I really had no freakin clue what I was getting into. I bought a bike only a short time prior to Solana, maybe that April/May? I forget. But I do know it was a Trek 5200 road bike, and it was my graduation present to myself -- the biggest purchase of my life at that point. I fell in love with riding immediately, and although 20-mile rides felt crazy hard and long, a new world opened up to me and the bike quickly became my favorite.
I had "trained" for Solana mostly with my ex-boyfriend, which included some 500-yard swims (+/- a few hundred) at 24 Hour Fitness (those sessions usually ended with my calf or toes cramping), bike rides of probably 6- to 20-miles long (going 20 then felt like the equivalent to a 100-miler on the bike now), and of course some running. I was always running even before tri, so that part was decent from the get go. As far as structured training? Don't know what I was doing. I wish I had kept a training log then. Would love to look back at it...
So, race day. July 29, 2007. I had actually moved back to Orange County before the race because I got a job in the area at a newspaper. So that morning my parents -- who've been by my side for this triathlon stuff since Day 1 -- drove me to North County SD at an ungodly hour. I was nervous -- heck, that whole week prior I was nervous to the point of sickness -- but I also remember being as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. That first race experience did not disappoint, and I knew from that day on I was going to make this endurance stuff more than a hobby....
So, from here, I'm going to let the following pictures tell the story of that first race.
|Arriving to the race. I look 12 years old, haha.
|My mom is biggest fan #1 and has been there since the beginning. She did her first tri shortly after watching this one -- I think it was the Imperial Beach Sprint, in the Koz Series.
|Before the swim with said ex-boyfriend.
|Rented wetsuit, of course! I look at my face here and think: This screams nerves and excitement as I'm about to embark into unknown territory... scary but exciting!
|No turning back now!
|That's me in the front thinking, "Good lord, I survived that swim." Surfing skills definitely helped me through the waves in that effort!
|Get this biatch off me!
|Damn this ramp is a steep mofo!
|Aw yea, gotta love some rookie transition pics! Thanks mom! Um, for the record, I still wear those Fox bike shorts I'm sporting there haha.
|Clock is ticking Tawnee.....
|Tick tick tick....
|I love this shot, especially with the copyright year! Remember Opix?
Are they still out there shooting?
|Making the pass!
|Long before aerobars -- those things scared me!!! I look so innocent on that bike. Love it.
|Waving to all my fans, of course.
|Now, the progression of this T2 cracks me up! Here's me probably talking to me mom over a HR of 190+ saying
something like, "That bike was awesome, mom!"
|Wait for it...
|Oh yea, sexy socks going on!
|Then come the shoes. Tick tick tick...
|Oh, but wait...
|...I must take the time to get in some water. After all, I carried two full bottles for a grueling ~9-mile bike...and probably didn't take a sip of either the whole time while riding haha.
|And finally on that 5k run. I think this was just before the finish.
|Pretty stoked to be going faster than the buff dude behind me ;)
|Almost there... I can taste the feeling of victory!
|A pivotal moment in my life. Not the best quality picture, but still grateful that one of my parents
captured this moment!
|My other biggest fan, Dad! I'm a super lucky girl....
|We hung out in Solana all day after the race, and I remember feeling on top of the world.
I eventually took the train home that night, greeted by my parents with signs congratulating me. So cute.