Swim Bike Mom often features awesome folks and their race experiences in the form of official guest posts.
Here’s a recent report from SBM friend, Terry from 2011 Seattle Danskin Tri. Thanks for sharing your story Terry, and inspiring others to get out there and tri! That’s the name of the game: just keep moving!
“A little background on me. I am a slow, fat triathlete (the familiar term coined by Jayne Williams). But, I haven’t always been one. Three years ago, my friend Cathy convinced me to join the Kitsap TriBabes and train for a triathlon. This is an amazing group of supportive women who train for triathlons together and are led by TriTurtle Lisa Ballou, who is the most amazing encourager and six time Ironman finisher. Without their support, I couldn’t do this. Since then, I have completed 4 triathlons, including this year’s Seattle Danskin triathlon.
Danskin triathlons are all female events. This year’s Seattle event had over 2,000 participants – 115 of which were Kitsap TriBabes. After packet pick up and bike racking on Saturday, a group of us carbed up with italian food and tried to get some sleep.
Race morning came early. The weather was in the low 60s with enough clouds to keep the sun (and glare) off the water. I got my transition area set up, visited friends then headed to the porta potties for my pre-swim stop. When I tried to zip up my trisuit, I found the zipper was broken – and I found my obstacle to overcome this race. I headed back to my transition area, and thanks to my fantastic rack mates and a bunch of safety pins, I was ready to swim. Ladies like these are why I love doing this race. And, lesson learned, wear a sports bra under the trisuit. [SBM Note: Check out Terry’s TMAT Pro! Love it!]
I was in wave 9, with a 7:14 am start time (there were 27 waves, with about 125 in each). I was able to get wet, warm up and then it was time to get ready to start. Every wave at Danskin gets a pep talk and a word to inspire them – our word was gorgeous. The horn sounded, the noodles lifted and we were off. I love to swim, it’s my favorite leg. I had a good swim, with little issues. There was lots of encouragement (and cute guys) on the course, which makes it great. My friend (and chauffer for the weekend) was at the swim out, so she helped me out and gave me a big hug.
After the long walk to my bike, I changed, had an energy snack and headed for the bike out. This course is relatively flat, with only one steep hill where we get onto Interstate 90 (they close the express lanes for us). I have yet to ride all the way up that hill, but I got further this year. The ride goes across Lake Washington and has beautiful views of the water and Mt. Rainier. We go through a tunnel twice, where it’s always fun to hoot and holler. I passed lost of TriBabes on the ride, shouting and receiving encouragement from my TriSisters. I enjoy the bike leg, and this one was no exception.
I dismounted and headed back to transition. A quick removal of helmet and gloves, packing up of pockets with snacks and water and I was off on the walk course. I don’t (yet) run, and I walk slow – slower this year due to foot issues. Lots of participants passed me, shouting encouragement, giving me high fives and even stopping to walk with me a bit. This is the leg I really struggle on, but I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. The course goes along the water and except for one hill, is flat and beautiful.
As I headed for the finish chute, I was glad to be done. As I turned the final corner and saw a long line of TriBabes in pink cheering for me, I started crying. I was the last TriBabe to finish (in 3:20:07, 26 minutes longer than last year). I did a quick dance with the volunteers at the finish line, got my medal and had my picture taken. I got lots of sweaty hugs from my fellow TriBabes, which just capped off the day.
All during training, it’s fun to get to know these women, learn their stories and know I’m not alone in my struggles. When I started this journey, I was not athletic, but now I am a triathlete. If I can do this, anyone can. And, thanks to this in my life, I have learned that I can do things I didn’t think I could.”