The Chicago Triathlon was this weekend—more than 8,000 people participated and it was an experience like no other. At 3:30 a.m. my alarm clock went off, I hopped in the shower and started to get nervous. Vanessa's alarm didn't go off so the day was a bit hectic, but we made it down to the triathlon and checked in on time. Vanessa is a very calming person to be around and I can't thank her enough for bringing her soothing personality, even after a hectic morning.

The relay teams went last which, of course, made me have a complete freak out—it was 5 a.m. and it looked like I wouldn't be on the bike until 10:30 at the earliest—and the temperature was going up every moment. I forgot to eat breakfast, and thank goodness Matt went out to grab breakfast for Vanessa and me. Now was the time to hurry up and wait, so much time was going by. My lesson learned by 6 a.m. was that apparently the transition station, where you change from one sport to another, is a major pick-up area. So, if you're single and looking for some major motivation for the triathlon, I suggest you hit the road and start training.

Vanessa was awesome on the swim, we were heat number 52 and she beat a lot of the people from heats 48–51. I call her the little amphibian. I ran out of the transition area and got started, and then people started passing me. It was really tough—and somehow I completely missed until the day before that I wasn't allowed to wear my MP3 player during the race. I depend on music motivating me so much and I was left to my own devices and no distractions from the heat, sun and just trying to avoid potholes since I don't know how to change a flat tire. As I was riding for 40 kilometers I thought about how I would hardly believe you if you had told me at the beginning of the challenge the person I had transformed into.

As I was nearing the end I actually passed a number of people. And as I rounded the curve, Vanessa and Matt were cheering and filming me finish. I turned the corner and rode as fast as I could to transition to Cathy. Cathy did great, and we had a great little photo op with our medals at the finish. I was thinking, as I finished, about my next triathlon—where I'm doing the swim, bike AND run on September 8. I am so incredibly excited…and did I mention sore, hungry and a bit sunburned. No pain, no gain, right?

I feel great and know I need to make some tweaks in my training for the next tri. But I've really come so far—this is awesome. Thanks Vanessa and Cathy, I couldn't have done today without you.

Here's to the first of many triathlons!

As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.


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