 400 yards~ but it looked like a long way to me~ and how cold was that water, anyway?


The race is started in "waves"... I was in the womens 40 and up group~ you can see in the water some of the first swimmers are already finished!


Turns out the water *was* cold, but too cold and I did complete the swim~ no one had to rescue me!  It wasn't a pretty sight though.  I think I totally psyched myself out and couldn't put my face in the water to swim correctly for more than a few strokes at a time.  I'm here to tell you: doggie-paddling *does* work~ the forward progress is quite a bit slower, but it does work!  LOL!

Here I am running to T1 (the transition from swim to bike)....


grabbing my bike,

and heading out for a 13 mile ride!


The bike is my favorite part of triathlon.  I was *so* relieved to be out of the water and mounting my bike!  Yay for solid ground and wheels!  I had never ridden the course in Topeka before, so I didn't really go all out, but still turned in a pretty good time~ second best in my age group, I think.  Anyway, the bike was done *way* too soon for my liking, and it was time to run.

My T2 transition (from bike to run) was a little faster than T1, (I still have *so* much to learn/improve on!).



By the time I started running it was in the upper 80s and super-humid!  The run was an out and back, with the only aid station at the 1 1/2mi point.  I am spoiled by going on my daily runs with Tom who carries water on his fuel belt and freely shares with me.  That first mile and a half to the water seemed *so* long!  I did make it out there and back though,.... here I am almost at the end of the run.  By this point I was just ready to *finish*!!

I did it!  I finished my first sprint triathlon~ and lived to tell about it!  : )

I hope that this post doesn't seem too self-serving.  I almost didn't post it, but thought that I would because I'd like to encourage other moms to pursue your fitness goals.  There is very little possibility that I will ever be good enough to stand on a podium, but in my book, challenging myself, trying new things and being forced outside of my comfort zone are rewards in and of themselves.  Plus, it just feels *so* good to be fit!

I'm already planning and excitedly working towards my next triathlon at the end of July~ trust me... I am just a mom of a dozen children with a very full homeschooling schedule~ if I can pursue this, I'm *sure* you can pursue your dreams too!

A HUGE thanks to my parents, two of our boys (Jake and Caleb), and to Tom who spent so much time early in the day (*very* early, in Tom's case!) to cheer for me!  You guys are the *best*!!!  Love you!

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us...."
Heb. 12:1


  1. Ah God is so good!
    Rejoicing for & with you!
    dear looked & did great!

  2. Susan you did such an AMAZING job!!! Congrats again on completing your first Tri!!! You are truly an inspiring woman!

  3. Awesome! We are so proud of you! Amazing. You fought the giant fear and won!

  4. This is awesome! Great job!

  5. Congratulations! You are such an inspiration.

  6. Rock on you mom of a dozen awesome kids!!! You are SO much more than "just a mom!!" I am all grins reading this!!! You are SUCH an encouragement to me! I "power walked" three miles this morning...(couldn't get to the elliptical today...). HOORAY for you! I am so proud of all your hard work, courage, and determination! Rock on!!! To God be the glory!

  7. Yippee Susan!! I think it's wonderful that you were able to achieve this...well done! I enjoyed your photo-journal of it all. Your family (and you) will enjoy looking back on it in years to come...what fun! And I agree with are much more than *just a Mom*...and what does that mean anyway?? LOL! :)

    Blessings to you!

  8. Wow Everybody! Thanks *so* much for your encouraging and kind response! I am humbly grateful to have my very own cheering squad! You guys are the *best*!!

  9. WHOO HOO!!!!!!! I LOVE it!!!!!!!!! Phil 4:13--you are a great inspiration for this verse. Thx for sharing!

  10. Yea, Susan!!

    You continue to inspire and encourage me!

    GREAT JOB!!! Woeeee! God is GOOD!

  11. ~Susan~ thanks *so* much! I appreciate *you*, friend! Hope you are having a nice summer....

  12. Congratulations! My brother has been competing in Triathlon for years. He says they are very mentally challenging.
    You are an inspiration to us all!

  13. Julz~ Hi there! I think your brother is right... triathlon is not just physical~ it is *very* mental. *Love* the challenge of it! Thanks for stopping by and for your comment! Nice to "meet" you here!

  14. Dear Susan ~ Missing you here in the blog-world. :) Trust all is well?? I'm sure you are just enjoying summer with your lovely family.

    Just stopping by for one last visit before I go *offline* for about a month. Hope to catch up with you mid-August, LORD-willing. Have a wonderful Summer!

    With Love,


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