Last fall I said I would do it. I trained (sorta) by taking swim lessons and learning how to lap swim, trail running, taking spin classes at the gym, and teaching Barre at the gym (that class really burns the legs and butt!). A couple of weeks ago, I waffled. June was a bad month–I traveled, had family visit, got sick (that knocked me out of the game for nearly 2 weeks–summer colds are the worst!), then traveled again. I’d been working a ton, eating like shit, and not getting enough exercise. I only made it to the gym to teach my classes. I was not in good shape. But then I told myself that I needed to do this. I’d made that promise to myself last fall that this would be my final triumph over the endometriosis that had plagued me for years, and proof that, after the surgery, I could get myself in shape to complete a triathlon. I wasn’t in it to win it, just to say I’d done it. I was competing against no one except myself. So I hit it hard for a week and a half, just like cramming for final exams in college again. “This is so stupid,” I kept telling myself.
But guess what? This morning I fulfilled my goal. And it felt great! This triathlon is for women only. It is meant to be a fun, supportive, friendly competition, and it was exactly all three of those things. The nearly 100 women who met today ranged in age from 12-84 (I know!). One woman was pregnant. Another was in a wheelchair. For so many of us, this was our first triathlon. Our first formal race, ever. We all cheered each other on at the pool, yelled supportive “Good job!” and “High Five!” on the bike ride, and “Way to go!” “Your’re almost to the finish!” on the run. Afterwards, a woman who takes Barre from me at the gym came up to me and said, “I didn’t know you were doing this. You helped me train.” Shit. That’s a fuzzy-feeler if ever I heard one. We ate fruit, chips, pizza, and potluck desserts afterward. I made mini “Red Velvet Cupcakes That Can’t Be Beet.” It was the best-tasting food! Hubby even got in on the action and volunteered along the bike route, directing people the correct way on the course. It was an amazing morning.
So how did I fare? Not too bad, all things considered. I’m not setting any Olympic records, but I did set a personal best (aka “my only best”). I was pleased with my results. The course was a 500m swim, 12 mile bike ride, and 3 mile run. My total time was 1 hr 38 min 17.82 sec, which put me 33rd out of 74 soloists who completed the course. A few did not finish, and there were several teams as well. I finished 7th of 16 in my age group. So I ended up in the top half, which was more than I really expected. I was hoping to finish in less than 1 hr 45 min, but earlier this week I thought I was totally dreaming to expect that so I was pleasantly surprised to find that I posted a time under my little “goal.” I’m pretty tired this evening, but still riding that endorphin high a little bit. I think Barre class tomorrow night will be interesting, though! Let the leg cramps commence!