I didn’t know about the Littlefoot until about two weeks before it happened, and only committed to it a week before. I decided I didn’t want to end my summer on the low note of the 106° West Triathlon, so I decided to take on one more race.
Earlier in the summer, I joined a veteran outreach organization called Team RWB. The goal of Team RWB is to enrich veterans lives by connecting them to their community through physical events. I figured I had just moved to Denver and wanted to make some friends and I like physical activity, so why not! At first, I was hesitant to attend events because I was nervous to work out next to vets who are machines. Once I got over that fear, I met some other civilians who are more on my level of physical and mental determination (interpret that as you will).
My new friend Tara had originally registered for the race, but due to a sprained ankle, she was unable to run. Lucky for me, I was able to use her registration! Unlike 106° West, I set more specific goals: Don’t be last out of the water, pass as many people on the bike as I can and don’t get passed, run the whole run.
SWIM: I debated wearing my wetsuit for the swim and ultimately decided just to wear a warmer top. The air temperature was chilly, the sun had barely come up by the time the race started; however, the water wasn’t terrible. My shirt had a little more drag than I had anticipated, but it kept the chill away. My swim was a slow and steady freestyle stroke. As I get better at swimming it has become more efficient to stick with one stroke rather than just do something to keep me moving forward like a little breast stroke here, a little side stroke there. I was passed by a few people who started in the wave behind me, but I wasn’t the last of my wave out of the water! It wasn’t until I stepped out of the water to run towards the transition that I realized how cold I was. Despite not being able to feel my fingers I was not going to waste any time and be last out of the transition (and at that point probably last in the race).
BIKE: The bike was a beautiful, hilly course around Bear Creek Lake. Luckily, the first few miles were a gradual downhill so I felt like I was able to move my legs and thaw out a little. Per my goal, I passed as many people as I could. After each person I passed I would chase down the next person in front of me. At one point a woman passed me, which was disapointing, though she had the look of a tri runner who shouldn’t have been behind me in the first place. There were a few steeper hill that were good reminders I should probably take more time to climb. All in all I was pretty proud of my bike.
RUN: The run is almost as much of a mind game as swimming. I know I can walk if I need to, but I also know I can run 3.1 miles. It has been my experience that I get passed by a number of people in the run that I had just passed on the bike, but I am ok with my 12 minutes miles. This run was quite a bit different, though. I borrowed an RWB shirt from Tara and unbeknownst to me that carries a lot of pressure. As I was shuffling along people would yell out “GO EAGLES” or any other “Hoorah” type millitary call. I sort of felt like a fraud because I assume people think I am a vet when I am not. The good news is it did give me the motivation to run all 3.1 miles.
I crossed the finish line with a huge sense of accomplishment. Not finishing the swim at 106° West sucked, so I set out to do my best and ended up setting my personal record for a sprint triathlon. I did what I had set out to do: end the tri season on a high note!