Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Team "Barefoot Hippie Girl"

So, about that triathlon. Well, it was good. The weather was perfect. Dry. Cool. Warm water. Sunny.

Last year I finished in 2 hours, 12 minutes and some odd seconds. My goal, as I wrapped that one up, was to knock 10 minutes off when I competed this year. I did it. I finished in 2:02:17. I took 7 of those minutes off the bike and over 4 off the run. So I must have transitioned slower. Which makes sense because I had to switch shoes.

It was hard. I mean, I am pretty sure during the first mile of the run I was convinced that this might be the dumbest thing I have ever thought to do.

But, then, about the 2 mile point I realized there was less than 3 miles to go. And right at that point was when another race in town was starting. The Komen 5K, that my sil was running. And so I ended up running that last bit with her. In spirit, if not side by side. And that was a cool thought that kept my legs a-pumping, moving forward one step at a time.

So, I know I keep posting this picture, but it works. And it's the only one I have right now.=)

So, I am pretty thrilled. And I have a new goal for next year. Take that 2 minutes and a bit, and say, "so long" to them. My goal will be to finish in less than 2 hours. Maybe just at 1:59:59. But, you know. Get it under the wire.

We have 2 more events this month. Our donut bike race. (the more donuts you eat, the more time gets deducted from your overall race time). Our half marathon. We are putting in some serious mileage on our tennis shoes over the next couple weeks. Probably less mileage on the bike odometer. But, its all good.

At most of our races there is a good representation of Team Triumph competitors. These are teams of multiple members that are each headed by a captain who has a disability. The team alternately pulls or pushes their captain through the water, on the bike or on the run, or all three.

It always gives me that slightly choked up feeling to see them. It is inspiring. I have a hard enough time hauling my own booty through the finish line. Let alone the strength and determination to bring someone with you.

Like I said...it's inspiring.

As I was reflecting this morning over Saturday's triathlon, I got to thinking that I have a team too. My team may not push and pull me through the finish line in a raft or cart (wouldn't that be nice?!), but they have certainly pushed and pulled me through the finish line.

My team is quite diverse and rather large. It consists of friends and family from 3-80 years old. Friends and family who have supported me and cheered me on through 6 races (3 running, 3 triathlons), 6 three-discipline training sessions, and countless regular practices since the second week in May.

It is my sister in laws, and the bff, and the Wolcotts, and the Bjorlies, and my parents and parent-in-law, who have all babysat at least once this summer so we could train or compete.

It is Seth and Bethany, who share my excitement about competing and beating my times and listen to my blow-by-blow break downs of the events.

It is the tri practice group. The ones who pedaled slower in order to give me tips and to not leave me in the dust. It is Dan and Sharon opening their home and slice of beach every Friday evening throughout the summer so we can have open water swims and hilly bike rides. It is Mark who invited us to the training time and who comes out to the tri with a cow bell and encourages each one of us to pedal harder and keep going.

It is countless of you who have told me that you are praying for me. It is my kids who think I am amazing. And it's Meres who knows the difference between a practice triathlon and the real deal.

It is my husband who always is waiting at the finish line for me. Every time.

You are my people. My team. And I thank you! I could not have done it without your tangible support.

At every race I don't just see the competition. I see people with back stories. I see choices and discipline, training and determination. I see back stories and journeys. I see villages and teams. I see people who have fought their own demons in order to compete. I see people who are winners no matter whether they place first or in the middle or dead last. Each one has done something marvelous. Each one has done something that many, many other people never have. Each one is amazing.

That's why I keep competing. That is why I keep finding myself at mile one of the running leg of a triathlon. Or mile 10 of a half marathon. That is why I wonder if it is the dumbest thing I've ever done.

Or one of the bravest and hardest.

Either-or, I do it because my team, my village, is right there with me.

Thank you!