Because, I mean, my life (as you know) is mostly summed up in hashtags.
So this is the new one. It replaces the worn out #SeeStumpRun. Because now we aren't just running, kids. Now, we are full on beating ourselves up for fun!
So the first triathlon is under my belt, and man was it awesome. Fun isn't a good enough word to describe what I had. Intense? Sure. Challenging? You bet.
Totally worth it? Yup. Every single jelly-legged moment.
And now, I'll break it down for you:
First, the water was like a warm bathtub: 74 degrees according to the officials-- so wetsuits were legally allowed (however I didn't use one). Having grown up swimming every summer in the ocean in Maine, I figured anything would be warmer than that. We went off in waves according to age and category (though some were lumped together). My wave (in yellow swim caps) was last. So, in the photos below you'll see my "I HATE waiting" face -- you know, the one where I bite in the inside of my cheek so it screws up my face. Yup, that one. The swim was 1/4 mile long. I was good rounding the first buoy, and then just as I was rounding the second buoy I got kicked in the face. No biggie and I'm fine it just took me by surprise. So, I did 5 quick breast strokes to get myself back into my freestyle breathing pattern and off I went. Next thing I knew, I was running up the hill headed into the transition for the bike.
After throwing off my cap and goggles and not really toweling off that well, I threw on my running gear (yup, I DID wear the Vibrams just in case you wanted to know) and pulled my bike down from it's rack. Helmet? Check. Chin strap buckled (didn't want THAT penalty.. Check!) I then had to run with my bike up a slightly steep hill and mount it at a certain line. So far, so good. The bike portion started off right away with a hill (nothing like starting off with a bang, right?) And then, for just about 14 miles, the course rolled up and down and had some fun hairpin and tight turns. Those hairpins had me nervous since flaggers were telling riders to slow down (which, ironically, makes me MORE nervous) but I managed to not waste any of the speed I had going into them. Worst part? The last mile was a sharp, steep climb. Oh, and dismounting? Yeah, that's interesting. I dismounted as quickly as I could and my legs promptly responded with a jelly-like wobble remind me that, yes, Virginia, we WERE on land now instead of on our bike pedals. I ran the bike back to the rack, put it back up threw down my helmet, grabbed my fuel belt and bib holder and ball cap and away I went for the run.
Oh hello 5K after biking 14 miles and swimming 1/4 mile. This was, by far, the SLOWEST I have run a 5K in a long, long time. It took me a good solid 30 strides to get my legs to do what I totally wanted them to, and for me to figure out a pace I could manage to not only maintain but hopefully even push toward the end. Maybe the fact that I had just biked 14 miles made the run seem to go quickly, or maybe it's all long runs I've been doing for the marathon training -- either way -- it seemed like 3.1 miles was almost nothing compared to what I had just done. Granted, I wasn't breaking any land-speed records, but by the time I wanted to pour water over my head (which I did) I realized I was already at mile 2. The best part of the run? That last 1/4 mile when the volunteer manning the last turn home said to me with a smile "last quarter mile and you're on the finish" to which I couldn't help but respond with a pant "your saying that just made you my favorite person. Ever." He was a great sport and said "me too!"
When was on the straight narrow stretch to the finish, I passed a girl who said "good job" to me and I couldn't help but speed up. Crossing that finish (and planking at the end for good measure) was awesome. I never knew I could get so excited to be handed a water bottle and sopping wet cold towel.
Who wants to join me next year? Because yes, this race is going on the repeat list.
Thank you all for your tweets, texts, e-mails, and fist-bumps. You made this stump feel downright badass.