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I expected to feel different when I crossed the finish line. I didn't.<br><br>
I didn't expect to feel different in the middle of the race. I did.<br><br>
Friday night was the race packet pick-up and pre-race meeting. Saw people I knew and people who knew me. This was the first ever 10 hour tri, and people were jazzed about the concept - the ultimate goal not being how fast you could do it but rather how many times you could complete the course in the given 10 hours.<br><br>
As a result, this was a very laid back race. Perfect for a first time tri.<br><br>
Saturday morning dawned crystal clear. A glorious sunrise over the lake with just a glowing sliver of a moon. The temp was in the mid-upper 40s (depending on wind and if you stood in the sun or not.) We got to Pattison Park at 6:45. Drove right in (having gotten the parking sticker the night before) and B dropped me off close to the transition area.<br><br>
I staked out the spot I wanted, next to two women doing it as a team and one man doing it solo. Plenty of room to lay out my stuff and plenty of good-natured ribbing being tossed about.<br><br>
I was a little nervous but more excited. This is what I had been working towards for the last 6 weeks - it was really here! People were checking out the bikes, getting their body markings (S for solo, 2p and 3 p for the teams.) The timers were setting up, spectators were drinkin' coffee. I actually felt right at home.<br><br>
Time to get ready for the swim. Pour myself into the borrowed wetsuit - have pictures taken, listen to last minute instructions, get down to the beach. The water was an absolutely lovely 75 degrees. Felt like bathwater after standing on the cold dewy grass.<br><br>
Check out the buoys, look at my fellow racers - 1 mass start. 55 people. Lots of men doing it solo and women doing it in teams. A countdown from 10 and running into the water. Wow. I'm actually swimming in this lake with all these other people . . .how cool is this?!?! Okay, wait. . .now I can't breathe. . .huh. . .can't catch my breath. . .okay, relax. . .you're fine. . .relax. . .flip over. . .kick for a minute. . .flip back over. . .still can't breathe. . .unzip the wetsuit and peel out of the top half. . .SO MUCH BETTER!!!!!<br><br>
Swim comfortably the rest of the way. The swim was supposed to have been 1/3rd of a mile but one of the buoys drifted off course during the night so it was a little bit further. Still, a perfect day for a swim. After rounding the final buoy I eyed up the beach and pushed a little bit harder. Nice. Got out of the water, Someone asked how it was. The only thing I could think was, "I now have to get up this hill to get to the transition area." I smiled, nodded and gave a thumbs up when someone else answered for me, "Wet." Goal time to get out of the water - 13 minutes. Actual time - 15:39.<br><br>
Peeled out of the wetsuit. Sat on a towel, got my socks and shoes on. Put my helmet one. Had some water and a couple of shot bloks. Stood up, grabbed my bike, realized I hadn't put my shirt on, decided, eh - the sun's shining I'll be fine. Walked to where I could get on my bike, heard a man behind me say, "Doing great sunshine!" Began the bike ride. 7 miles out. Turn around behind the man with the stop sign for traffic. 7 miles back.<br><br>
The last 4, nah, the last 5 miles - up hill. Some gradual, some just a plain pain. Pushed harder than I have but not so hard I couldn't stand it until the last hill into the park.<br><br>
Downshift. Downshift. Downshift. Jeesh, it would be faster to get off my bike and walk it. . .but I AM going to do this. . .almost there. . .<br><br>
There was a family, a dad and two kids standing just below the crest. They cheered and clapped and said, "You're almost there." That kept me on my bike. Then I could hear B -"Way to go MARY!!!" Other people picked up my name and I cruised into the dismount area.<br><br>
Next transition - more water, more shot bloks, helmet off, shirt on. . .ready to go. Realize I didn't hit my watch when I got on my bike, so hit it when I was ready to start running. Goal time for bike: 60 mintues. Actual time with the two transitions, 56 minutes.<br><br>
Now I'm running. This I can do.<br><br>
It's a 5k run - I can do this for breakfast.<br><br>
It's a 5k trail run, with stairs - hmmmm. . .maybe not for breakfast anymore.<br><br>
The trail ran around the lake and then along a river and then back along the river and then around the other side of the lake.<br><br>
Going out - fine. Hit the turn - fine. Am running along the river (this was quite possible the prettiest run I have ever had. I am completely planning on going back out there to do it again.) Now the skies have been clear, and while the majority of me is fine, I did lose the feeling in all of my toes while biking. I figured I get that back once I started running.<br><br>
However, before that happened. I met a tree root I didn't like.<br><br>
I was the teen-ager who never quite knew where her body stopped. Doorways and corners have never been my friends. I am adding tree roots to that list. I hit it with my right foot. My brain recognized, "Hm. Am still going forward but am no longer upright."<br><br>
Left knee, right hand and elbow, right knee, left hand.<br><br>
I'm pretty sure I bounced.<br><br>
Stood back up, looked at knees, looked at hands - I don't see anything sticking out - start running again.<br><br>
My knees sting, my hands really sting and I lost a lot of momentum.<br><br>
My friend catches up to me and I start walking to force her to pass me. I am not interested in talking to anyone right now.<br><br>
Get to the turn around. Decline water. Keep running.<br><br>
Frickin' stairs.<br><br>
More frickin' stairs.<br><br>
Good lord - is this a park or an arena?<br><br>
Then, it happens.<br><br>
My legs loosen up. I realize I am running in a stunning setting. My eyes open. I relax and understand what I am doing. I am running in the woods after having swam and biked. These are things I love to do and I am doing them.<br><br>
I am doing them well.<br><br>
One woman passes me, we joke about how we should have trained on a stair master. She keeps goin'.<br><br>
I look at the lake. I swam that.<br><br>
I see the paved trail ahead of me - holy cow, I'm finishing!!<br><br>
B's waiting for me. He gets a couple of pictures. I cross under the arch.<br><br>
I've done it!!!<br><br>
The ground does not shake, lightning does not strike. I don't feel any different. I grab some water and sit down. Now I realize that my hands, elbows and knees are all bleeding. Get those cleaned up.<br><br>
Still don't feel any different.<br><br>
Talk to some of the other athletes there, cheer on the folks who are transitioning.<br><br>
Then I realize why I don't feel different.<br><br>
There was never any doubt that I could do this race. I felt confirmation but not amazement. I knew I could do this - therefore I was not surprised when I did.<br><br>
That realization made me feel different.<br><br>
Goal time for running - 35 minutes, actual time - 37 something.<br><br>
Goal time for race - 1:45. Actual finish - 1:49:11.<br><br>
I am pleased.
 

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Woohoo Mary! I don't think anyone had any doubt you could do this! Great time and a wonderful RR. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> Hope your hands and knees are ok, though!
 

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<b>McTortle</b> - I knew you were going to rock your tri! Congratulations, dear!<br><br>
And it's completely transcendent when you hit those special moments when you are completely into your surroundings and realizing where you are and what you are doing. Those are unfortunately few and far between, but when they do happen, they are to be cherished, and I'm glad this race uncovered one of those for you.
 

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Mary!! You totally rock! I would have bounced too. Great job on your tri. Kind of makes me want to do one. I want to do all sorts of crazy things now. A marathon is one of them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> Maybe some day an ultra.
 

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McT you totally rocked. Excellent job. I was waiting all day to read this report. Great pr and congrats for the finish. I hope your hands and knees are not too badly hurt after your fall. I am also one of those people who run in to doorways, table corners and the like. lol
 

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woohoooooooo!!!!!!!!<br><br>
and now we can call you tri-athlete.<br><br>
Umm........try not to fall down for the next race okay......sunshine!!!!!!!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_cheers.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="cheers"><br><br>
You win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
 

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Great RR. Congrats on your first tri!!!!
 

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<b>LOVE IT!</b><br><br>
You did a great job, <b>Merry Mary McTortle</b>!<br><br>
And i know what you mean about checking out the bouys....!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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Woohoo McT! Way to go, girlfriend!<br><br>
P.S. Above-ground tree roots are the debbil! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Great job, McTortle. You've earned time in front of a fire <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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Awesome!
 
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