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Lake Carroll Triathlon Recap-Part III

September 28, 2009

Miss part one? Click HERE

Miss part two? Click HERE


After 3 months of planning and training, my big event is here.  I’m nervous, excited and just want to get going.

The alarm goes off at 4:45 AM and I fly out of bed. Wash my face, put my hair back, and eat my Arnold Sandwich thin with some peanut butter.

WARNING: The pics in this post are NOT glamorous.  I almost didn’t want to post them because I really don’t feel I look my best in any of them.  But I’m pushing vanity aside and posting the raw, unvarnished pics!  No makeup, sweaty, and of course swimsuit pics.

I start getting my outfit on:

Layer one, swimming outfit:



Layer two, biking and running outfit:


We drove in the dark to the setup area, luckily JR thought to bring a flashlight!  I got my chip and then set up my transition area.

100_2092   100_2098

100_2094   100_2096

There’s my hubby who was a GREAT caddy for the day! He carried around my stuff and supported and encouraged me all day.

The sun started to come up but they made an announcement that the start was delayed until the fog lifted off the water.


We talked to some nice people and I found my friend Kim who was doing the swimming leg of an Olympic relay (they ended up winning their age group AND overall!!)


Here is some of the getting ready action:

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Finally the Olympic swimmers took off and then the Sprinters lined up on the beach.  The water was actually decently warm, so that was a good sign.

100_2109   100_2110

I barely had time to be nervous and we were off.

I set out into the water and actually felt good! The water got a little colder the further out I got but not too bad.  I started with the breast stroke and then did some crawl.  I ended up doing segments of each.  I would do 10 strokes of crawl, then 20 strokes of breast stroke. I felt great the entire swim, which made me feel great! I did the swim in about 24 minutes, only about 3 minutes slower than in the pool. 

JR got a pic of me as I neared shore:


I got out and ran through some grass and some gravel to the transition area.

Got my clothes, helmet, and bike gloves on and set out on the hill.  My sweet hubs ran up the first hill next to me to encourage me and get me up the first big challenge!


As I started the bike, I couldn’t believe it.  I had been so worried about the swim all through my training that now I was through that, I knew without a doubt that I was going to be able finish the triathlon.  I cried a little bit because I was so proud.  Then mile 3 of the bike hit.  Straight uphill for almost a full mile!  Then a major downhill that I was scared of.  And this repeated for the next 12 miles.  I did get off and walk my bike a total of 4 times up some major hills.  I was getting worried about the run, I was giving all I had to the bike because I had to get up the hills.  How would I have the energy to run?

There were lots of people cheering us on throughout the course, and I finally got back to transition to get ready for the run.  The bike took me a little over an hour.


My goals was to finish in 2 hours, but once I saw the run trail, I knew I had to revise that.  The first part was straight down a rocky hill, then right up a muddy hill.  I almost lost my shoe more than once.  The run was 1.5 miles out and then 1.5 miles back.  As I ran through the woods and the mud, I had to walk.  It was almost impossible to run.  I was so tired, my legs hurt, I didn’t know if I would make it.  I started crying again because it was SO HARD!  But I finally hit a grassy patch and then the turnaround point where there were some people cheering.  It was a little easier heading back as it was downhill more and I knew where I was going.  But I still had to make it up that last rocky hill.

JR was waiting for me, and cheering along with the crowd.  I badly wanted to walk up the hill but the cheering crowd got me to run up it.


Look how muddy my shoes got!


I was done! I couldn’t believe it!  I was so happy…my hubby gave me a big hug and I cried a few tears of pride, joy and pain.


Final thoughts:

This race had a VERY tough course.  The seasoned triathletes there all remarked that it was a particularly challenging course and that no one would be getting a PR (personal record).  I was disappointed a little bit that it took me so long, but I finished! I haven’t seen the final times yet, but according to my heart rate monitor:

2 hours and 33 minutes

1,727 calories

167 average HR

189 high HR

The race probably should have been billed as more of “an extreme triathlon” especially with the trail run.  If the bike course had been flatter and the run on pavement I know I could have done it under 2 hours.

A lot of people have asked if I will do another triathlon.  HELL YES!! This one was so incredibly hard and challenging that I know any tri I do in the future will seem easy peasy in comparison!

I am very proud of myself for finishing, and now I want to do another along with a few other challenges. 

I will be back tomorrow with my thoughts on the future!

Thanks for reading along…hope you made it through this long post, and hope you continue to follow my Adventures in Tri-ing…cuz I’m not going anywhere!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2009 10:47 pm

    I was waiting ever so patiently for this!!!! =)

    Congrats congrats!!! You did sooo amazing. Wow, I am totally inspired to try a TRI now. I have actually always been terrified of it, but you made it seem not AS scary as I pictured. Although it looks very difficult!
    I hope you have a relaxing week and revel in your hard work!

  2. christina permalink
    September 29, 2009 12:16 pm

    What a hard course… leave it to you to start with an extreme tri! The part about JR running up the hill with you from the swim to the bike might be the sweetest, cutest thing I’ve ever heard. He’s a great guy and a fantastic fan to have.
    Yes! You will do another one. You should look into all womens ones… they are fun. Best one I ever did was the Tri for a Cure here in Maine… all women’s, benefits cancer and FUN… you should think about coming to Maine and doing it with me next year! Here’s my plug: Sunday, August 9, 2010-

    You should be proud! You’re a triathlete!

    Congrats Courtney… job well done! : )

    • courtlove111 permalink*
      September 29, 2009 1:12 pm

      Dude…seriously! Anything after this will be cake!! I got the super hard one out of the way, and now I know I can actually rock the swim…just gotta keep working on it. And I seriously might have to consider coming out for that tri. What about a bike though? I would have to borrow one out there….hmmmm….things to consider!! I love Maine!

      • christina permalink
        September 29, 2009 5:49 pm

        uh… Jamie has a kick ass bike I’m SURE you could borrow… since it’s a women’s only he won’t be needing it that day! Or you can ship your bike, but unless you have a bike you LOVE, you should just borrow one. And there are bike places here you can rent a bike for the tri for $30 for the weekend. Give it some thought… I’m going to be a bit shy to get on a bike again… but I’ll do it… I have to be brave!

  3. Laura permalink
    September 29, 2009 12:57 pm

    Congrats Courtney! What an amazing feat! I agree with Christina…the part about JR running up the first big bike hill with you to encourage you was so sweet!
    Congrats again….great job!

    • courtlove111 permalink*
      September 29, 2009 1:11 pm

      Thanks Laura! It was such an amazing experience!! Can’t wait for my next one!!

  4. September 29, 2009 1:22 pm

    Awesome job!! I am so proud of you! That course looked super tough but you rocked it. Welcome to the world of triathlon…the journey is only beginning and it is going to be fun!

  5. September 29, 2009 2:02 pm

    Wow this is so amazing, congratulations 🙂 You should be so proud of yourself! Great job!!!

    p.s. I watched One Tree Hill this morning on my DVR 🙂 SO good!

  6. Menden @ Skinny Menny permalink
    September 29, 2009 8:28 pm

    Congrats congrats!!! I really enjoyed reading about your triathlon experience…you rock!!!! Wow, that sounds so challenging. Great job 😀

  7. Molly permalink
    September 30, 2009 3:47 pm

    You are amazing!!!

    I love you so much – and am so inspired by you!!

    YOU DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. newtriathlete permalink
    January 10, 2010 1:57 am

    It was great reading your first hand account of your first SPRINT. I can’t wait for mine! Congratulations. Thanks for the “tip” on bringing a flashlight. I have heard it can be an emotional experience after all the months of training. It’s funny – I did my first BIATHLON a few weeks ago (swim and bike) and my number was 35.

    Good work. My blog is



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