Saturday, June 13, 2009

I've been proven wrong

So I owe my colleague Willie Loving an apology. When he compared the mountains of West Virginia to my lovely Desert home I laughed at the man. Though I stand by my thesis that Utah mountains are grander and more breathe taking, I have learned the Appalachians are in fact, mountains.

Which is why I'm a little perturbed the Cumberland YMCA, Rocky Gap Sprint Triathlon called their bike path one along "rolling hills." Those hills were not rolling!

But I survived.
I like this photo. Even though I clearly didn't know Ben was snapping my backside. I just think it really captures the moments before a race starts. And here's my "Thanks Mom and Dad for enrolling all the boys in swim lessons but never me!" I was off to the Lake. And Ben was off to take about 800 million pictures of the picturesque scenery that surrounded us.
Though the beach of the lake looked like this, it was surprisingly clear. I could totally see floating legs in front of me while I was treading water. But that didn't last long. 1/4 way into the race my nose plug totally pooped out on me and I ended up having to back stroke/dogie paddle the rest of the way. It was such a drag. Eventually I realized I could try to swim without putting my face in the water. I even tried the ol' hum as you're underwater trick my old roommate Michelle taught me on our vacay in Cali but it just wasn't working for me. So I was one of the last 10 people out of the water. It was really frustrating, but I refused to give up even though all the volunteers in the boats were like "Are you alright? Do you need to hang onto the side?" I'm sure I looked like I was struggling, but the swim was the part I trained best for.

Drag.

Well, here's some of the photos Ben shot on his exploration.







Which one captures the bridge best? I couldn't decide.
Loved these flowers.
I thought this was really good photog. Way to go honey!
There were "Give wildlife a brake" signs with a picture of turtles on all the roads. I loved that.A view of the Lake I swam in. The bike path went through those mountains in the background. Right away I knew they were not rolling hills. But I was excited for the views. And I set a goal. To never walk my bike up a hill mountain we had to climb. I had to strategize to do this. Once I hit the monsters I just looked straight down at the road in front of me, so I had no idea how much further I had to go. I was totally hyperventilating while coasting down the back side of one such hike.

I still felt good about it, this helped me pass about 2 dozen racers. A lot of people walked their bikes. And I passed a few who were riding too. So I was proud to make up for my crappy swim.

All in all, the swim + bike took an hour and 4 minutes. Not as good as I had hoped. Only a few minutes short.

Then I had to run walk the dreaded 5K. This time they really were rolling hills. And call me crazy, but I hate runnning down hill. So I only ran up. And then I decided to run at the end, but honestly. I walked most of it. Funny thing is, I think it only took about five minutes more than my best 5K run time. :)
So this is me trying to explain to Ben that my stomach hurts and I can't feel my feet. (If you zoom in you can see the pain on my face) but with a little encouragement I turned into this only seconds later. . .
And I sprinted across the finish line.
But overall, it was a pouty face, thumbs down race. Well, not the race, but my performance.

Can I just say I am so impressed with some people. There were 70+ year olds doing this race. One of which was doing the international race, which is twice as long as the sprint I completed. Way to go Grandma! Other people show serious signs of "I've birthed four kids and use to way 150 lbs more than this." And one girl couldn't have been over 16. She started with her 45 year old parents. And one boy had to be about 14, and a little overweight. I had to refrain from saying "Good work little buddy." I just really wanted to encourage him to keep up the exercise. What other 14-year-olds would get up around 6:00am on a Saturday, and not to play video games?

That's why I love this sport. Sure it's competitive, but I think a lot of people just do it to have a sense of accomplishment. And racers are always so supportive. I love it.

One day I'll have a time I'm not ashamed of.

One day I'll train properly and actually push myself.

But for now it's really just for fun. I overheard one guy explain to his buddy why he doesn't race with his wife, "I'd rather not race than race and get a bad time." The other guy just shrugged and said "I guess that's how some people feel." I wanted to shout, NOT ME! Dude, I've accomplished much more than you today, even if my time was a toilet bomb.

Well, we took the "Scenic Highway" home. It's been way too long since I took the scenic route. Cause thery're an endagered species out here!
A beautiful farm valley nestled in the Appalachians.
Me trying some photography.
Cool rock formation.








These wild-flowers don't do what we saw along the highway justice.

4 comments:

Mom and Dad Bassett said...

Way to go Betty! I'm proud of you. I noticed there was at least one person who came in after you! Truly, I am very proud of your determination. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to seeing you in 10 more days!
Love, Pops

Kim and Cory said...

Way to go Liz!!

Jenny Kay said...

You are so awesome to do that! I would drownd for sure!

Chelle said...

The ol' humming underwater didn't do it for you?! I'm amazed at you people who can do these races! It's so amazing! Someday I'll be able to run three blocks... without even stopping. Hey. We've all gotta have goals...

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