The following is a photo documentary and summation of my very first half ironman triathlon! All in all it was a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. Let me begin by introducing the key players involved in this weekend's events:
Travis: aka: Ultimate Go-to-Guy and Cheerleader!
Travis handled everything from driving, directions, and photography, to waiting on us hand and foot! He was literally waiting at the finish line with sweat shirts and sandals in hand for me and Steph. Travis is pictured here kickin it in his truck!
Stephanie: aka: Coach Power House Jones
Steph is my training buddy, we are in the same grad program at school. Some might describe her as slightly competitive. Lets just say you don't want to encounter other runners or bikers when out training with Steph. It's an immediate unspoken challenge. Steph's pictured here carb loading in the back seat.
Crystelle: aka: Confused young adult doing everything in her power to avoid joining the actual working world of adulthood. Persuaded by coach Jones to do triathlon in meantime.
We had alot of support from all our friends:
Travis is pretending not to know how this Ashlee Simpson album came to be hiding in his big manly truck.
Steph passed out in the back seat. We think she overdosed on carbs.
After arriving in Burley and discovering there is absolutely nothing there, we drove up to Idaho Falls for dinner at Johnny Carino's. After arriving back in Burley we set up camp to get some shut eye. There's nothing like camping to insure a good nights sleep before the big day!
Steph was a little obsessed with carb loading. We found her snacking on Cliff bars hidden under her pillow at 11:30pm.
Travis all ready for bed in his flannel snow man pajama pants.
We awoke nice and early the next day at 5:30am to break camp and force feed ourselves before the big race. Here's Steph wedging herself into her wetsuit. Wetsuits were mandatory as the water was only a mere 56 degree's Fahrenheit!
The naive triathletes all geared up to go. Little did they know what was in store for them.
Steph can be spotted in red and I'm standing in the water directly to her right.
Here we are in the first heat of swimmers. As you can see the water was quite choppy thanks to the strong head winds blowing against us. Poor Steph ingested a little more of the Snake River than agreed with her stomach...she ended up throwing up twice during her swim! Any and all thoughts at this point were..."Well, this rather sucks. My goggles are foggy and I can't see anything over these waves. Oops, I just jabbed my fingers into someones armpit, that had to hurt, sorry. I can't wait to get out of this blasted water and onto my bike".
Well, the bike came soon enough. After struggling for several minutes to strip off my wet suit and shove my numb feet into my shoes I was off. The bike was fun for the first 30 seconds, then my fingers and toes were so badly frozen I was sure I might have to amputate. I know this sounds funny but I literally believed this to be true!
Things were not looking up as I cranked on into the strongest head wind known to man! I had literally been biking for an hour when I finally reached a mile marker that said, "MILE 10". At this point I was thinking, "Oh great, mile 10! At this rate I'll finish the bike in another 4 1/2 hours!!" This misery continued on for another 16 miles or so before we final turned a corner to give us a slightly less difficult cross wind. The only part of the ride I enjoyed up to this point was spitting into the cross wind and watching my spit fly a good 25 feet before hitting the ground! Ultimately we finally changed directions giving us an awesome tail wind but I was too disgruntled by this point to care.
Here I am hating life, I've literally never loathed my bike more than I did on this ride. My thoughts at this point were, "Why did we think a half ironman would be a fun idea? This is NOT fun, I repeat, this is NOT fun!!!!"
Here's Steph, although she also thought she'd may have to amputate a few toes she was relieved not to be up-chucking anymore cliff bars! She actually kicked trash on the bike.
Going into this race I definitely thought the 13.1 mile run at the end of the race would be the suckiest part. Ironically I was so glad to get off my bike it actually turned out to be my favorite part of the whole day. While it was pretty painful to be pounding the pavement on the frozen balls of my feet they were able to regain circulation by mile 2. I actually began to slightly enjoy myself as I passed several runners over the next two hours.
Here's Steph coming into the finish line.
Here's Steph putting on her finishers medal!
Here am I running into the finish line. About a quarter mile from the finish line one of the photographers told me there was no need to sprint to the finish. I responded in my head with, "Hey dummy, you haven't been busting your butt for the last seven hours! I want this wretched experience to END as soon as possible so I'll sprint if I want to!"
The brain isn't functioning too quickly at this point...it was difficult deciding if I wanted a banana or an orange.
Sporting our medals, looks like I went for the water melon! Good choice.
Travis and Steph quickly put our names on the list for a 10 minute massage. Here's Steph getting all the kinks worked out of her gluteus maximus :)
And here's me, Travis likes to point out I took off my sweat shirt but kept my finishers medal proudly displayed around my neck.
A little Scandinavian dancing action at the post race party in true Vikingman fashion.
Steph actually place 3rd place in our age division!
Before our drive home we decided it might be a good idea to rinse off. Despite the fact I was standing in a filthy RV campground bathroom with no soap, luke warm water, and only a t-shirt to dry my body off with...that was one of the all time best showers!
We decided to replenish some of our fat stores at Arby's on our way out of town. If you enlarge this picture you can note the beautiful swimmers hickey on my neck from the wet suit chaffage!
Seeing as Travis is moving shortly, we stopped at temple square one last time on our drive home. Me and Steph decided to sport our cool tri shirts and finisher medals.
Here we are again on top of the conference center. You will notice we are no longer wearing our finishers medals because people kept asking if we "won" to which we kept having to reply, "Uh, no". Apparently finishing isn't cool enough! Lame sauce!
So all in all I would say is was a pretty miserable experience! And yet I pretty sure triathletes must suffer from short term memory loss because despite the pain I have somehow decided it was overall a fun experience. I may just do another one...but don't hold me to that quite yet.