This past holiday weekend, I competed in my third ever, second individual triathlon. Each race has been such a tremendous learning experience for me. Those of you who know me are probably laughing at the idea of me participating in any sort of race, much less one that includes swimming, biking *and* running all on the same day.
The fact is, I signed up for my first one to prove a point. I’ve never been the athletic one in my family. As a kid I participated in swim team, but was never overly impressive. It didn’t help that my family is a bit competitive, and once my sister aged up into my group and kicked my butt on a regular basis, I decided it wasn’t worth the damage to my self esteem.
That was 10 years ago. Since then I’ve done social dance, marching band, and go on the occasional hike, but that’s it. That was all I needed. Recently though, fit is in. Athletic is in. And yes, I am shallow and superficial enough to start working out because it’s “in.” Hey, at least I’m aware enough to realize that.
My first race was just to prove I could do it, that I wasn’t a complete couch potato, and then call it a day. As a warm-up to the first race though, my mother suggested we do one as a relay, so that she could try out swimming in open water. Sure, whatever, how hard could it be? HA. That bike route was extremely difficult. It was the worst idea I’ve ever had.
After completing my first race though, I realized I enjoyed it. Sure I hated the training and getting hot and sweaty and sore 5 days a week, but the feeling of completing a race like that was really empowering.
So I decided to do another. Now, I will be the first to admit that I hardly trained for this one. We had a huge move, my bike is in storage, I’m still trying to figure out coordinating workouts with having an infant around, and I’ve been pretty inactive since halfway through my pregnancy. I didn’t finish this one in under 2 hours, but I finished it. Not only that, but I swam the whole thing without stopping, I only got off the bike once and that was to fix my brakes, and while I walked half of the 5k, I did push myself on the runs with it. I am proud of myself for not backing out; for proving to myself that even though I’m not the best, I’m better than I think; and that exercise can be fun, once you get past all the sweatiness, pain, and let’s face it, total boredom of being alone with your thoughts for 2 hours.
Now for pictures!