Adena Andrews earns the title of triathlete
My name is Adena Andrews and I. Am. A. Triathlete.
It's been 10 long weeks, and I can finally say that. The Parris Island Triathlon in South Carolina was the absolute best first triathlon I could ask for. I got the tri experience and much more from start to finish.
There were women in tutus, 13-year-old speed demons, participants fulfilling their dreams of being Marines and, of course, some of the nation's finest service men and women, the United States Marine Corps. There was a sign on the course that said, "We don't take applications, just commitments." If that doesn't get you pumped, you should check your pulse.
My total time was 1:29:26 -- swimming 500 meters, biking 10 miles and running 3.1 miles. That is just six minutes slower than my goal time. I'm damn happy with that. The splits are swimming 9:14, first transition 1:53, biking 48:53, second transition 1:35, running 27:53.I came in ninth in my race group, and you can check out the full results.
I just finished the race, so I'm going to give you a quick summary before I stretch and refuel.
Swim: This was my ace in the hole. I was nervous about getting in the pool for a warmup swim because no one else was in the pool. So like the trendsetter I am, I did a cannonball into the water -- after asking the head Marine in charge -- to lead way.
The swim was a staggered start, and I was the 47th person to start. The first 100 yards was smooth. Then swimmers started to slow down, which caused a pileup of bodies on the wall for the turn. We clawed and climbed over each other, but we all spoke about it before the start not to take it personally. However, my dad, who was cheering on the side, wasn't there for the conversation and was ready to kick the guy who was swimming over me.
I finished hard and strong, and when I got to the transition area I was dancing. I shared laughs with the other athletes and said, "Can I do that again?" It felt great.
Bike: I went out a little too fast and caught a mild cramp in my hamstring. I kept straightening my leg to stretch it out, so that slowed me down a bit. The course was very flat and gave me no trouble. Plenty of bikers passed me, and I felt like I was out for a Sunday bike ride instead of at a triathlon. I was enjoying the scenery.
I was worried about finishing slow, but then in the middle of my ride I saw a woman who crashed and was awaiting medical attention. Her accident, which was very unfortunate, put things in perspective for me. While I may not be the fastest, I will finish, and that's an accomplishment all by itself.
Run: When I transitioned from the bike to the run, I took a hit of my energy gel and I was off. The caffeine in the gel kicked in at about the 10-minute mark of my run. I was passed by lots of runners on the run also, but that wasn't my concern. I was running my own race and would finish on my terms. After a kicking hard for the last 25 yards, I crossed the finished line with arms above my head and leapt to touch the finish line sign. I was a champion.
Marines in uniform greeted me with water bottles, bagels and chicken pot pie. That was the hardest earned meal in my life. And I'd do it all over again if I had the chance. Actually, I know I will. I'm ready for race number two. Like Bart Scott said, "Can't Wait."
Thank you to all the people who helped me on this journey. GOTRIbal, Trek Bicycles, Timex for my neat race trainer, and my awesome trainer, Rachel Casanta, and her hyper cat, Toonsis. Also, I'm very grateful for the great folks at Free Flite Bicycles, the Georgia State University swim team, who never let me down and my bike partner, Brooke Robinson, who didn't laugh too hard when I fell. Lastly, my parents for being my biggest cheerleaders even when I didn't call them much.
Of course I didn't forget my newest family member, you, the magnificent espnW member. Let's keep this thing going. I'll have more on my overall feelings about the race in my next post.
Race you to the next starting line!