Marci and I knew the run was going to be tough because we hadn't swam, biked, and then run in a long time - Marci in a year, and me at all. However, Marci was a little excited for it - I was dreading it.
We threw our bikes in the back of Marci's car, fed the meter one more time, and headed out. It was about 11am, the sun had burned the marine layer off, the beach was packed with people, and the humidity was rising. The triathlon run is six miles, but we thought we'd start off by doing three and if we felt good we'd do four. After promising to meet up at 1.5 miles, Marci took off and I slowly staggered behind her. Honestly, the first mile and a half flew by - I think I was concentrating so hard on NOT thinking about how terrible I felt that I managed to hypnotize myself. Marci, on the other hand, was not feeling very good. She immediately felt nauseous, something she'd never felt before on a brick workout, and was discouraged, but told herself, '"just keep going and you can have a GU when you stop". (We both encourage ourselves with food rewards - this is why we're friends).
I checked my Garmin and it read 1.45 miles - only .05 to go until I would see Marci, something that always picked me up when we ran together. However, I reached .05 miles and she was nowhere to be seen! "Ok," I thought, "just keep going, she's probably around the next corner." But she wasn't! I stopped at 1.60 miles feeling heavy, sick and sweating like crazy and looked around. We were up a block from the beach, so I thought maybe she went down the beach side and I ran up on the street side. I pulled out my phone and started calling her, hoping the sweat dripping down my face wasn't going to get into my phone. It rang and rang and rang and I had to leave her a desperate, heavy breathed messaged that sounded something like, "where... are.... you???... can't... see.... you.... I'm at.... where the hell am I at? maybe 14th.... street? come back!!!"
A minute later Marci called me back, huffing and puffing on her end. She had gone two miles. Obviously we weren't feeling great and we weren't going to make the four mile goal we had hoped. So she swallowed another GU and headed back to meet me. We took a brief break to walk towards the ocean to bring our heart rates down before continuing on to finish up.
As much as we wanted to stop and as much as we both felt like death, we told ourselves, "Just a little longer! We can do this and then we're done!" And we did! We finished. We felt proud and accomplished because we did it.
All in all it was a tough workout, but afterwards we were both amazed at how good we felt and how proud of ourselves we were. We know we're not in it to win, we're doing the triathlon to stay healthy, to challenge ourselves, and to do it together. We're not competitive, we're supportive and encouraging and in the end, as long as we have a good time and do our best that's all we can hope for.
T-minus 5 weeks until TriRock San Diego!