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Emerald Pointe Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Lake Lanier Island, Georgia
United States
Georgia MultiSports Productions, LLC.
70'sF / 0C
Total Time = 2h 17m 26s
Overall Rank = 638/687
Age Group = Athena
Age Group Rank = 22/22
Pre-race routine:

First off I would like to start this out with a, “HOLY SHIT! I am a triathlete!” Then I would like to say, "Holy Shit! I placed... last place, but still!" I promised not to beat myself up over this race, and it has been hard not to do that, but I keep telling myself at least I finished, at least I was out there. I was last in the Athena group, but at least I was not last over all. But to be honest, even last overall would not have been horrible. Someone has to be last, and that means you can only get better from there.

I would compare this day to basic training in the Army: it was one of the best and worst things I have ever been through. I owe a hearty thanks to triOK’s mentor group. They have been there every step of this journey with daily inspires and encouragement.

I joined the group the very last day in May. I had only started my triathlon training two weeks before, and I was already wondering what the hell I got myself into. Sure, I wanted to get back into shape and lose some weight, but a race with a swim, bike and run? Just what the hell was I thinking? It has been a tough row to hoe plagued with shin splints, a back injury two weeks out from the race, and lots of self doubt. Should I mention a serious fear of open water? Perhaps I will save that for the swim portion, so let’s get on with the race report.

I do not know if you can call it pre-race “routine” as this was my first race, so really nothing routine about it. I got up at 4 a.m. wondering if getting up at that ungodly hour on a Sunday morning when I should be sleeping in was almost as crazy as the race I was about to do. The plan was to eat something around 4:30 a.m. and be on the road by five, but really who needs a plan? I was not hungry at 4:30, I did not quite make it out the door by five, but it was close enough. I ate a Special K meal replacement bar in the Sportage on the drive and sipped some Gatorade Endurance.

I do not much remember what I was thinking on the drive. I think shock was setting in at that point. I cannot even tell you what time I got to the parking lot, but it was still dark. I got my backpack out and it was then I realized I forgot my floor pump. Oh well, the tires felt good, but I knew they were not at 120 PSI. Usually after a ride they go down to 80 or 90. After that, I walked with my bike the one mile from parking to transition. Before you could enter transition, you had to get body marked and your chip, so I did. Then I wandered around looking for my rack.

After getting my bike racked I know I was standing there looking dazed and confused. I was not sure how to set up my area, or where I should do it. It was at that point that Kristen (enders_shadow) spotted me. Her bike space was down the rack from mine. She answered my questions, and I proceeded to set up my area. It was about 6:40 a.m. at that point, and I thought it a good time to hit the porta-potties. The first one I went into someone had shit all over the seat. Give me a break people! I waited for another one, and got a clean one next go. Then I had to strip down because I had a one piece trisuit on.

After the deed was done, I went back to the rack, double checked everything, and got out my goggles and cap. Time was flying at this point, and the next thing I knew it was time to head down to the lake.
Event warmup:

Event warm-up? I think walking the three miles from transition to the water was warm-up enough! Okay, it was not three miles, but it seemed like it. It was also down a long steep hill, which I knew was just going to be so much fun on the way back. When Kristen and I saw the buoys laid out, we both said that it did not look so bad. Heck, it almost looked easy. Those would be famous last words.

Once down to the water, we milled around in the sand, and I looked for some place to ditch my socks I had forgot to take off. At 7:15 the pre-race announcements started, and they went over the rules, the bike course, the swim course, etc. They announced the water temp to be a balmy 74.6 degrees. They had made the announcement earlier that wetsuits were to be allowed, but I kept thinking with water that warm and a swim so short, what benefit could a wetsuit be? More famous last words.

After the announcements were made a little bit of the military came out in me. They started to play the “Star Spangled Banner”, but did not call for silence, everyone kept talking, and the announcer kept talking over it. Is this the norm now? Where is the respect? It totally pissed me off.

I did not have too much time to be pissed off because the next thing you know the race has started. We did not even hear the horn for the first group, but we saw the churning in the water. I know I was babbling nonsense at this point, but Kristen listened to it stoically. We talked about where the buoys were, where the canoes were, and kept telling ourselves it was going to be fine. I kept noting all the different strokes, and there were lots of people in the breaststroke and even the back.

We were to be wave 7 out of 9, and as I watched all the waves go, I decided I was going to start in the very back on the inside by the buoys. In the back I would not have to worry about getting run over, and by staying on the inside I could maybe reduce the distance a bit. The course looked like a rectangular loop with all right turns. It looked to be about 150 yards out to the first turn, then another 100 yards or so to the next turn, and then about 150 in yards to the shore, after swimming it I would say that last stretch was at least 600 yards…

Our wave was fast approaching time to enter the water, so Kristen and I wished each other luck and said we would see each other at the end.
  • 19m 57s
  • 400 yards
  • 04m 59s / 100 yards

I should mention here quickly before the gun goes off my serious fear of open water… actually it is deep water… and even worse murky deep water. It is like a phobia… if I were honest with myself, I would say it is a phobia, but it is not quite incapacitating. I have had it since I was a child. I blame it on my Mom with her sink or swim attitude who threw me over the side of our boat out in the middle of lake when I was four. I was not going to drown; I had a lifejacket on. My fear was what was going to get me in that dark murky water. But it is not just murky water, hell, I will not even go into the deep end of a pool without searching the water first for some lurking monster.

It is not about being able to swim. I learned to swim at age ten, and as every summer of my childhood years was spent at South Padre Island where my Mom lived after she divorced my Dad, we were water babies. After breakfast we went to the pool for a couple of hours. After lunch we went to the beach for a couple of hours, after dinner we were back at the pool, yet in the ocean, never in deep water. Even in shallow water I was a ninny when things like seaweed of fish rubbed up against me. My experiences in the water did not help but fuel my fears. Heading back to shore once I forgot to shuffle my feet and stepped on a crab that proceeded to slice open my toe. I nearly drowned on a tubing trip down the Guadalupe when I got caught under a water fall… in only four feet of water. Anyways, we get the gist, yes? Water freaks me the fuck out.

Back to the race, the next thing I know, our wave is in the water. The water feels cold as hell. I dunk myself trying to adjust to the temp. The guy on the beach starts the countdown from five, and then the horn goes. Everyone takes off and I wait a few seconds, and then start myself. I wade until about chest deep and then start my stroke. The first time I put my face in the water, I nearly inhale the lake. My first time I did an OWS a couple of weeks ago, I had a hard time breathing out under the water, I had the same issue today, but on top of dealing with the fear of murky water was the temperature that made me want to freak out and inhale while my face was in the water. Wait, let me rephrase that, made me freak out. Ten seconds into the race, and it is almost over for me.

I had waded until chest deep, so it only took me a couple of strokes before I was in over my head, I could not breath, I inhaled my first bit of water, panic was settling in, I was already on my back, I was only 10 yards from shore, and I just very nearly said, “fuck this shit” right then and there. But I had made a vow to myself when I started that I would finish this swim. It would all be cake after that, just finish the damn swim!

I told myself just make it the first buoy and you can stop a second and catch your breath, so I did. I do not remember how I got there, I just remember grabbing that line and holding on for dear life. There was another girl there, and we hung out a few. I was starting to hyperventilate, but refused to give in to all out panic. After a minute, I said to myself, “This is getting me no where, time to make it to the next buoy,” and off I went. I mostly backstroked, though I did try to breaststroke and freestyle, but still had the same problem of inhaling underwater. I just could not adjust to the temp, and on top of panic, it was a mess. One would think in a situation like that your body’s instinct would be to NOT inhale with your face in the water. I guess my body is weird.

While I had hung out at the first buoy, I had let the fast swimmers of the wave behind me get ahead. As I neared the first turn that was the next buoy, the slow swimmers were catching up. When I got the buoy, I sidestroked around it and decided to just keep going. About half way to the next buoy the fast swimmers from the last wave were coming up on me. They were churning the hell out of the water. I think I half inhaled, half swallowed a gallon of water. I came up sputtering. It was the first time a canoe had asked me if I needed help, it would not be the last. I refused the help and kept at it.

By this point I was being swum over, beside, people touching me, and in my state, this did not help much. One guy went by that was kicking so hard the water was splashing about ten feet in the air. I finally reached the next buoy, and made it around and thought, “What the hell, this is the home stretch, let’s keep going!”

I pretty much did the same thing the whole swim. Backstroke, flip over and try to freestyle, freak out, inhale some water, try to breaststroke, swallow some water, flip back over on my back, rinse, repeat. I should mention here I hate the backstroke because I always manage to inhale or swallow water. No exception today. I was asked a total of three times if I needed help as I floundered and refused each one. I plodded slowly on. I had been nearly hyperventilating for so long I was seeing stars and little squiggly lines. You know how you breathe after you cry really hard? That hiccup breathing? Yea, that was me the whole swim.

That last stretch seemed to take forever. Every time I flipped over to try to freestyle, I would spot the shore and it seemed to never get any closer. I was tired. I barely kick when I freestyle and doing so much backstroke and all that kicking blew my legs out early. I knew I was not getting enough O2 with all the funky breathing. I just wanted to be done. At some point I had got so off course I touched bottom and got so excited I stood up just to realize I had swam off course.

The last 20 or so yards in I did freestyle, I just never put my face in the water. That is exhausting. Then finally, my feet touched sand. I staggered out of the water to the ramp. I wanted to be elated, but I was too busy trying not to pass out. I looked at my watch: seventeen minutes? That is all? It felt like so long I was worried about the cutoff which was thirty minutes. Once out of the water I realized I was not the last one in it. I had a fleeting moment of feeling sorry for the stragglers behind me, but also a little glad I was not the very last swimmer out of the water. By the time I crossed the mat up the hill it was more like 19 minutes. Add on the time I forgot to start the damn watch, and I was closer to the cutoff than I care to be. Regardless, I made it!

Somebody on the sidelines asked me as I neared transition how was it. I said it was the worst thing I have ever done. I thought I did a lot of scary shit in the Army. The gas chamber, doing the commando rope crawl fifty feet in the air when I had never been able to do it when I was three feet off the ground, duck walking through a flooded culvert under a highway, lying in a foxhole while ticks crawled all over me, but none of those were as bad as that swim today. But what was that I said? Oh yea, I made it!
What would you do differently?:

Get more OWS in... lots more... and then some more... and a wetsuit... and swim some more OWS...
Transition 1
  • 05m 2s

A lot of this time was getting up that damn hill and into transition. I could not get my breathing under control so I was not running. My brain was not really functioning when I got to my rack. I put my shirt on first, but that was only because it was laying there. There was no thought process that it needed to go on before the helmet. I got my socks and shoes on with little trouble. I remembered to rinse my feet, but failed at not stepping in the water with my socks. I walked my bike out of transition still trying to slow my breathing down.
What would you do differently?:

Not hyperventilate on the swim... not have shin problems so I can actually practice running up hills.
  • 1h 03m 9s
  • 13 miles
  • 12.35 mile/hr

Ahhhh, on the bike. Now this is where I am at home. I am slow at every event, but biking is the one I am the least slow at. I had ridden this course a couple of weeks before, so I knew what to expect. It was going to suck, but I knew I could do it.

Coming out of transition they were making an announcement about an accident almost a mile down the course between a biker and a car. It turns out it was ADollar from here at BT. I have not heard how he is, but my thoughts go out to him and hoping he is okay.

It took me a mile or two to get my breathing under control finally. I never got my HR down. In fact my average for every segment was pretty much the same. Coming out of transition is a nice down hill followed by the first uphill. My legs were still burning from the swim, so that first climb did not help them any at all. Even though, I still managed to pass about three people before getting out of the gates of Emerald Pointe. Coming out of the gate my co-worker Khamone was there cheering me on, which put the first smile on my face since the swim.

I knew I had three major hills before I got to the cruising point, the last one being the most wicked. Each one was a little bit of torture with the legs still burning the way they were. Then as I was dropping to my granny gear to attack that last hill, my chain dropped. I was spinning and getting no where. I had the piece of mind enough to upshift to see if it would catch before I fell over. It did, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I made it up that viscous hill, but I was a little worried at certain points, and I think my speed actually dropped to 2 mph as I saw how slow I could pedal without actually falling over.

As I headed down the other side I realize something else, I could not get into my big ring. The front derailleur must have fubared when it dropped the chain. Also in the middle ring, when I was in the big rings in the back, the chain was rubbing the front derailleur and making an awful racket. I could do without the big ring, but I live in my middle ring, and most of my speed comes from there. On the flats when I should have been cruising, I was busy fiddling with shifting trying to get things to iron themselves out. They never did.

As I made the turn onto Shadburn Ferry, the PA from work was there snapping pictures. I was going too fast at the point and trying to take a corner, which I almost did not make, so I did not have time to wave going by. I will have to remember to tell him thanks for coming out. After Shadburn Ferry, was Peachtree Industrial, my favorite stretch of the race because it was the closest to what I have ridden on all summer. Slight grades, mostly flat, but unfortunately I could not open it up due to my derailleur issues.

Sadly the Peachtree Industrial section was only a couple of miles. Then we went back to rolling hills, though none as bad as the three at the start. There was the nasty grade coming back into Emerald Pointe, and that very nasty uphill right at the finish, but it was no worse than the short, steep grades I do on some of my rides. Next thing I knew, I was at the dismount line and Khamone was there cheering me on again. When I was bringing my bike in I saw Kristen headed out on her run. She had survived the swim and the bike as well.

Oh yes, new high speed record for me on the course. At some point I hit 34 mph, though I have no idea when or where. I also should mention I had the “Hokey Pokey” going through my head every time I was on a hill. I am not sure why. That never happened in training, but all I could hear in my head was, “Put your left foot in, take your left foot out, put your left foot in and shake it all about…” I am such a weirdo. One thing that often went through my head in training was the cadence “Run a Little.” I will upload it to my website when I post this race report. It helped lots to keep me going during the race on the bike and the run.

During the whole ride, I remembered to enjoy it. I looked around at the scenery. Thanks to every volunteer and police officer I saw. I tried to encourage every rider I passed (maybe six or seven people all told), but above all I remember I was out of the water, so just enjoy it! I passed the photographer for the bike session. He asked me how it was, and I told him it was all cake once out of the water. He said, “Yea, you can’t drown on the bike.” My thoughts exactly!
What would you do differently?:

Not burn my legs out in the swim. Practice more hills. Not freak out on the swim. Not have derailleur problems. Did I mention do more hills? Oh yea, drop another 50 pounds so I am not lugging so much around on the hills.
Transition 2
  • 01m 54s

What can I say about T2? I barely remember it. Rack bike, bike shoes off, running shoes on, grab cap and race number and find the exit.
What would you do differently?:

Being able to run better would help with this. I walked all the transitions today knowing that my running already sucks.
  • 47m 27s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 15m 16s  min/mile

I was about one hour thirty minutes into the race when I started the run. I knew at that point I was not going to make my under two hour goal. My goal for the run was to hopefully get 15 minute miles. I came pretty damn close. If I had pushed my running just a little more I could have made it under.

I did really well with my usual run 30 walk 45 for the first mile. Then I reached a long stretch of uphill, so I walked that, and then walked a little more. Then back to run walk. I drank Gatorade at the first aid station right out of transition. That was a mistake, so I took a sip of water at the next aid station at the first mile, and then on the way back water again. Still I felt my tummy being a little funny.

It was at this point I started to remember how much water I swallowed in the lake. Did I mention I am a cootiephobe? I could just picture all the nasty bacteria swirling in my stomach. I really had to push those thoughts away. At the turn around point I know I joked with the guy manning the chip mats, though I cannot remember what we said, just that we got a good laugh.

My mind was going goofy at this point. When I wasn’t having cadence running through my head, I was thinking the strangest thoughts. I even thought of all kinds of names for my slow, plodding shuffling. I came up with ralking, and wunning, but my favorite I decided on was wogging, a nice mixture of walking and jogging.

I know I walked too much of that last mile. I was letting my mind defeat me. I knew I wasn’t in under two, I knew I wasn’t going to be in under 2:15. I knew I could walk the whole rest of the way and still finish under the cutoff. Then I guy came by on a golf cart. He swerved over to give me a high five, and told me I was almost there. I almost started crying because it was at that point I really realized I was almost done. I was about to become a triathlete. Who cares if I was slow and probably last?

After I got the near boo-hooing under control, I looked up so see the three mile marker ahead. I decided I was going to run it in and finish strong. I even ran up that steep hill. I rounded the corner and the announcer said, “Here comes another athlete to the finish.” I thought, “Holy shit, he is talking about me.” And I wanted to laugh a bit. Here I am an overweight middle aged back of the packer and they are calling me an athlete, but then I told myself I had just come over 16 miles to this finish line. It was a fine mixture of near drowning, slow biking and wogging, but I was about to finish and do something so few people can say they did. As I came down the chute to the finish line he said my name and I threw my hands in the air. I had arrived. I was finally a triathlete.
What would you do differently?:

Not have shin splints and be able to run more instead of wogging during training. Though I must say that my shins gave me no trouble whatsoever today. Lose more weight so that running is not so hard on the lower extremities.
Post race
Warm down:

Warm-down? I was brain dead. I would like to say I remembered to slap hands running down the chute, or that I even remembered to smile coming across the finish line, but it was all a blur. After crossing the finish line, they pulled my chip and handed me a bottle of water I could not even remember how to open. I managed to find the t-shirt tent and got that. At that point, Kristen found me. I followed her like a lost puppy dog back to our rack. Stared at my stuff knowing it needed to go in the bag. Tried to get everything in the bag. My sunglasses fell off the brim of my hat at least five times before I realized that was not working. I was trying to decide what shirt to put on when I realized I still had my shirt on I wore during the race. Eesh.

Then we had a one mile walk back to the car. My stomach was doing icky things at this point. Painful gas, bloaty feeling, just blech. Poor Kristen was worse than me though. She had to stop on our trek to the car. She kept apologizing, and I kept telling her no need. But I have IBS and I know the guilt you feel when you hold people up due to tummy problems.

I knew I needed to eat something, but could not fathom it. I was picturing all those cooties from the lake water making their way down my GI tract and about to have some explosive consequences out one end or the other. We finally made it to our cars. I loaded up and headed out. I still had some painful gas, but knew I needed to get something in me. I stopped at Starbucks for a no-fat caramel macchiato and blueberry muffin. I managed to eat the top off it and drank some of the coffee on the drive back to the house.

Once at the house I got everything unloaded. My legs were killing me, mostly my calves. I laid down for a nap which lasted about two hours. I kept waking up with pain in my legs. When I finally got up I put some Biofreeze that was in our race packet on my calves. That shit worked wonders, and the pain finally became bearable.

I still had not eaten anything of substance and still did not feel like it. After about two hours of being awake, I finally made some spaghetti and felt better after getting that down. I spent the rest of the evening basking in the painful afterglow of finally becoming a triathlete. Now to get down my goals for next season…

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Simply put, I just need more training... lots more. I still do not feel I have a strong base. I need more OWS. I need to be able to actually run. I need to lose more weight.

Event comments:

This was a well run race. Lots of support and volunteers. The only thing bad I have to say I already mentioned, and that was the lack of respect during the National Anthem.

Last updated: 2007-09-20 12:00 AM
00:19:57 | 400 yards | 04m 59s / 100yards
Age Group: 22/22
Overall: 0/687
Performance: Bad
8:00 a.m. our waves goes. 17+ minutes for swim (forgot to hit watch on when horn sounded). 19+ total by the time I hit the mat. Avg HR 153
Suit: I wish!
Course: Rectangular Course... more or less.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 05:02
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
01:03:09 | 13 miles | 12.35 mile/hr
Age Group: 20/22
Overall: 0/687
Performance: Average
Avg HR 154
Wind: Little
Course: Looped course described as flat and fast... my ass!
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:54
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:47:27 | 03.11 miles | 15m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 22/22
Overall: 0/687
Performance: Below average
Avg HR 155
Course: Out and back with rolling hills. Bee-yoo-tee-ful scenery as well I might add.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2007-10-08 10:25 AM

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Subject: Emerald Pointe Triathlon

2007-10-08 10:59 AM
in reply to: #996391

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Alpharetta, GA
Subject: RE: Emerald Pointe Triathlon
Great job, TRIATHLETE!  You did it...awesome job and quite the story/RR!!
2007-10-08 11:27 AM
in reply to: #996391

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Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: Emerald Pointe Triathlon

I am so proud of you!  Your race report really reflects the dedication and determination of a triathlete.  For the rest of your life, you can say you are a triathlete!!!  And now you  know what to expect and can go and do a few more next season. . . and before you know it, maybe you will be contemplating IM???  Way to go, thank you for sharing your story.  It's been a pleasure being on a 'team' with you all season!!!

2007-10-08 12:42 PM
in reply to: #996391

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Out running or enjoying a fine glass of red...
Subject: RE: Emerald Pointe Triathlon

WHOO WHOO WHOO! Nice race report (and not just 'cause it mentions me!) - entertaining, gripping, true - excellent journalism. 

We both did awesome.  We should both be proud!

Way to go, TRIATHLETE!


2007-10-08 1:03 PM
in reply to: #996391

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Renton, Washington
Subject: RE: Emerald Pointe Triathlon
Congratulations on completing your 1st of many triathlons! It's such a good feeling isn't it?  You did incredibly well and should be proud of yourself no matter what!
2007-10-08 10:33 PM
in reply to: #996391

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Subject: RE: Emerald Pointe Triathlon
Really good read!  You did a great job this year to get to this stage, and you should definitely be proud!

2007-10-09 8:23 AM
in reply to: #996391

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Acworth, Georgia
Subject: RE: Emerald Pointe Triathlon

Where do I start?  Reading your race report brought back some memories for me.  Last year I did EP as my returning event to a sport that I had competed in 18 years prior.  It was much tougher than I recall (as I was 24 years old back then and well, you do the math, much older now).  I too, had a panic attack in the swim.  I finished next to last place for the men.  It was a tough journey.  Unlike you, tough, I beat myself up pretty bad, until the next weekend when I did the Destin tri and performed more as expected.  I still finished down in the standings but was getting stronger.

Now with that said, the bottom line is:  WAY TO GO, TRIATHLETE!  You indeed showed the personification of that title with your determination and mental capabilities to keep pushing and complete an event that most would not ever try.  We are all very proud of you and want to be there to encourage you to continue on this journey that you have just started.


2007-10-09 8:40 AM
in reply to: #996391

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Subject: RE: Emerald Pointe Triathlon
Nice race report!  You did an awesome job, and you're going to keep getting better!
2007-10-09 11:20 AM
in reply to: #996391

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Sous Mon Diadème
Subject: RE: Emerald Pointe Triathlon
Congratulations, Triathlete!  Way to overcome your fear in the water and get through it.  You DID it.  You kept moving forward and finished and that's all that matters.  Excellent race report.  I suspect at the end of next season you will look back on this one and be amazed at your progress.
2007-10-09 2:27 PM
in reply to: #996391

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Allen, TX
Subject: RE: Emerald Pointe Triathlon


It has been so great getting to cyber-know you on the triOK team. All I have to say is you NEED to do more races, because your race report was so fun to read!!!!!

You did it, girl!!!!!

2007-10-10 7:40 AM
in reply to: #996391

New user

Powder Springs
Subject: RE: Emerald Pointe Triathlon
Congratulations! The Emerald Pointe was my first triathlon, also...
What a high! BTW...I can relate to the cadence going thru your head! Semper Fi


2007-10-19 2:01 PM
in reply to: #996391


Subject: RE: Emerald Pointe Triathlon
Congratulations. I did the Emerald Pointe triathlon as my first triathlon ever and felt a lot of the same feelings you did. (Murky Lake Water, excitement about finishing the swim, b/c I knew I would survive, amazement at the speed of that 15 year old kid that blew past me on a tri bike -- I rode a hybrid, thinking I should have run more. =).

Your description of the course (including that ridiculous hill up to T1) and the bike course were spot on. But no matter where you finish, I think the true mark is gutting out to finish. Most people don't even get that far.

Hope to see you hear about you at other events.
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