Dafney Harper

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

race re-cap

I'm alive!  More importantly, I'm a triathlete!  That's right, I survived my very first triathlon.  Everyone kept telling me that I'd be addicted after finishing my first triathlon...and they were right!  I had so much fun & am definitely looking forward to my next one :)

Here's the down & dirty on the race:

The day started bright and early!  I was up by 5:40am so I could eat breakfast, down some coffee & mentally prepare.  Since we live close to where the race was held, I just biked down there...I considered it a pre-race "warm-up"!  There were tons of people getting ready when I got down there at 6:30am.  The music was blaring, people were smiling...I knew this was going to be a fun day!

I went to get my body marked with my race #, age & swimming heat & I picked up my timing chip.  Wow, this was really happening!  Oddly enough, I wasn't all that nervous {so not like me}.  We had a pre-race meeting & before I knew it the first wave of swimmers were off...and boy were they fast.  It was neat to watch them swim & complete the transition from the swim to the bike.  I had 42 minutes to wait until my heat.  To keep my mind off being nervous, I cheered others on & tried not to think too much about the race.  

The 500 yard swim....
It went well.  I had only practiced in the Lake a handful of times, but knew that the 500 yards was very "doable" as this was my event in HS.  I was happy that I never got kicked {nor did I kick anyone...on accident, of course}; however, someone did swim over me.  I guess she was in a hurry :)  Before I knew it the swim was over and I was running towards my bike.  

The swim to bike transition....
In my opinion, this was the hardest transition.  For whatever reason, I felt really dizzy & was extremely tired.  Not a good sign when you still have to bike AND run.  I put my socks & shoes on, threw on a tank, put on my race belt with my race #, got my helmet strapped on, ate a "goo", took a sip of water, grabbed my bike & was off.  

The 15.5 mile bike...
The bike started off rough.  I was tired from the swim, my lungs hurt & my legs felt tight.  I kept thinking to myself...keep peddling...you CAN do this.  Shortly after the start of the bike ride, we came to a HILL.  I don't like hills.  They suck.  I started to peddle as hard as I could & very slowly made it up that sucker (as in I wasn't sure if I was going up the hill or if I was rolling down the hill...not fun).  Thankfully there were so many people cheering everyone on & they were giving such encouraging words.  It was my saving grace :)

After about mile 3, I really started to feel good on the bike & got into a groove.  Not long after that, I saw my Husband, daughter, Mom & Dad...it was exactly what I needed to keep me going.  They are the best cheerleaders ever ♥

I kept going with nothing but my thoughts & the sounds of "on your left" to keep me occupied.  The only thing I wish they had was mile markers.  I had no clue how far I'd gone and would have liked to know where I was on this gosh-for-saken ride :)

When I got back towards the lake, I knew that was a good sign & the ride must be getting close to being done.  Again, I saw my cheerleaders & it gave me the strength to get through the rest of the bike ride.  By this point in the ride, my arse was really starting hurt.  I may have been swearing in my head & all I wanted was to get off my bike.  I was proud I made it through the whole bike ride & knew that I could finish this triathlon.

The bike to run transition...
I was probably one of the only people that walked my bike in {truthfully, I didn't even care}.  I knew my legs would feel like bricks & I needed to transition slowly into the run.  I got to my bike rack & put my bike back; grabbed a quick sip of water, took another goo and was off!

The 3.1 mile run...
The run started off a little rough.  My legs still felt brick-like & wobbly from the bike.  But, I kept going...slowly, but I did it.  After the first water stop, I started to feel a lot better.  Not long after that was the first mile marker.  I had my watch on & was trying to do 11 minute miles...and I was on pace.  The ladies that did this triathlon were amazing.  Everyone was so encouraging & so positive.  It was amazing!  I got to mile 2 within my 11 minute time frame.  I only had one mile left.  I was determined & starting to get really excited!  I got a burst of energy and started to pick up my pace.  Then I heard one of the volunteers say "just around this corner and you're on the straight away to the finish"!  

Just before the finish, I heard my Husband cheering!  He said everyone else was up toward the finish line & then I saw him take off to join them {and all I thought was, "I hope he doesn't hurt his knee by running so fast"...haha}.  20 seconds later, I heard my parents & saw my daughter.  I started to tear up a bit...(so many emotions) and then I kicked it in to high gear!  I "sprinted" to the finish line.  I did it!  It was so awesome when they put the medal around my neck!  I couldn't believe it, I finished!  

My goal - 2 hours & 20 minutes
My actual time: 1 hour 52 minutes
...here's the breakdown:
Swim - 10:51
Transition 1 - 3:17
Bike - 1:02:26
Transition 2 - 2:17
Run - 33:11

Final thoughts...
It was such a fun race & the volunteers were amazing!  They kept me going when things started to get tough.  They cheered me on when I needed that boost of encouragement.  They kept me positive.  It's true, I'm hooked & can't wait for my next triathlon!  If anyone is thinking about doing a triathlon, I highly recommend the YWCA tri.  There are so many people that participated...all ages, sizes & athletic abilities.  It was truly amazing!  I can't wait to do this race again next year!

Thanks again...
Thank-you again to my amazing Husband.  He was so encouraging & positive during the training stage & the actual race.  I don't know if I would have done this without him & his encouraging words.  To my daughter & parents - thank-you for taking the time to come watch my race!  It meant so much to me to have you there to cheer me on.  I'm such a lucky girl!  And, to all the race volunteers...you guys made this race amazing!  Without you, none of this would have been possible.  

♥ Leah


  1. You rock! It sounds amazing and I'm tired just reading it! You did a fantastic job. I ran a 5k last year and thought I was gonna die, but I did it. Even though it was a much smaller scale, I agree that you are filled with emotions. It is amazing what your body and the power of positive thinking can do. Can you imagine what life would be like if you had that cheering section for everything you did during the day? "You can do it! Fold that laundry! It isn't gonna beat you!"
    LOL! Very proud of you and you are encouraging me to push my own body. Thanks! I hope you are resting. Have you taken your medal off yet?

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Lisa! Oooh, I think you're on to something with having a cheering section for everyday things. Some days I really think I need something like that :) I'm finally feeling rested...gee, that only took 3 days! I wore my medal around all day Sunday & brought it to work Monday. You'd think I'd just won a gold medal in the Olympics or something :)

  2. Congrats!!!!!! Way to kick butt, mom!!!!