Jes Does Disney (Tri)

So – for anyone who is interested – a brief (ok – maybe not so brief) story of my first Triathlon.
First – the Ws; Jes & a girlfriend did their first Tri at the Women’s Danskin Triathlon held at Disney’s California Adventure 6/15/08.  Start time 6:00.  Rack time 5:00.  Wake time 4:20.
For anyone who has been to California Adventures the swim leg was by the pier where the rollercoaster and Ferris Wheel are.  Swimmers get let into the water in waves according to what group they are in so even though the race started at 6:00 I didn’t line up to get into the water until closer to 6:30.  As I got my final markings and inched closer and closer to the water I had a definite “what the heck am I about to do” anxiety moment.  But by that time my feet were in the water and 5…4…3…2…1 we were off!
I hopped in and all of my swim training went out the window.  I did not get nervous but it was unnerving to know that if I swam too far forward I would have gotten kicked in the face and a really good kick from me would have knocked out the girl behind me.  Even though my form was terrible and I wasn’t quite sure where I was going – I found myself passing people.  I took some time to remind myself that this swim was just like practice so I straightened out as best I could and started free styling.  I strayed off course and bumped a few people (“oh excuse me” – “so sorry” – “nope my fault” – could be heard all around me… only in a WOMEN”S TRI!!!) but I felt happy, strong and very excited in the water.  The race was officially on.
After my .3mile swim the race staff helped me out of the pool and I ran to T1.  It was the weirdest feeling to be running in a bathing suit – covered in numbers, past hundreds of spectators!  I arrived at my bike, toweled off, caught up with my girlfriend and the two of us were off for the bike leg of the race.
Two minutes in – a woman comes racing around the inside corner and hits my girlfriend head on.  I had to swerve and had a tiny spill.  But when I looked behind me I knew it was so much worse for both of them than it was for me.  The bikes were tangled.  The woman was on her back – crying – telling us that “they told me to come this way” and then realized her ankle was broken.  Very very broken.  Knowing I would probably pass out if I actually got a good look at her foot – I stayed away and yelled for a medic.  I yelled to my friend to make sure she was ok and then went over to work on untangling the bikes.  It took two of us to get her bike untangled and 2 of us to get the chains back on her bike properly (thank goodness her bike was in working order – or I would have taken the injured lady’s bike and put my friend on mine so we could finish).  After some convincing I got my friend to leave the woman in the hands of the race medic and we were off.  She was visibly shaken and had some nasty bruises but we got our 10 miles in.
T3.  2 mile run through the park.  I had agreed to pace my friend so we worked together to get through those last miles.  The were tough for my friend because of the injuries but our race pace was better than her training pace – so I consider it a win!
The finish line appeared – we crossed it with smiles and a few tears and I can now say two things:

  1. I had SO much fun – despite the spill and the havoc in the water – I defiantly had a blast
  2. I am a tri-athlete!!!  My next race is the Malibu Tri September 13!  Actually my next race is a 50K in Aug. Feel free to come to either.  There is NO amount of training or strength or water or Gatorade or Gu that has the kick during a race of knowing you have loved ones waiting for you at the finish line.

LADIES:  When I finished the race and was getting ready for the rest of the day a definite “I can do anything” mantra set into my head.  The Danskin Tri had women of all skill levels – shapes and sizes.  Everyone from the pros to a woman I saw who had to walk her bike up a little hill got through that race.  This race was so empowering and one of the best experiences I have had.  I highly recommend this race to anyone who has even the slightest bit of interest.  Everyone was so nice – the course was great and it was SO MUCH FUN!!!! 



Congratulations on finishing the Danskin Tri!  You rock! 
Liz and Adam