Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Tri

Transition area 5:00 am.
Hurricane Irene fouled up my plans to go to Chicago and compete in the triathlon that I had been training for all summer long. At first I was relieved, but over the course of a few days, I realized that I had unfinished business and needed to find a race. Nike really hit the nail on the head with, "Just do it."

 9/11/2011. I'm standing hip deep in the water in Sandy Hook, NJ, shaking from cold and/or nerves. Ugh. I really don't want this to hurt. Let's just get it over with. Wait, no. Have fun with it. Yeah fucking right. What's that mantra from Born to Run? Easy, light, smooth.. Something like that. Just do that. I was prepared and the sprint distance was totally doable, but that didn't change the newness what I was doing.

The beginning of the swim was nervewracking. Dark, murky water. Feet and legs everywhere. I couldn't get my breathing pattern down and was attempting some sort of head above water casual freestyle mutt of a stroke. Ah! I'm freakin out a little, this is not the way swimming is supposed to go. I navigated to the outside of the pack to avoid the limbs and was able to settle into a routine, pawing through the water, and breathing semi normally. From there, everything fell into place. Biking was a breeze. I found a buddy and together we passed just about everyone else (except one bad ass cyclist chick whose dust we ate). Running was running. By the time I settled into a rhythm, it was time to pump up the jams and haul ass to the finish line. And then it was done. Just like that. This thing that gave me so much mental anguish was actually fun.
Giant smile. I had fun. 

Feelin' the love from my cheerleaders :)

I was so glad to be at Sandy Hook doing a big deal thing on 9/11. The Tri was all women, which usually equates to less intimidating, bordering on wussy (remnants of rebellion against SPSG feminism?). Hardly the case this time. 

During our 6:30am Zumba warm up on the beach, when I should have been concentrating on my flailing dance moves, I sized up my competition.  Also attempting to shake off their pre race nerves were bony, bracefaced teens, saggy old ladies in ruffled bathing suits, biggest loser looking women, super fit, goddess like 40 somethings, cancer survivors, rehabbed this and that, and moms galore.

Zumba. It got ugly.
My usual judgement seeped thoughts would usually be something like, "if they can do this, you can do this." I'd be a liar if I claimed one or two of those thoughts didn't flit across the radar, but mostly, I  was overcome with a reverence for these women. I bet the bulk of competitors were 40-60 years old and they didn't seem to be sweating at all. Talk about inspiration. We stood on the beach for a moment of silence before the race and I just felt like my heart was shining. I guess I was proud of everyone.

Thanks to Mom, Dad and Zach for being there.
Clare was totally there in spirit (that wonder woman, spandex spirit :)
Love you all.

No comments:

Post a Comment