Posted by: forgingahead | August 24, 2008

Nowhere to go but UP

I did it! I’m shouting to the sky for all to hear I did it I did I did it. Even now that it’s 24 hours later, the idea of finishing my first triathlon feels surreal.

The Santa Barbara Triathlon website has my results…just in case you think I’m fibbing. You have to scroll ALL the way down to place #804 out of 809 competitors who completed the race.

Sure, I came in 5th to LAST place, but remember MY goal was to finish. Uninjured. And I’m so happy to report that both goals were met. With style and grace as Coach Allison said during the race.

The experience was absolutely amazing. Training for something brand new, pushing my body to its limits. Talk about a rush.

A big SHOUT OUT to my triathlon buddy and good friend Coach Allison without who I would not have finished this race. We were a great team – taking turns encouraging each other every stroke, pedal and step of the way. This whole thing was her idea in the first place and I can’t thank her enough!

I’ll definitely write more later (long boring story about lack of accessible Internet access on the road and too many lattes – I know, is there really such a thing – in exchange for the chance to get online).

But suffice to say that completing my first triathlon (and a doozy at that) was fabulous.

A few numbers for those who care:

Total race time was 5 hours 52 minutes (yea, think about that a moment-moving your body continuously for that long – oh. my. god.)

I placed 6th out the 6 women in the Athena (over 150lbs) category

The 1 mile swim took 42 minutes and I was in 788th place (slow swimmer – BIG choppy waves)

My first transition took nearly 12 minutes – changed my pants, washed my feet, etc. Hey, I wanted to be comfy on the bike ride!

The 34 mile bike ride (with some big ‘ol hills) took 2 hours and 38 minutes and I was in 802nd place in that section (really slow cyclist)

My second transition took 13 minutes – changed pants, socks, shoes, ate a banana, applied sunscreen, took photos (hey, you gotta enjoy the experience!)

The 10 mile run took 2 hours and 6 minutes and I don’t understand how I placed higher (776) in the run than I did in the bike or the swim, since the run is my WEAKEST discipline. Perhaps it was because Allison kept me on my toes. And this was no mean feat (no pun intended) since the longest run I’ve ever done before now was 5 miles. Whew! It really is mind over body.

Friends, family, swim coach Morgan THANK YOU for all of your support, encouragement and good wishes.

And to my amazing hubby Bert for being there at the beginning, for each transition and at the end to wave me in and give me a giant hug.

happily stretching my weary muscles,


  1. Hi Kathleen! You’re a superstar!! Congratulations on your first (of maybe more to come?) triathlon. That’s an amazing accomplishment. I think I would have been right there at the end with you. You looked great when we saw you in May so there was no doubt that you would finish. Hopefully we can start our Friday/Saturday night dinners again so that we can celebrate in person. Again, congratulations!
    Hugs from the Tascheks

  2. I’m crying tears of joy for you. Never doubted you’d finish with style and grace (words of wisdom from your inspiring Coach Allison). What an amazing accomplishment and you’re totally right — the blue sky’s the limit! Can’t wait to arrange a celebration get together. Love and hugs to both you and Bert.

  3. I knew you’d do it! You did wonderful! I love you!
    (aunt) Martha

  4. BIG CONGRATS’ to you, our fine and very fit niece!! We’re so proud and happy for you and never doubted that you’d make it over the finish line :). Will there be more. . . ? You’ve had such a buzz and sense of true accomplishment from this one, it would be a good thing. Style and grace is it, Kid; we’ve never know you without either one. Love You Bunches–give each other a big hug from us!!

    Pam & Dan

  5. Congratulations! I’ve been following your blog ever since I met Jennyonthespot at Blogher. I’ve done a Danskin sprint triathlon and that was WORK. How great that you did this event! It will be life changing; enjoy the high. It has a looonnnggg tail on it!

  6. We were a great team you and I! Everyone should know that Coach Kathleen was the one that pulled me through the swim, that’s for sure!

    This was one tough triathlon. Had we known what we were getting ourselves into we might have been daunted, but with determination, hard work, and taking it step by step we just knocked off each event one by one…. Swim – one down, two to go…. bike (17 miles, one and a half down)… 34 miles – 2 down, run – 3 miles – 1/3 of the way there, half way, 3/4 done…. only 2 miles to go and Kathleen could only walk 2 miles last November – Then 10 miles DONE! WOW!

    It has been amazing to share this journey with you and to see your amazing transformation. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

  7. Congratu-stinkin’-lations! Great job girl! What a course and what an accomplishment! Coach Allison said it perfectly 🙂 I am giddy with excitement over here! Woohoo!!!! And another – WOOHOO!!!

  8. Great job Sis,

    That is a mile stone, great job!

    Love always Kevin

  9. WOW Kathleen!
    What an inspiring, powerful journey you have been on. Congratulations to you on exceeding your own goals! An amazing journey of courage & hope. Thank you for sharing your story & we enjoyed Bert’s fabulous photos. Love from Maine to both of you.

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