Veni, vidi, vici, people. My first triathlon is in the books, and I am extremely proud to say I finished under my goal time. More importantly, I managed to keep from vomiting throughout the 90-minute ordeal, which is seriously saying something since I was suffering from a most-untimely intestinal bug.
It’s true. I dry-heaved throughout the night before, at first thinking it was just pre-race jitters, but then quickly realizing some nasty virus had parked its trashy double-wide in my gut. At 4:30 a.m., my entire pasta dinner reappeared, and blew my carbo-loading plan all to hell. At 6:30, a mere two hours before the race, I couldn’t even stomach a banana. My husband Doo and a brother-in-law, also competing in their first triathlons, thought this was hilarious. I did not.
But push on I did, thanks to my uncle, who successfully swam across the English Channel in June. Alone. At night. He threw up three times along his 13-hour quest, subsisting only on Gatorade. If he could do amazing things while blowing chow, so could I!
Mind over matter became my mantra, and after the swim, I actually felt okay. The need to hurl had somewhat subsided and the cramps rolled through less frequently. I still stank on the bike portion though, partly because I was low on energy but mostly because I was borrowing my mother-in-law’s bulky mountain bike. All that was missing from my leisurely ride that morning was a wicker basket and a jaunty flag. I already had the bell! Not that I used it. I passed nary a soul on that long and lonely loop.
When the 5K run began, I knew I was physically back in trouble. The nausea returned in full force, along with the kind of incontinence that can only be understood by mothers of many children and/or giganto-headed babies. I tried sucking down a Powergel but ended up chucking it into the woods as I struggled just to climb the first hill. English Channel. Jellyfish. Frigid water. Sweet mercy, how did he do that?
And then, a miracle. I spotted Doo ahead. Walking. So with a half mile to go, I pulled even, smacked him on his butt, and wheezed out a “Let’s finish this together!” He made it another 400 meters before spurring me onwards. I kicked it in, passed a woman in my age group, and crossed the finish line, upright. Thank God!
I don’t recall much of the afternoon, as I spent it in bed battling a low-grade fever, fatigue and feelings of general ickiness. But I’m proud of myself for persisting, and am already planning my next tri-conquest. Hopefully, it won’t include barfing. Peace out.