you never know until you tri

I had another crazy busy weekend.

Owen had not one but two soccer games (both wins!).
My parents were in town.
My in-laws were in town.
My house got skunked, again (and still smells!)
I threw a fabulous 2nd birthday party for Tess.
My grades are due at 8 am tomorrow
( and still aren’t done in case you were wondering).
Plus, I’m still really tired from my Portland trip earlier in the week.
Exhausting right?

….oh, and I also ran a Sprint Triathalon!

Last night after the soccer game and birthday party and ridiculous amount of food I ate at dinner (thanks dad), I tried to get to bed early. I read a little Born to Run as motivation and wished I had resisted the urge to have dessert at dinner.

And I couldn’t sleep. And it wasn’t just the dog barking, the 2 year old crying or the 5 year old falling out of bed. I was totally nervous.
I have done lots of races. Even hard ones. Like a half marathon and the Mud Run last Spring with Shaun.
But this race, with the swimming and biking had my stomach in knots.
There were crazy rules. No ipods. Transition areas. Body marking. Tri suits (which I don’t own) and all kinds of biking terms I didn’t know.

Triathalons. Even little ones are for REAL athletes right? Not 30ish overweight soccer moms. But some of my friends signed up and so did I. My goal was to finish. To not be last and to try not to walk. I trained for this race more than I have ever trained, but I still knew it wasn’t enough. I had never done the full distance on the road. And my workouts the last few weeks had tanked.

But I got there bright and early, giving myself a pep talk the whole way. I considered puking while we waited to get in the pool. And my number was near the back so I had to wait quite a while. I thought the swim would be my easiest event. But the pool did not go well. I’m not sure what it was, maybe getting kicked in the face but I sputtered and gasped and swallowed mouthfuls of water. I have practiced almost double that distance a dozen or more times at the gym but my nerves and the traffic got the best of me. As I crawled out of the pool I was already towards the back of the pack.

I put on some sneakers and climbed on my mountain bike. And pedaled. And people kept passing me. I pedaled harder. And more people passed me. And it was beautiful outside. My legs burned, my knees started to ache and the front of the pack started to lap me. But the sun was shining and I was still going. At some point this younger girl, dressed in a hot pink tri suit with a braid swinging perfectly down her back and tied with a ribbon passed me on the left. She was lapping me. She cheered me on. Also commented on the beautiful day and smiled sweetly. She looked flawless and like she was ready to go out with friends and not halfway through a race and then she took a swig from her water bottle and hocked a giant loogie into the grass.
I finished the bike portion with a horrible time, despite my ferocious pedaling.
Apparently I had it in the wrong gear.

I racked my bike. Grabbed a glass of water and took off for the run. Slowly. But my legs felt good. Finally, I got to do some of the passing for a change. And smiled as I passed about a half dozen girls who had flown past me on the bike.
So what if some of them were my mom’s age.
And then I saw some friends. I caught up. And we chatted and jogged. And barely even noticed the last mile and half. Ok, I noticed. But I didn’t even think about walking or crying.

And I finished.
I finished.
I finished a tri.
Me. An overweight thirty something soccer mom. Swam 300 meters, biked 20 km and ran another 5. In less than two hours. Without puking. Without dying. Without crying. Without giving up.

And I felt like WonderWoman ( who happened to be racing as well).
This is why I run races.
For that feeling.
For conquering something that I wasn’t sure I could do.
For owning it.
For finishing.
Slow and steady and strong.
With my husband and friends waiting for me at the finish line.
Because you can do almost anything with friends by your side.

And now my only question is what will I do next?
Run another race?
Write a book?
Clean out my closets?
Who knows. But today I feel like I could do almost anything.

(and special thanks to my husband for cheering me on, rhonda for the pics and encouragement and for my friends who trained and raced with me )

3 comments:

Corinne said...

I am in awe :)
You are AMAZING!

HistoryTeacherBlog said...

You make me proud. And, you inspire me. Not enough to do a tri, but you do inspire me! I think I will go fold some laundry. LOL

Margie said...

Good golly, a triathlon and skunked house and in-laws and grades? YOU NEED A REST. But I know you're still probably so psyched by the achievement.

But how do you de-odorize a skunked house?