On May 9, 2009, I competed in my first ever tri-sprint distance and first ever multi sports challenge (triathlon) http://www.schiniathlon.gr/. I actually can not believe it, but I finished third to hold a podium finish. I trained for about a month and took it pretty seriously but I didn't feel that I REALLY trained.
I had decided that this first event would be in the spirit of fun but in the back of my competitive mind, I knew that I have a good chance to be one of the better girls since Greece is still so behind in terms of a healthy, sporty lifestyle. Most events are left for the men. I proved myself correct and this successful finish has given me even more confidence that I can be better than just good on this journey to triathlete me.
The funny thing was that the night before the race, Stelios and I were watching the Windsor 2008 triathlon DVD to get psyched for the race and see the pros on their transitions . At the finish of the women's race, two battled it out on the run with the one who paced better to become the champion. On race day, I experience the thrill of competition when on the bike route, a girl passed me. I had not seen another women at all and new that if this girl goes on to place ahead of me, I will surely loose a podium finish (I vainly thought at some point in the race that I might even be 1st). After she passed me on the bike I thought that it was over as disappointment immediately set in. But, then it occurred to me that the beauty of a tri competiton is that the race was just 2/3rds over. I had a chance to beat her in the third leg. On the run, I spotted my competitor in the distance and as I trucked along, she was definitely slower than me. I could see that I was a better runner and I had much more endurance. The strategy kicked in....should I pace behind her like I saw the pro's do or just pass her and hope she will not catch me. I ended up passing her with about one and one half km to go and from that point on, I was more concerned about what was happening behind me to see if she was on my tail. I was also running out of steam and it was becoming mind over matter just to finish strong. Pacing with some guys to the finish line, it was such sweet finish! I beat this women and the competitor in me was happy. It didn't really matter what place I finished but getting to the podium as 3rd female on my very first race ever was a great accomplishment and a great confidence booster that I am good at this sport!
Now, a few light weeks of training and some extra attention to my puppy before I kick it into gear for my first full triathlon in September 2009.