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2010-09-20 10:49 AM

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Subject: New Athena nervous about first tri
OK, so I'm doing the Ramblin' Rose in Chapel Hill NC in a few weeks (Oct. 10th) It's a 250-meter pool swim (no problem), 9-mile bike ride, and 2-mile run (again, no problem, I'll be mostly walking this). 

I'm anxious of course about everyone seeing me in my tri shorts and sports bra/tank top, and the bike is the weakest part for me. I'm using an el-cheapo Wal-Mart bike because it's what I could afford. I haven't been training as hard on the bike because I didn't realize the tri course was so hilly until the other week at the tri prep course I signed up for and we got on our bikes and rode off and suddenly there was this big looming hill up Sprunt Street. Halfway up I had to get off my bike and walk it up the hill. 

I totally feel like the remedial kid in this prep class. I'm the heaviest and the slowest. The first session, we were in the pool and a couple of the women with perfectly flat stomachs showed up in bikinis, while I was the only one who came in what I planned to swim in on race day, my tri shorts, sports bra and dri-fit tank top--AWK-ward. And I had the slowest 100-meter swim time of the 10 of us in the class: 2:27, Michael Phelps has nothing to fear from me, lol. Plus I'm the only one in the class swimming breast stroke, and when a couple of people asked what to do in the swim if they start getting out of breath, the instructor told them to do what I'm doing and swim breast stroke for awhile, and that made me feel awful. I know she didn't mean it, but it almost felt like, "If you need to slow down, do what the fatso's doing."

Last week on our bikes when everyone else went zooming past me up the hill and I had to get off the bike halfway up, I almost cried.

I'll have to miss this week's prep class because I'm having outpatient surgery and will be on Valium and painkillers all day.

Anyway, how can I stop feeling like the remedial kid? During the race, will there be other people walking their bikes up the horrible hill? Will other people be walking the 2-mile run?

-Laura 


2010-09-20 11:14 AM
in reply to: #3107833

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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri

I think everyone is nervous about their first tri....let me ask you one question.....why are you doing the tri? ....if the answer is for yourself......then don't worry what others think

I passed up people walking their bikes before because of nasty winds....I told them what I am sure some people might tell you... if you have to walk your bike up a killer hill......"good job.....keep it up"

 

2010-09-20 11:47 AM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Every journey start with a single step. Don't worry about what others may think. Go out and do the best that you can do. After all, you are a triathlete. Now go out and have fun.
2010-09-20 11:49 AM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Thanks.

It's actually a funny story why I'm doing this tri.

Back in '07 when I was at my heaviest, I worked for a married couple who ran their business out of their home. The man was on a business trip out of town. Long story short, he called and left a message for his wife and didn't realize I was still there at work and heard most of it (I'd been outside calling their cat trying to get him to come in). He called me "too fat and too out-of-shape" to do some very basic thing. It pretty much killed our friendship and our working relationship, and a few months later I had a new job. A few months after that I had a complete physical, and then started training for an unofficial, non-USTA tri here, the "Grueling Triathlon of Doom." Had a heart attack three months before the GToD so couldn't do it. 

This year's Revenge of GToD was happening on a weekend when I was out of town, so I signed up for the Ramblin' Rose. I'm going to prove to myself AND my former boss that I'm not "too fat, too out of shape" to do this. My husband is going to be there, and I've made him promise to take a picture of me crossing that finish line.

-Laura
2010-09-20 1:39 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
laurahcory - 2010-09-20 11:49 AM Thanks.

It's actually a funny story why I'm doing this tri.

Back in '07 when I was at my heaviest, I worked for a married couple who ran their business out of their home. The man was on a business trip out of town. Long story short, he called and left a message for his wife and didn't realize I was still there at work and heard most of it (I'd been outside calling their cat trying to get him to come in). He called me "too fat and too out-of-shape" to do some very basic thing. It pretty much killed our friendship and our working relationship, and a few months later I had a new job. A few months after that I had a complete physical, and then started training for an unofficial, non-USTA tri here, the "Grueling Triathlon of Doom." Had a heart attack three months before the GToD so couldn't do it. 

This year's Revenge of GToD was happening on a weekend when I was out of town, so I signed up for the Ramblin' Rose. I'm going to prove to myself AND my former boss that I'm not "too fat, too out of shape" to do this. My husband is going to be there, and I've made him promise to take a picture of me crossing that finish line.

-Laura


Please PLEASE mail a copy of the photo to the you worked for before .

Go have a great time, don't worry about what anyone thinks, and enjoy!
2010-09-20 4:45 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Don't let the hill get you down! Last year I did the Skylands Tri here in NJ, and there was a monster of a hill on that course. I had almost zero experience riding on hills (I grew up at the beach, not a hill in sight) so I was a nervous wreck. 

About halfway up "B*tch Mountain"  I thought I'd have to hop off, but I kept telling myself "just to that tree... just to that driveway..." etc. and managed to keep myself going. Then we came around a curve and I there was a couple in their driveway with a boombox playing the theme to "Rocky", which made me laugh out loud and keep going...

And then we came around another curve and the mountain got steeper - I had to hop off and walk it the rest of the way. I felt a little guilty, but each and every rider that passed me encouraged me to keep going, almost to the top, etc. And I just kept telling myself "You are halfway through a TRIATHLON!!! A year ago you would have laughed at anyone if they had suggested such a thing!"

Just do your best and don't worry about everyone else and have a great time!! 


2010-09-20 5:14 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Hi Laura, welcome to BT from another Laura

First off, good for you for taking the first steps to a healthier you.  I wouldn't worry too much about what everyone else thinks and do this for yourself.  You'll find that triathlon peeps are pretty cool and very welcoming.  In transition ask someone who looks like they know what they are doing and they will help you with everything you need.  No one will care if you are a size 0 or a size 20, they will be impressed that you are out there improving your health

FWIW, I was "this" close to having to get off and walk my bike up a hill in a tri once and passed a couple of people on that hill walking.  I'm not sure if I could make it up now (weigh about 15 pounds more).  steep hills are very hard for us bigger gals .
2010-09-20 8:18 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
There were a LOT of people walking during the run portion of my tri this past weekend (which was two miles, like yours).  You won't be the only one if you decide to walk part of the course, not by a long shot.  You are going to do great and have an awesome time! Smile
2010-09-21 12:37 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
It's not the pros that inspire people to get into triathlons, it's people like you! So, when people are watching you in the tri, they're not judging you, they're impressed by you
2010-09-24 3:11 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Thanks, I really appreciate your comment, and everyone else's too.

I like your username--ratherbeswimming; that sums me up, too.

Thanks again,everyone.

-Laura 
2010-09-26 10:25 AM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri

Hey Laura.  I have personally walked my bike up a hill during a race, so you're definitely not alone!  I also know people who have walked their bikes DOWN the hill due to fear of speed.  Amazing to me, because I think that's the fun part   There will definitely be people walking the run.

First of all, anyone who shows up to a triathlon training session in a bikini doesn't know what they are doing.  You wore the right outfit.  Your swim pace is good and most people will suggest the breast stroke as an alternative because it's something comfortable that people can do, keep their heads up if needed, etc.  Freestyle is cool and I hope you can learn to do that comfortably some day.

Second, are you comfortable with changing gears on your bike? I wondered if you don't ride it much if there's a chance you weren't in your lowest gear on the hill.  If you can do anything in the next few weeks, practice shifting gears so you can shift down as much as possible on that hill.  You might have enough gears to ride up the hill!  Make sure you down shift early and not at the last minute, which can cause the chain to drop and generally is difficult to do.

Best of luck - let us know how it all turns out!  I bet you will feel amazing when it's over



2010-09-26 11:19 AM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Along with what is already said, I try to remind myself that there are very few who even attempt a Tri.  You're in that group, and after, you'll be in the group of people who finished.  There are many who wouldn't attempt for this reason or that reason.  I applaude you for setting the goal and working to make it a reality.   Not everyone is a Chrissie Wellington or Craig Alexander, but in our own little worlds, we can be a finisher and a winner by getting out and completing the journey.
2010-09-26 6:42 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Laura 2:27 for a swim isn't that bad. When I first started Tris I was doing like 3:00!

I know it's hard not to compare yourself to the others, but you're there for you and honestly people are looking a lot less then you think they might be. Like some others said usually people like you inspire others.

Don't worry if you have to get off and walk. I just had to do this in a race 2 weeks ago. It's humbling a bit, as I've done the course before without the walking, but I was having a bad day. Then there was this bike ride called the horribly hilly hundreds. Don't even get me started on that one.

Be proud of all you've accomplished and enjoy the race. I know what it's like to be that big girl and finishing your first tri is one of the best feelings in the world. Your capable of anything you set your mind to.

2010-09-27 10:24 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Wow, that's a great story for why you're doing it - I love the comment above to email the photo to the former employer.

Your swim time is a full minute faster than mine. I'm envious.

Good luck with the race!
2010-09-27 10:33 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Another Laura chiming in...

Bike is certainly my weakest as well - I've done virtually no training because I'm so nervous riding a bike...and I hate being slow...combine those 2 and I really don't like riding...but I did my tri 2 weekends ago.  it's a tri I've done before.  And the bike course is HILLY.  VERY VERY Hilly.  And I knew it - I'd done it before.  But I 'allowed' myself to walk the hills.  I gave myself that permission from the very beginning.  Similar to you resolving to walk the run. 

A funny thing happened during the race though.  I was walking one of the hills and about midway, there was a man who had laid his bike down on the ground and essentially given up.  He looked fit - he was certainly younger than me - and if you put him in a line up, he was not someone I would have guessed to give up.  I stopped long enough to give him a pep talk - encourage him to pick his bike off the ground, and join me in the walk up the rest of the hill.  And he did.  And while he may or may not remember me, I will remember him and the boost he gave ME by allowing me to inspire him during a time that I didn't feel great about anything.  You never know...you just never know. 

You're out there - you're DOING it.  That's all that matters.  Even last place is still a triathlete! 
2010-09-28 1:29 AM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Lauralynne - 2010-09-27 8:33 PMAnother Laura chiming in...

Bike is certainly my weakest as well - I've done virtually no training because I'm so nervous riding a bike...and I hate being slow...combine those 2 and I really don't like riding...but I did my tri 2 weekends ago.  it's a tri I've done before.  And the bike course is HILLY.  VERY VERY Hilly.  And I knew it - I'd done it before.  But I 'allowed' myself to walk the hills.  I gave myself that permission from the very beginning.  Similar to you resolving to walk the run. 

A funny thing happened during the race though.  I was walking one of the hills and about midway, there was a man who had laid his bike down on the ground and essentially given up.  He looked fit - he was certainly younger than me - and if you put him in a line up, he was not someone I would have guessed to give up.  I stopped long enough to give him a pep talk - encourage him to pick his bike off the ground, and join me in the walk up the rest of the hill.  And he did.  And while he may or may not remember me, I will remember him and the boost he gave ME by allowing me to inspire him during a time that I didn't feel great about anything.  You never know...you just never know. 

You're out there - you're DOING it.  That's all that matters.  Even last place is still a triathlete! 
Do you have a race report?? Congratulations! !! I need to hear more. I have met lauralynne and she definitely is a go-getter who motivates people!! Hop you are coming to the LUNA auction tomorrow!! I agree with so many on here...just getting out and doing this sport makes you a rare and special person. Keep up the hard work!


2010-09-28 4:24 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Thanks again, y'all (sorry, Southern roots showing there).  

My bike's in the shop right now getting a tune-up; I pick it up tomorrow, just in time for another tri prep class.

This past weekend I did the American Heart Association's Heart Walk, which is a 5k. Another friend walked it with me. The first mile was very slow, because there were around 20,000 of us all bunched up, but after the first mile, a lot of people peeled off and not as many did the whole three miles. The only problem was lack of water stations on the route.

So I'm definitely feeling good that I can do the 2 miles of the tri, even if I end up walking most of it, and the swim is going to be great, too.  
 
I'm still working on the bike--will be leaving work in a few minutes to hit the stationary bike at the gym since mine's in the shop right now.

Y'all are awesome; I really appreciate the support and inspiration.

-Laura 
2010-09-29 1:35 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Just have fun and finish.. worry about the next one...

The butterflies will go away once you are in the water.
2010-10-04 8:19 AM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Oh my gosh!  I'm so happy I happened upon this site and your post specifically.  I'm also an Athena (215 lb 5'3") doing my first Tri at the Rambling Rose in Chapel Hill.

I've been working on the running; swimming is okay, and I cycle a fair amount, but have been having anxiety about that hill on Sprunt Street (aka the mofo hill) and the whole tri in general. 

I'm not sure that I'm ready; I keep going back and forth with the, "What if I don't finish?" "Am I ready?" "Should I not race?"  

Seeing someone else in a similar situation is good for me, thanks for posting.  It's good to know other Athenas are out there and trying our hardest. 

See you at the race!  (PS.  I might be one of the others walking up the hill, but I'll give it my darndest try for sure.
2010-10-19 7:09 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri

Well, I found your post late..LOL... But I hope it all went well! 

I just was gonna say that I felt the same way about the swim as you do the bike and run.  I did my first sprint in Sept of 09.  THe problem for me was swimming.  See, in Jan. of 09 I didn't know how... at all, and was DEATHLY afraid of the water.  (Kinda silly for a 6'5" 280 pound cop, huh!)  I learned to "swim" if you can call it that.  I was the second to last one out of the water, but you know what, I swam, I swam in open water, for a half mile, and no one was pumping on my chest when I got out!!!  I like the bike, so I did well there, passing a bunch of people, who then all passed me in the run, cause I suck at that too......LOL.

Some people asked me if it was discouraging to come out of the water last... I tell them He!! no...  It was the best part of the race for me. 

So to all the skinny bikini wearing swimmers that give you the eye, screw them!  I would KILL to be able to match your swim time.  I can't even figure out how to breast stroke, so your doing way better than me!  I do about 100m of freestyle, then die and go into the side stroke and throw in some doggy paddle to round things out....  but I get it done. (You know for a fat guy you would think I would float a bit, but I am a sinker)

I have done 3 more tris, and guess what, I was last or about last out of the water in all of them, and I had to walk a bit in the run on the first one this year...  SO WHAT!  GOt it done, and had a blast.  Just do em for you, and keep doing them!!!  Hope you had a good time...

2010-10-21 7:39 AM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
How was your race? Hope it went well!


2010-10-24 6:01 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri

I hope you did your first race and came thru with flying colors.  Forget about everyone else.  You CAN this and you are taking the right steps to do this FOR YOU.  Not the idiots who came to swim practice in a bikini (snerk really? too funny)  for YOU for your health and fitness.  You are 100 miles ahead of the people who never got off the couch.  There lots of people on this site who have changed their lifestyles for the better thru triathlon.  Check KathyG's blog.  She has lost 100# and has done 2 ironmans.  Congratualtions on choosing a healthy lifestyle!!

2010-10-26 9:41 AM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
KWin - 2010-10-20 12:39 PM How was your race? Hope it went well!


Thanks! It went well, in that I finished.

My husband took some photos, which he's put on his Flickr page, here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulcory/sets/72157625136381120/
 
My swim time was a little slower than I expected, but not too bad, considering it was my first race. I did walk my bike up the Sprunt Street hill, and one other one on the back end of the course, before it got to Fearrington Road.

I had a minor mishap right as I got on the bike. I got on it, was ready to start riding, and... fell over.

Imagine if you'd just gotten on your bike and were about to start moving, and someone came by and shoved you, hard, so that you fell over on your right side, bike on top of you. That's what happened to me, only I'm so talented that I did it to myself, with no one else around to blame for it.

Scraped up my right knee a little, but also gouged a chunk out of the middle joint of my left index finger. And since I'm on Plavix and aspirin from last year's heart attack and six stents, It. Would. Not. Stop. Bleeding. 

It bled all through the bike portion--I didn't even notice it at first; I was too embarrassed as I got back up and pedaled away (yes, I *do* in fact know how to ride a bike, lol), then I realized that I'd scraped my knee.

Eventually, after a mile or so, I said to myself, "Hey, why's my left handlebar all sticky?"

Thankfully the shirt I wore is a tie-dye pattern, so I just kept periodically wiping my finger off on my shirt.

It bled more during the walk/run. And at that point, I had blood all over my left hand from smearing it when I'd wipe my finger. Also had a streak of blood on my face from where I'd wiped the sweat with my bloody hand. Finally got a band-aid on it after the race. It bled through the band-aid.

Bet you didn't realize that triathlon was a blood sport, huh?   
 
Two weeks later, I'm still basking in the glow of having finished.

Thanks again to everyone here for being so welcoming and supportive. People at the race were, too, despite my earlier self-consciousness.

-Laura 
2010-10-26 10:13 AM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri

Laura,

Congrats TRIATHLETE!  You finished your first race.  (I too, stumbled across this late.

You set a goal, you did what you could to make it happen, and now you get to bask in the glory (for a little bit). 

Lots of us are a bit self-conscious.  I never considered going to a prep class (which would tell the whole world I had no idea what I was doing...)  It's way too easy to compare our imperfections to people around us, but...does it really matter?  Not sure what your experience was, but the tri-hotties that show up around here with the flat tummy rockin' the 2-piece suits are friendly and encouraging (it's part of what keeps me hangin' around ). 

As for the crash...it happens.  When you have some time, search the BT forums for stories about clipless pedals.  I managed to save my first tip-over until 3 years after I started riding for triathlons...yup...that's a lot of dignity to lose...I crashed at mile 67 of my ironman race last year too...ALL.BY.MYSELF...

2010-10-27 9:13 PM
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Subject: RE: New Athena nervous about first tri
Awesome! You look so happy at that finish line.
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