August 6, 2017 was the first triathlon I completed with Jeffray my bike that Challenged Athlete Foundation gave me as a part of a grant.

It was my first triathlon with my IDEO brace.

I had a blast! There was another parathlete there, but I was unaware of the parastart and started with my age group. People looked at me strange, but I am a trendsetter. I don’t sign up for only parafriendly triathlons. I race triathlons in hopes that more paratriathletes participate in the years to come. Kinda like what happened at Jeff and Bredes my 1st triathlon last year I was the only one and this year they had a paradivision thanks to Catapult.

Before the Race I met a lady and she saw me putting my concoction into my swim goggles. She asked me about it and I proudly told her it was a drop of baby shampoo and water a mixture that my friend Adessa told me about. Before she entered the water I poured some into her goggles. After the triathlon she thanked me and gave me a big hug. She was very surprised that her goggles did not fog up during the swim. I smiled really big and I told her next time use chapstick on your eyebrows and the sweat won’t get into your eyes. She said she would try that.

The swim:

The swim was very interesting. I was attacked by the grass and weeds I call it the Hydramonsters. In the beginning of the swim within the first 50 yards not only did I have to fight the swimmers, but I had to fight the weeds that felt as though they were holding me back as I ripped them from their roots. I didn’t like them tangled around arms. Once I got through the rough patch it was an okay swim. I was impressed with myself because I completed the swim without lots of training. Definately not my norm, but I have been living in San Antonio for 4.5 weeks for physical and occupational therapy at the Center For the Intrepid.

Pre-transition:
Because it was a beach I had difficulties getting out of the water across the terrain to the bench to put on the IDEO brace to emulate. I had little difficulty puting on a compression and knee sleeve. The difficulty was getting the IDEO into my shoe. It took longer than it had taken during the week. Once it was on I was running through the sand to the pavement down the carpeted hill and into transition.

Transition1:

Before I knew it I was taking off my brace and putting on my cycling shoes. I hopped up and jogged through transition like they taught me at the Dare2Tri camp. Concentrating on hip hiking to get my foot drop foot to clear the ground so that I wouldn’t trip.

The Bike:

All I can say about that is… wind and hills and hills and wind! The Crosswinds brutal! Headwinds brutal! Not enough tailwind! An Air Force veteran that stays in the Fisher House with me told me it was not about the speed and that it was all about the cadence I needed to maintain a certain cadence. That was my plan for the race. As my cadence changed I realize I needed to switch gears. I switched the gear to maintain that cadence and kept on going. Next thing I knew I was rolling into transition.

Transition2:
This transition was easy all I had to do was take off my helmet put on my visor grab my water bottle take off my cycling shoes and put on my IDEO and slip into my running shoes. Putting on the IDEO was a challenge. Practice practice pratice! I knew it would be brutal and I was prepared. I was so happy to get to the last event and ready to start running.

The Run: This time the run seemed to be harder. I am thinking because of the hills. Possibly the heavier brace that I had just recieved or it could have been the distance. The brace seemed heavier and I know my legs were tired. It was hard for me to pick up my legs, but the 5k wasn’t gonna run itsself. I knew I needed help so I set my timer for 1 minute run and a 30-second walk and I did just that for the first mile.

The second mile was a little harder I began to struggle I walked a little more than I probably should have, but I listened to my body and I did what my body wanted me to do. Slow and steady completes the race. By the time I saw finish line I had nothing left. I usually sprint into the finish, but not today! I had no energy left my right hip flexors were on fire, my right quad was on fire and my right hamstring was nowhere to be found. The glutes were just screaming! I wanted to scream out, “Shur up already!” I didn’t want to risk looking crazy so I kept my mouth shut. I was just happy that I was able to pick up my leg and put it down on the ground. Yes I did it! A great finish!

I met a few Eagles ( Team Red White and Blue members) and took pictures with them. I returned home to the Fisher House and we had tres leches cake and brownies. I celebrated with the other August birthdays.

Once I got back I talked to Marks.

Paralympian Swimmer Marks who told me that initially the IDEO adds about 2 to 3 minutes to your run time, but she says it gets easier afterwards I’m looking forward to it being easier afterwards.

#CAFATHLETE #OperationRebound #CAFOPERATIONREBOUND #IDEOAthlete #PoweredByCarbonEagle #KandiKaneTris #WindyHillsGreatTraining #Dare2Tri #JacksGenericTri #CFI #YesYouCan

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