My friend Sara did the Chunky Dunk Duathlon last year and when I started really working out she started trying to get me convinced to do it with her this year. After constant pestering I finally gave in and registered, which coincidentally was also about 1 day after their registration even opened. I was even part of the first 50 to sign up and got a t-shirt! So now that I had actually registered for it I figured I should start training. The running part was fine, well if you take into consideration that what I consider running is not what most people think is running but I am ok with that. That only meant one thing that I needed to start swimming! So Sara so graciously offered to help me since swimming is her strength. We went our first day and when I was finished I thought 'Oh my god what have I agreed to?' I went a few more times with her and then my swim training coincided with the LiveSTRONG at the Y program so it worked out well. I then started swimming on my own and I guess you could say the rest is history!
So fast forward to race day. We got up and were at Allen Albee Beach at 7:30am and got in line to pick up all our race stuff. We got our timing chips, bibs, t-shirts and best of all we got our race numbers written on us in sharpie for the swim portion.
We found a spot on a picnic table to setup our transition area and got everything ready. Finn (Sara's Boxer) had decided to chew her swim cap while they were out yesterday so I offered to give her mine. Well technically it was hers anyway because she let me borrow it months ago when I started training, it was only fair.
They called all participants down to the beach for a group shot before the race.
We headed back over to get ourselves ready because we were in the first wave starting at 8:30am. I really wanted to use my garmin watch for the swim portion of the race and since it is not water proof I had planned on putting it in a plastic bag under my swim cap. Sara had the swim cap so I went to plan B, that's right it went into the bra. Not the way you would think though I was afraid if it was in the front it wouldn't get signal so I figured out a way to put it in back, that was an interesting experiment. but it ended up working. We got our goggles, ear plugs, watches all on and we were ready to go. It was time to head to the water. We each crossed the start and walked into the water.
Everyone was in the water and you will be happy to know that this was probably the only time that I did not pee in the water! The horn sounds and we are off. Getting to the first buoy wasn't too bad I only veered off once and not too far. When I turned left around the buoy and then left around the next buoy I thought "Yes I am home free I just have to make it to the beach now." Ha that was correct it however seemed to take FOREVER. I tried my hardest to swim the crawl for most of it with the occasional breast stroke to rest and check I was still on the right course. On the way back to the beach every time I did the breast stroke it seemed as though I hadn't moved at all. I had no idea how long it was taking me but my goal the whole time was to always be able to see Sara. She is a much better swimmer than me so I knew there was a slim chance I would catch her but as long as I could see her I was happy but it still pushed me. After what seemed like an eternity I finally made it to the beach. The swim part was over!
Swim Time: 24:34 (my best time ever and new PR!)
I ran up the beach trying to take as much off as possible before I got the transition area. I even managed to lap my watch and get it out of my bra before I got to the table. Sara was already getting ready to put her sneakers on so I got to work.
I had decided to wear my shirt from First Descents for the run so that they would be represented and because I am working to raise money for them as I train for my triathlon. I had no idea how difficult it would be to put clothes on while you are wet. my shorts weren't too bad but getting my shirt on was quite the feat. That was fun to witness, I'll admit I got stuck once or twice!
I got my socks and shoes on grabbed my watch, sunglasses and water and I was off for the run!
Transition time: 3:52 (longer than I wanted but I will have to work on it)
I was pretty confident for the run but I didn't know how tired I was going to be from the swim. I started out with the plan of run 1 minute walk 1 minute I was able to do that for quite a while. I ended up having to adjust it to 30 second intervals. I caught up to Sara for a little bit and then I was off. A little while later I rounded the turn around and was headed back. Thank god I was almost done and I was making great time (for me anyway). I passed Sara shortly after the turn around, we did a high five and cheered each other on at which point she told me "you better go faster or I'm gonna catch you." I thought 'oh shit I better hurry.' I stuck with the 30 second intervals the rest of the way regardless of how I felt. Well until I got to the 3 mile marker and looked behind me and I couldn't see Sara. She tricked me!! Well then again she was trying to motivate me so I say a huge Thank You to her for that! I ran the last 0.1 mile with a little more gusto. I couldn't believe the time I was making I was worried my husband wouldn't be at the finish line to take my photo because honestly I wasn't expecting to be done for at least another 5-10 minutes. But they were all waiting stationed at different parts of the run onto the beach. I crossed the finish line!!
I was so excited to be done and to have finished 10 minutes earlier than my goal!!
Run Time: 42:09 (The fastest I have ever done a 5k and I was tired!)
I then waited for Sara so I could get some pictures of her crossing the finish line and of course get a hug in!
We did it!
I can't thank Sara enough for getting me to do this as well as being so supportive through my whole training and just life in general. It is because of her that I even started doing anything related to exercise in the first place! While we were getting ready for the race there were a number of people who talked to her because of the blog she wrote last year about the first Chunky Dunk it inspired them to do it this year. So she is just inspiring left and right!! I also wanted to thank my husband and my mother for not only supporting me in my daily life but for coming up to New Hampshire for the weekend to be there for me during the race. I was so glad to have them there! And of course thanks to Sara's mom for letting all of us stay at their house on the lake for the weekend to do the duathlon! I had so much fun and I have made so much progress now I know I will survive the swim and run part of the triathlon I just need to focus on the cycling part.
After the race we all wanted to go to breakfast so we got dressed in our race shirts and since it the was the Chunky Dunk Duathlon we took a fun picture!