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Moss Park Olympic Distance Triathlon

by Meghann on July 18, 2010

This morning I was able to cross one more thing off of my life goal list:

  • #234 – Complete an Olympic Distance Triathlon

Done and Done!

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I may not have been first (or even one hundred and thirty-first) to cross that finish line, but I learned that slow and steady really does win the race – the race with myself! Because that’s the only person I was competing with anyways. All that matters is that I had a blast accomplishing something I never thought I would attempt to do. I rock! Enough said. :)

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My morning started early. Like, 4:30am early. Ughh…

Before heading out the door I had two slices of toast with almond butter, strawberry preserves, and rolled dates.

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We arrived at Moss Park just before sunrise.

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My first sprint triathlon took place at the exact location over a year ago, so I was already very familiar with the course. Everything was the same: the swim was the same, the bike course was the same, the run was the same, even the announcers were the same. Only today instead of just completing one loop around the buoys for the swim, or one loop around the bike course, etc.; everything was doubled. Now two loops were required for everything. Yikes.

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Setting up the transition area was easy – I’ve pretty much got this down pat by now and with each race I learn a little something extra to make the transition smoother. I also learned my lesson from my last triathlon and made sure to show up at least an hour before start time. Instead of feeling rush, I felt relaxed and ready to race with plenty of time to spare for photos.

I looked scared, no?

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A year and a half ago my sister and I began training for our first triathlon together. Unfortunately, the week before the tri Kelly was hit by a car on a training ride and was unable to compete the following Sunday. I still finished the race in her honor, but it wasn’t the same without my sister by my side.

This morning we did something we should have done last March. Kelly and I finally had our chance to compete in our first olympic distance triathlon together.

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Kelly proved once again that one little set back does not mean a goal should be lost forever, just postponed temporarily. My sister is truly an inspiration and I felt honored to be competing along side her this morning. This race had nothing to do with me, it was all about her and I happily stepped to the side and let her have her chance to shine. :)

(Check out Kelly’s blog for her own recap. :) )

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When the countdown began we headed to the water and watched the first wave of men take off.

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Then it was our turn…

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The swim actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I kept at my own pace and just prayed with each stroke that I wasn’t dead last.

Having to do two loops around each buoy was more of a mental issue than anything. As soon as I complete the first lap and realized I was only halfway done my heart sunk just a tad. The shore was so close! But I had to go back out and do it all over again. :(

As my peers began to look farther and farther away I realized that I may not have been dead last, but I knew I was close to the end. I thought this would hurt my ego, but it didn’t. I knew I was doing my best and was actually proud at how I strong and confident I felt in the water. Yes, I was going slow, but I was doing it. And I was doing it without ever needing to stop and tread water or take multiple rest breaks.

For the record this was the farthest distance I’ve ever swam; ever!

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1500 meter swim? Done and Done!

Total time: 00:30:23

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Run to T1: 02:25

The first transition was slow! I was tired and had too many steps to complete. I had to clean my feet, put my cycling shoes on, put my top on, mess with my number, fix my hair, etc. etc.

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T1: 02:23

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Time to bike!

(P.S. as I was pulling out of T1 one of the volunteers yelled “Keep it up, M’am” umm…Excuse me? M’am? Not a good time to make someone feel old!) :)

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Let me start off by saying that not training for a 40k bike race was not smart, not smart at all! I’ve never training to push the pedal to the metal and trying to keep up with anyone was a struggle. I was being passed left and right and no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t keep up.

Eventually I fell into a steady 15 mph pace and felt really comfortable maintaining it for the entire distance. My goal was 17 mph, but I learned very quickly that was not going to happen. Aiming for a goal I hadn’t trained for was idiotic; I’d like to think I’m smarter than that. ;)

The cycling portion was in a word: boring. We rode through some random neighborhoods that had some beautiful houses and I even saw some horses and goats, but there wasn’t much else going on.

I entertained myself by thanking the volunteers and staring down my Garmin. Though I’m pretty sure staring at the garmin didn’t help. ;)

At the turn around point I had a Peanut Butter Cookie Luna Bar and was thankful for the snack. Bike rides make me hungry.

Eventually I managed to complete the second loop and was welcomed by my adoring group of fans while heading into T2.

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Total Bike Time: 01:32:01

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T2 was slow too.

I had issues putting my shoes on with my socks. I gave up trying to fix it and just took off. The rest of the run I could feel the bunched up socks in my shoes. Oh well.

Total T2 time: 00:01:21

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Now, the run, the run is my time to shy. I may not be much of a swimmer or a cyclist, but – damn it – I’m a runner!

However, after swimming and riding, I was a tired runner. I knew I couldn’t take off on any ridiculous speeds, but felt confident enough to maintain a little under 9:00 min/ miles through the tough sandy trail.

I mentally broke the 5.6 mile run into two loops and having the mental picture of two 2.8 mile loops of made the run seem a lot shorter. I had fun with it and watched peoples legs as I ran by, studying their ages on the back of their legs and trying to decide if they truly looked their ages or not. It’s a fun game that I think should be a part of each and every race. :)

I saw Kelly halfway through her second loop of the course, just as I was about to finish my first loop. She looked fantastic and I could tell she was going to finish strong. I started yelling “Go Kelly, Go!” and she yelled back “I’m tired!” We gave each other high fives and continued on.

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I passed my parents after the first loop and told them I would see them at the finish line. One more loop to go, that’s nothin’!

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On the second loop I saw a girl with 28 on the back of her leg, whom I eventually passed. Woo hoo! I wouldn’t be dead last in my age division! I know, that sounds so wrong, but it’s the small victories that count. ;)

Almost three hours after I started the race this morning, the finish line was finally in my reach.

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Total run time: 00:48:49

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Finish time: 02:57:23

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There are no words to describe that feeling you get when you cross a finish line. It’s simply amazing. :)

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Completing the Olympic Triathlon was such a rush. It ranks up there as one of those ‘look at what my body can do’ moments. Yes, I could have been a little more prepared and dedicated more training to it, but knowing that I could complete those elements back to back for those distances makes me believe I can do anything. With a little bit of effort our bodies can do some amazing things. :)

After I crossed the finish line I immediately found Kelly to hear how she did! Remember this was her race, not mine. ;)

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She rocked it! And earned second place in her age group! Rock on Kelly! :)

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None of this would have been possible today without the love and support from our great family of spectators. THANK YOU Derek, Anthony, Megan, Mom and Dad for being our cheerleaders this morning. I love you guys! :)

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After Kelly collected her award and we had a chance to catch our breaths, the gang headed down the street for a late breakfast at a hole in the wall restaurant my Dad knew of.

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Instead of the traditional post-race pancakes I opted for the Artichoke, Red Peppers, and Mozzarella Omelete with a side of fruit and a biscuit.

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The biscuit was a nice post-race treat. I <3 great southern buttery biscuits. :)

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Whoa! This post took a while to complete. :)

Time to rest.

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

1 britchickruns July 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Yaay well done! Fantastic recap and it sounds like a super race! You msut be thrilled :)
I’m going to check out Kelly’s blog now :)

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2 Lisa @ bakebikeblog July 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Seriously – YOU ROCK!!! What an awesome race :)
I completely understand what you meant when you said ” thought this would hurt my ego, but it didn’t. I knew I was doing my best and was actually proud at how I strong and confident I felt in the water.” >>>> This is what I need to focus on when I swim :)

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3 healthy ashley July 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Congrats!!!

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4 sweetandsweat July 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Congrats! You did great!

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5 Julie @ Pickley Pear July 18, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Meghann – you are so awesome! That is a huge accomplishment and I’m so proud of you! Way to go! The breakfast looks amazing too, nice and healthy after a great “workout”!

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6 Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers July 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Congrats on completing such a challenging feat! You and your sister are awesome :-)

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7 megan July 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Awesome job to you and kelly!! I eventually want to complete a tri but I am scared for the swim.. After reading your recap I am sure more now than ever I can do it!

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8 christina cadden July 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Congrats girl!

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9 Samantha July 18, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Great job on your TRI!! That’s so awesome. I wish I could swim then I could do one. :( haha poor me.

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10 theprocessofhealing July 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Congratulations!!! That is AWESOME!!!

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11 carly July 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm

You and your sister look so cute in your pink outfits. This post is so inspirational! Congratulations! (And to your sister, too!)

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12 shelly@campinggirlchronicals July 18, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Congratulations on completing your tri! What a major accomplishment!

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13 runnerstrials July 18, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Congrats Meghann, you are SO awesome! And inspirational! Do you see a 1/2 or full Ironman in your future? ;)

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14 Jes (Self Motivation) July 18, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Congratulations!!! I am so excited for you! I am currently taking swim lessons and just within this last week learned how to swim and breathe at the same time. I’m psyched, because that puts me one step closer to my first tri! Thanks for being an inspiration!

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15 April July 18, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Congrats!!! I am working toward a tri myself, but I am so not a swimmer…yet. I agree – it’s the little victories. Great job chasing down the gal in your age group.

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16 Ashley July 18, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Congrats to both of you! :) You and the other bloggers who have been doing triathlons lately are inspiring me to think about doing one in the future!

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17 amystartstorun July 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Yowsa, what a race! Way to keep pushing through to finish strong! I think I need a nap just reading your race recap ;)

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18 Erin July 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Wow, awesome job to both of you. That’s SO impressive! Do you really keep a life list? That’s a great idea!

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19 Dawn July 18, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Nice work! You may have been a bit underprepared for the bike, but you still rocked it! Plus, look at it this way: If you decide to do another one, it’ll almost certainly be a PR since you’ll put more work into training for the bike portion.

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20 Melissa @ Tryingtoheal July 18, 2010 at 6:53 pm

congrats megs!!! i so wish i could have been there to cheer you and kelly on like i did last year! it was so much fun!!

great job! i knew you could do it! now if only i could get myself to try a tri…

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21 Kate July 18, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Congrats! Thanks for your words of wisdom about the swim… I’m doing my first sprint tri at the end of August, and I’m most worried about the swim.

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22 Christina @ Food.Fitness.Fun. July 18, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Congratulations! My goal is to complete a sprint tri so I loved reading this re-cap!

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23 Brittney July 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Totally inspiring! Great job!! I hope maybe I’ll do one too :)

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24 Pure2raw twins July 18, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Congrats!!! Truly inspiring! I have such a fear for triathlons.

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25 gloriousgreens July 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm

CONGRATS! Your pictures look amazing – so inspirational. What an accomplishment. :)

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26 Anne P July 18, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Awesome job today! I’m proud of ya :)

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27 missyrayn July 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Next to crossing the finish line the post race meal is the best.

I totally agree with the satisfaction of beating someone in your age group. I love seeing age groups as I run so I know how I’m doing.

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28 Brittany July 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Wow! I’m amazed! You make it sound so easy! I recently told my boyfriend and his younger brothers that running a triathlon is one of my life’s goals and they scoffed at me telling me I’d never be able to do it. Your story is truly inspiring!

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29 Tay July 18, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Congrats!!! Awesome recap :-)

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30 gavrielski July 18, 2010 at 8:31 pm

You are AWESOME–congratulations on this great accomplishment!! Enjoy your evening! :)

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31 alison July 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Wow, what a great recap. Congratulations to you….and to your sister, as well.

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32 Heather July 18, 2010 at 8:49 pm

That’s awesome, great race, and congrats to you and your sis!

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33 Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover July 18, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Awww – congrats on the tri, Meghann!
You rocked, girl :D

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34 anotherannabanana July 18, 2010 at 9:18 pm

AMAZING! Congrats Meghann — what an awesome accomplishment! I’m so glad you champed that swim – I am horribly freaked out by lakes after a fish in my swimsuit incident. They give me the skeevies!

What else is on your bucket list if this was number 234??

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35 Gwen July 18, 2010 at 9:23 pm

You’re an inspiration! Way to go!

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36 Dee July 18, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Congrats!!!

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37 amanda @ fake ginger July 18, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Congrats girl! You and Kelly rocked it today!

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38 runningwithsass July 18, 2010 at 9:38 pm

that is so awesome! you should be SO proud! I think I would have collapsed!

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39 Jenny July 18, 2010 at 9:58 pm

LOL ‘Keep it up ma’am” Too funny!!

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40 thefitbridesmaid July 18, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Congrats on finishing! And most importantly (well second most importantly behind supporting Kelly) STAYING IN THE GAME MENTALLY!

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41 ginavan July 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Awesome job! Congratulations! So great you and your sister could do that together!

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42 Nicole July 18, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Girl! That is SOOOO inspiring you have no idea! I’m so happy for you + your awesome finish, makes me want to swimbikerun every weekend just to feel that awesome cross over the finish – ah, races in general – they’re splendid!

Thanks for motivating (everyone!!) me to get out and race again!
:)

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43 Emilyeatsclean July 18, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Way to go girl!!! Congrats on a great finish!!

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44 Jordan July 18, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Congrats on your race finish ma’am! Hehe.

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45 Lizz July 19, 2010 at 12:10 am

Congrats!! Sounds like a great race!

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46 Kendra @ Fraises des Bois July 19, 2010 at 12:48 am

Meghann! this is so amazing!
major congratulations to you. i am particularly inspired by your ability to focus on the race being only against yourself and no one else.

ive been debating officially signing up for my first half marathon in october, but after reading your post and remembering your advice before and after my first 5k, i am once again motivated to challenge myself.

thanks so much for that.
and a thousand more congratulations.

kendra

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47 Rosey Rebecca July 19, 2010 at 7:22 am

Congrats! You did great! I can’t even imagine doing all that. I hope to eventually!

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48 Brynne July 19, 2010 at 8:06 am

Yayyy congrats Meghann! You are AMAZING!

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49 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday July 19, 2010 at 8:27 am

Wow, way to go!! You did amazing!

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50 Hangry Pants July 19, 2010 at 8:49 am

Congratulations! My favorite parts are that you did it w/ your sister and the biscuit at the end!

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51 MelanieF July 19, 2010 at 10:05 am

Wow! Congrats Meghann!!! You are such an inspiration.

Tomorrow morning, I start training for my first 5K. I’m overweight (by 50 pounds) and I’ve never really ran before, but I will be doing the couch to 5K program. I need to do this for myself, as a personnal goal. Thank you for such an inspirational blog. You rock!!

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52 Sarah July 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Thank you for taking the time to write such a beautiful recap. Fantastic job, Meghann!

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53 biz319 July 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I’ve been unplugged all weekend – congrats on such a great race – under 3 hours is very good!

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54 livetoeatrunforfun July 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm

This post was so INSPIRING! I love how you explained how you felt and what you thought about while you were going along- it makes me feel as if I could manage a Tri too! Congratulations this is an amazing achievement.

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55 Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales July 19, 2010 at 3:51 pm

You rock girlie!! So impressed.

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56 Quirky Jessi July 20, 2010 at 11:06 pm

You did awesome! Look at that…under 3 hours? Amazing!

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57 Kevin J September 29, 2010 at 11:25 am

I was also in this race doing that distance. I probably saw you there. Congratulations on the race.

Kevin
http://halftriing.blogspot.com/

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