Bahrain Half Ironman 2016

9:29:00 PM Brooke Neal 1 Comments

For months I trained for the Bahrain Half Triathlon. I was very reluctant to actually sign up because I really didn't know if I had it in me to complete the race, but days before it filled up I committed.  I was sick with anxiety the day before; worried about the swim, worried about the run, worried about my knees, worried I wouldn't finish. 
My name actually isn't on the board--that's what happens when you wait till the last minute to sign up.


Waiting for the race to begin. 
 I am very anxious waiting for the swim to begin. The winds are high and the water a bit rough. They ended up shortening the swim by 300 meters and I am glad they did. By the last bit we were really being tossed about. My goggles began leaking within 15 seconds--I had to stop 4 times to adjust them before finally getting on. Then I swam off course when I followed a pod of swimmers. Once back on course I decided to stay close to the buoys and just went to work. I thought of the people praying for me and was blessed to stay calm. It took me 44 minutes which wasn't an awful time given I lost at least a minute fiddling with my goggles and at least a couple swimming off track.
The bike portion of the race took FOREVER! The wind was awful and my knees began hurting. By the time I finished I worried that I wouldn't have the strength to run, but getting off the blasted bike was such a relief that my knees were miraculously fine! Since I wasn't setting any world records I stopped to chat with Bob for a minute before heading out for the run. At this point I was feeling pretty good and as I began to run I just kept thinking, "I am actually doing this! My body is going to do this, it's going to finish!"

I am not going to lie, coming across that finish line was fantastic. Several of our friends (all of whom finished before me) stayed to cheer me on at the end, it was super generous of them! I finished in 7:11.
 The finisher were given jackets. Mine is two sizes too big--that's what happens when you come in after 80% of the athletes.
 All these ladies are in my church group.
What a super surprise to come home to. My friend Trish made this sign then had people sign it. I left it on the door for about a week. It's now hanging in my garage.
This picture was taken on one of our open water practice swims. It was a horrible swim. I was so angry and deflated by how hard it was. I wanted to quit just about every minute of it, but I actually credit this swim with helping me stay calm during the actual race. If my first rough water swim had been on race day I would have been panicking, but because of this swim I was better prepared. It was a tender mercy that I didn't realize until the day of the race. 



1 comment:

  1. You are incredible!! Congratulations :)
    I have been wondering if I should attempt a triathlon, and after reading your post I want to do it a bit more. It must have been a great feeling to cross that finish line.

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