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9647 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Nov 7, 2011 8:48 AM by Mikala_SF
violets-are-purple Amateur 12 posts since
Mar 9, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

May 3, 2011 9:35 PM

i did it!!!  i finished!!

hi all:

just an update... i did my 1st triathlon!!!  800m swim, 22.5k bike, 5k run, i registered for the 2011 athleta iron girl triathlon in las vegas held on 4/30/2011.  i flew to las vegas and traveling with my bike added a little stress due to the hassle of having to worry about it.  oh well,anyways, we got to vegas on thursday night, got up friday to pick up my packet and drop off the bike.  it was really windy, i think 29mph so i was worried.  i got up @ 4:30a, had a really good night sleep but woke up w/ bad allergies, tear!  i had packed some allergy medication, thank goodness!!  i took my meds and got to the venue @ loews lake las vegas, beautiful venue by the way.  i went straight to the transition area and set up.  did i mention it was cold?? really cold??!  and windy!!  i got myself into the wetsuit and head out to the starting line, there was over 850 women, and the start was individual, single file, one woman in the water every few seconds.  i was way at the end- i was curious as to how the logistics would turn out.  the start was pushed back 30 minutes according to the lady in the mic the water course had not been set up, so it was quite nerve wrecking and uncomfortable to stand then in a wetsuit and barefoot, did i mention it was cold?  the floor was super cold, note to self: next time wear flip flops, but once we got started there was no turning back.  the entry was a beach entry to the water and as i mentioned before, i was at the tailend- the water was not as cold as i thought it was, but it was cold- i tried swimming as i normally swim but realized quite quickly that it was not going to work- swimming in a pool (nice and controlled environment) compares nothing to open water (strong wake, low visibility, women all over the place etc.)- i kept on trying to swim freestyle stroke but somehow i was unable, i got past the beach entry past a bridge which led to "open" open water and the wake was super strong, i continued to swim but i had a panic attack, i felt as if a ton of bricks was pushing agaisnt my chest, i could not breathe, i tried to pull the wetsuit away from my neck and when i thought i could take a breath all i did was get a mouth full of water.  i had a panic attack!  never in all my thoughts of how this day would turn out did i think i would have a panic attack, i had never had a panic attack!!!!!!!!!!!  i completely stopped and rolled over on my back and floating i began to talk and coax myself out of it, "calm down and breathe, just relax- you are not going to drown out here and you will finish!"  i finally got my bearings rolled over and chugged along- sadly, at times i would do the doggie paddle, at others i did the backstroke or the side stroke, i could not make myself do the freestyle- i was scared!!  i finally got back to the bridge, looked at my watch and said "i can do this" i started paddling faster got the beach @ the :35 min mark- i swear this has got to be the hardest thing i have ever done!!  i slowly made my way to the transition, i quickly transitioned into the bike and this part was a breeze, i was actually a lot faster than anticipated, i finished @ the :59 min mark then transitioned to the run- i had an acl reconstruction on my left knee so i knew i was slow, but the trail was dirt and lots of rocks which made it quite uncomfortable.  i finished my run at :49 min.  i finally crossed the finish line @ 2:41min.  claimed my finishers medal and picked up my bike et al. headed to the hotel and took a long hot shower and then it hit me, i was amazed of what i had accomplished, i actually finished!  i did it, after all that- weather woes, panic attack, pain, i overcame- i am determined and i have resolve.  pretty cool, i may have doubted myself there for a second but i knew i could do it.  thank you all for your advice and support- i can't wait for the next one!  best to all and happy trails!




i want to send a shout out to the 61 yr old lady that passed me up in the run on the way back, that was truly humbling!

also, to all triathletes, both women and men, you have my respect, triathlons ain't not joke.  you are the bomb!

violets are purple...   "it never gets easier, you just go faster"  greg lemond

4/30/2011 athleta iron girl, lake las vegas nv

     800m swim/ 22.5k bike/ 5k run 2:41:49

  • Chocolate Thunder 303 Pro 69 posts since
    Jan 8, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. May 4, 2011 1:56 AM (in response to violets-are-purple)
    Re: i did it!!! i finished!!

    Congrats!  It sounds like you're well on your way to an addiction. . . welcome to the family,



  • Niftygirl16 Expert 54 posts since
    Feb 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. May 4, 2011 8:41 AM (in response to violets-are-purple)
    Re: i did it!!! i finished!!

    First off CONGRATULATIONS VIOLETA!!!  I think your story is one we can all appreciate because not only did you finish your first triathon, but you overcame the obstacle of the panic attack right at the very start.  It would have been easy to talk yourself out of it at that point but you didn't and you persevered and that is awesome!!  You should be so proud of I know you are.  I can't wait to have that feeling when I complete my first one.  Thanks so much for sharing your story (even though now I'm even more freaked out about the swim!  LOL!).




    "At the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe."

    Completed Races:

    • 10/31/10 - Monster Mini Dash 5k (Providence, RI) - TIME 33.54
    • 3/19/11 - St. Pat's 5k (Providence, RI) - TIME 31:51

    • 8/7/11 - Jerseygirl Sprint Tri (Long Branch, NJ) 1:32:23
    • 10/2/11 - Wish it, Dream it, Du it Duathlon (Smithfield, RI) 1:50:33
  • lvziggy Amateur 18 posts since
    May 4, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. May 4, 2011 1:33 PM (in response to violets-are-purple)
    Re: i did it!!! i finished!!

    Violets!  Congrats!  I was out there too, first triathlon for me too.  You ain't kidding!  It was cold and windy and the water was really rough!  I amazed myself that I was able to (mostly) keep doing the freestyle.  Every now and then I would roll over and do the backstroke, but I tried to do the freestyle as much as possible which was difficult with the waves constantly hitting you in the face.  Every kayak I saw had several swimmers hanging on to them.  I was determined not to hang on to a kayak so the fact that they were already full kept me going.  I'm curious how many didn't finish the swim in the time alloted.  To nifty, don't let Violet's report scare you from your swim.  If anything, take heart that 2 first-timers were able to complete the swim under some pretty harsh conditions.

  • quadzilla1 Expert 39 posts since
    May 30, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. May 4, 2011 1:59 PM (in response to lvziggy)
    Re: i did it!!! i finished!!

    Violet and Ziggy....


    Congrats to both of you! The distance doesn't matter, the time doesn't matter...all that matters is that you finished. The dedication and hard work that you put into your training paid off that day and you both should be very proud of your accomplishment because we are!


    Welcome to the's a great ride!



    Sport Packs members get Sports Drinks, Protein Bars and Energy Bars at huge discounts!

  • lvziggy Amateur 18 posts since
    May 4, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. May 5, 2011 2:02 PM (in response to violets-are-purple)
    Re: i did it!!! i finished!!

    "I saw a few ladies get taken out of the water on police boats, also - saw 2 ladies in the beach with paramedics"    Yikes!  If I had seen that I might not have had the courage to get in the water in the first place!  I was like you, on the way into the water I was cursing my friend for talking me into this.  I yelled at her "what did you get me into!"   But after we both finished the whole thing I told her I was glad she talked me into it.  What a feeling it is to complete your first triathlon.  It was a pretty awesome feeling!

  • NikoleD Rookie 1 posts since
    May 25, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. May 25, 2011 9:07 AM (in response to violets-are-purple)
    Re: i did it!!! i finished!!

    CONGRATULATIONS & THANKS!  I did my first try on 5/14 - not brave enough to start with a full sprint, but had the good fortune to live in a neighborhood where they put on a Super Sprint at the beginning of the season.  Like you, I do well in the pool, but I hadn't been in "open" water since 1979.  I knew there was a reason for the long hiatus (I am afraid of fish), but didn't realize that I would a have a panic attack.  I have never had one before, but I got 30 yards into the swim and COULD NOT BREATHE!!!  Side stroke, breast stroke, anything that kept me from putting my head back in that water...  Talked myself through it and did freestyle the last 25 yards, but the choking feeling came back and bit me on the run.  Nevertheless "I did it! I finished!"


    Now I am trying to be brave enough to get in the next lake. Scheduled for a sprint next weekend.  Figure that just finishing the lake swim without a panic attack will be a success in and of itself!  And then I found a few pool swims to finish my season...  After all this training, I might as well keep going.


    Good luck to you on the next one.

  • EllenMarieOlenska Amateur 7 posts since
    Apr 14, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Sep 10, 2011 9:56 PM (in response to NikoleD)
    Re: i did it!!! i finished!!

    You Go Girl!!!!


  • IronMakeover Community Moderator 738 posts since
    Jul 7, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Sep 11, 2011 1:22 PM (in response to violets-are-purple)
    Re: i did it!!! i finished!!



    Thanks for sharing your race experience and all its detail! I'm so glad you made it through the panic attack and were able to push on! I'm so happy for you and glad you've taken time to reflect on the whole journey!


    Congratulations triathlete & keep us updated on the next one!

    :-) Sara

    Sara Cox Landolt

  • Mikala_SF Pro 87 posts since
    Apr 14, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Nov 7, 2011 8:48 AM (in response to violets-are-purple)
    i did it!!! i finished!!

    Yay!  Congratulations!!!!!!  You overcame obstacles and didn't let a panic attack get in your way.  Awesome job!

    My weight loss blog, pictures, etc (started in 2007):

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