Running For French Fries

Now that I’ve recovered (more or less) from Saturday’s Triathlon, I can tell you the highlights for me centered around the amazing people who competed in and supported this race.

First, I’m always amazed how wonderful people can be. At this race, the more seasoned athletes and even some of the other beginners were so helpful and supportive to us newbies, it made me proud to  be a part of this. I also tried to pass on as much info as I could because at registration on Friday night, we had someone explain how to get into and out of  the pool and snake the lanes, how to rack our bikes, how to make sure we knew where to return our bikes. Not everyone got that little bit of information. It made this race less chaotic than the first one was for me (my duathlon in April).

When I lined up for the swim (we seeded ourselves based on time), for a while I was the only girl in my time with a bunch of guys. Made me think that I must have made a mistake and I should move back to the slower times. I was right on the money though with my swim time and was very glad I stayed where I did. A couple of other women showed up there too which made me a little more comfortable. I had a smooth swim with no one bumping into me or having to wait for slower swimmers to get back in line.

While waiting to go into the water I started chatting with the guy in front of me, who, by the end of the conversation decided I should go before him because I was faster. That made me feel great…and nervous at the same time. It also made me swim faster since I didn’t want to slow him down. At the lane ends, where shifting to the next lane was confusing, people were so polite. There were at least three people at each lane end and we were all “You go, no you go, no it’s ok, you can go first.” I think everyone kind of wanted an excuse to rest, but it was all very cordial and polite. The “niceness” probably slowed us all down some, but better to lose a few seconds than get kicked in the face.

The staff and volunteers for Event Power cheered us on the whole way and on the bike, one girl staffer yelled out “The third time you see me, you go back to transition!” It saved me from having to try and count the loops on the bike path, which was confusing at best. Smart girl! She probably saved at least a few people from disqualification because they wouldn’t have done the three loops.

On my run, where I walked quite a bit of the way, twice when I was walking, another competitor slowed down to walk with me and talk me into running again. The first time was a woman at about the same level as me (we both needed the few minutes of walking I think) but we got each other going again. The second time it was a young girl, almost done with her run (I was on the first loop). She was doing great and had no reason to slow down with me, but she did, just to help me along. I can’t thank that woman enough, because I was having a rough time at that point, and I didn’t give up, partly because of her.

The other reason I didn’t give up? Are you ready for this? Diner french fries. I’m not kidding. When I had about a half mile to go, I just kept telling myself, get your butt across that finish line and you can go to the diner and have a real omelette (none of this egg white crap) and french fries! Hot, salty, crispy, thick diner french fries with lots of ketchup.

And guess what? I finished my race, hung around a bit to wait for results, was even interviewed (and I’ll link that when it’s live) and then went home, showered and had my diner breakfast at like 1:00 in the afternoon. Those were the best damned french fries I’ve ever eaten.

All the time I was dreaming about my delicious french fries, I was also fighting with myself because I know food should not be a reward like that anymore.  Some habits die hard.

But hey, whatever gets you through, right? And I got through. And I’m doing it again!

Official Split times were posted yesterday: Here’s how I fared for a 400-meter swim, 6-mile bike and 2-mile run. T1 and T2 were transitions between the race segments.

Total clock time: 1.06.03

Swim 10.57

T1 3.22

Bike 23.47

T2 1.33

Run 26.25

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Fran on August 3, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    You really deserved your french fries, that’s for sure!

    When I did my 5K run I experienced the same thing: other runners supported me to keep going. There was lots of public along the road. Some cheered my name which was on my shirt to inspire me to keep on running and it helped a lot!

    I’m proud of you!

    Reply

  2. It’s amazing when there is that kind of spirit in a race. We have an annual ultra-marathon here in South Africa – about 60 miles – called the Comrades Marathon, and it’s so entertaining to watch on TV, not because of the professional athletes, but because of the ordinary men and women who often half-carry one another, or crawl on their hands and knees, over the finish line. I’m always touched and inspired by the “spirit of Comrades”.

    I think you did an amazing job!

    Reply

  3. You are AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  4. Posted by onelittlejill on August 4, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Yeah on your first race!!!!!!!!!! You did great. And seriously….it is A-OKAY to reward yourself with french fries. I went the potato route too…the biggest plate ever with lots of ketchup!!!!

    Reply

  5. Congrats on your first tri!! Love the recap and glad that everyone was so helpful.

    And fries are a great reward in my book – except I’d dip mine into mustard! 😀

    Reply

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