Swim…Bike…Run…REST!

Posted Jun 18 2013, 4:02 pm in , , , , , ,

So its been a few days since I completed my Olympic triathlon and I did say I would post a recap of how the experience was, but honestly it’s taken me a few days to figure out how I feel about the whole thing. And I’ll be honest, I’m still not sure if I’ve figured it out.

First, a quick run down. An Olympic triathlon is 1500m swim, 40km bike and a 10km run. This is how it went:

After a rainy Friday night, I woke up to blue sky and I knew it would be a beautiful day. It was! Getting ready for the swim, we were smiling and having fun.

race dayOut of all three of the events, I was feeling best about my swim. This year I’ve really improved my stroke and my swimming has become a lot stronger. I was confident going into the lake, thinking to myself, “You got this.”

Turns out, I did not ‘have this’. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I panicked in the water. I couldn’t catch my breath, there were people everywhere and at one point, I felt as if I was going to go under. WTF?! I’m a strong swimmer. This shouldn’t have happened. But it did. At one point I considered calling the boat over and saying F*** it. There were many thoughts going through my head, fortunately one of them was, “Just keep friggin’ swimming, Elena!”

So I did.

It took me about 700m to calm down and get in my groove, but once I got it, I was fine. Then of course the swim was over.

On to the bike. It was windy heading straight West into the mountains, and a slight uphill all the way. For the first few kilometers I was a bit shaky, but then I hit my riding groove and it started feeling good. By the time I hit the 20km turnaround pointing me East with a tailwind and a gentle downhill slop, I was loving my bike.

Off to the run and I was actually feeling good. Especially since I was 2/3 done.
Unfortunately my feet had fallen asleep on my bike and they remained that way for at least three kilometers of the run. But they finally woke up and joined the party. I was the most concerned about the run portion of the race since my knees have been so bad and my training in this area suffered a bit due to that. But I actually finished it in about the time I thought I would.
When I rounded the corner and saw the finish line, I took off at a dead sprint. I was done! I got my medal, a bottle of water, my t-shirt and a hug.

Done. 3hours 22 minutes
And the first thought in my head was, “Thank God I’m done.”

Now, three days later, I can think back on the race and be happy with myself and my performance. Because, apart from the swim, I am pleased. But I also know my heart wasn’t into this race and I’ve been fighting that feeling for a few months now. I wasn’t excited about it,  I considered not participating and the overwhelming feeling when I finished was relief. Which makes me think…a lot.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a super fun day! And I AM happy that I did it. But I think it’s time I take some pressure off myself for awhile. So I’ve made the decision not to do anymore races this year. I will be participating as a team in a local Sprint team, which I think will be a ton of fun because I’m only one third of the race. And then…well, I don’t know. But I think it’s time that I spend a little time figuring it out.

medal

What do you think? Have you ever had mixed feelings after reaching a goal?

elena-aitken-signature1

3 Comments

Comments

3 responses to “Swim…Bike…Run…REST!”

  1. judywelch says:

    I think you are awesome. Don’t be so hard on yourself, just look at what you have accomplished! I am so proud of you, Love You, Hugs Mom

  2. I’m so proud of you! That you even competed, let alone finished the race, is amazing. Follow your bliss ~ if it tells you to rest, then rest. You’ve got to love what you’re doing or it makes it twice as difficult. Well done on the race, the time, all of it! You totally rock.

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