My neck hurts. My back is starting to ache. Jello legs? Understatement. I'll be lucky if I can walk tomorrow. Believe it or not, though, I am on top of the world. I'm riding an adrenaline high I haven't felt since...ever...and dammit, I'm not coming down.
I just finished swimming 1,100 meters and running three miles in a practice/trial run for next month's swim/bike/run Iron Girl event. The swim in the lake was, dare I say, FUN??? Yes, it was! I actually giggled underwater the whole time out of sheer fun-ness! (Insanity disclaimer: I am aware that years of sleep deprivation may have chronically impaired my "fun" judgement. So now things like swimming in a dirty lake with slimy seaweed-y THINGS all around suddenly gives me the same feeling that a vacation on St. John would.)
Although I had fantasies of the event organizers hooking up the lake with some lovely, blue chlorine, dredging the bottom, and even drawing a nice black line so I could see where I was swimming, the reality was, I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. At first, it was freestyle, followed by a couple of doggie-paddle strokes so I could see if I was about to sucker-punch another swimmer's toes. Then, I got into a rhythm (yes, lake-swimming strategery!): 15 freestyle strokes, 15 breast strokes. That way, I could swim fast, see where I was going, swim fast, see where I was going.
Finished the swim. And felt like a million bucks. Booyakasha! Chest bumps in order. Came jogging out of the water where the husband was waiting. Pulled on my running top and we were off (he did the run with me). Amazed that my legs are actually moving. Like up and down and forward. And, more amazing? I am still smiling. Could this really be me? Doing this? The same me that is happiest sitting on the couch with Ben and Jerry's watching the Real Housewives of New Jersey?
I have three miles to go, though, and who knows if and when my body will betray me. The run is littered with hills. Not little tiny trail bumps, but legitimate hills. My sister-in-law had told my mother-in-law that the run was "grueling," which my mother-in-law kindly passed on to me yesterday, thereby re-igniting my running anxiety. Awesome. Pretty soon, I felt like each hill was Mt. Fucking Olympus. Legs burning. Need to stop. No! Need to regroup. Every time there was flat or down-hill surface, I rested. When I say "rested," I mean, I didn't run hard. I jogged, which stopped my poor heart from screaming at me: "What in the hell are you doing, woman? Are you out of your frickin' mind?"
I hit the flat trail that opened up onto the lake. The wind coming off the water blew against my face and I... was..running. Really running. My arms were pumping, my legs were taking long strides (well, as long as hobbit-like legs can reach). Then, I felt It. That amazing concoction of adrenaline and pure joy that keeps you coming back for more. And I kept going.
In fact, I kept going right past my husband who I didn't notice had stopped at the finish line. "Honey! Honey! Come back! We're done!"
And, ladies and gentlemen, that's how I finished my very first triathalon-y event, trial event, whatever. I'm hobbling around like I'm 90 and it feels fucking amazing.
P.S. Thank you to my amazing husband/water boy. It takes a uniquely dedicated person to train a whiny sloth to run, swim and bike.