DC Triathlon TEAM
Local News from the Road
What motivates you?
After I had my second child, I was looking for ways to lose some weight and to get back into shape. I wasn’t one of those lucky people that just had to breast feed and all of the weight just magically came off in a few weeks. I told myself that I was going to train for a triathlon at the end of the 2008 season, a local race….Irongirl. I thought an all woman’s triathlon in August, this is going to be great! I embarked on starting to run again. At first I struggled with a half mile, cursing the hills around my house and thought it maybe I had set my goals too high. I kept plugging along, increasing my mileage slowly. I was able to swim a few times a week during adult swim at the pool. Can I tell you how much I dreaded the bike? I had purchased a rode bike ten years ago…and would have dreams of falling off the bike as I came down a hill and would land in a ditch. I started out with toe cages on the pedals and later learned to ride with Speedplay pedals and clips. Don’t get me wrong…it wasn’t easy and I fell off multiple times especially the first time I came to a stop and forgot that I was attached to the bike.
I happily crossed the finish line back in 2008 with my kids and family cheering me on…and I never looked back. I decided that if I could do a sprint triathlon again with a family and working, maybe I should set the goal higher. I signed up for an olympic distance the next year. Work and balancing a family was stressful, and working out was a release. I found that just having a hour or two every other day to work out made a huge difference in how I interacted with my family. I would drive home after a long 12 hour shift in the emergency room and all of the stress I carried throughout the day would be released in one big fireball aimed at my husband. Even though my husband was quite gracious and would take the heat like a champ, it wasn’t healthy for either one of us. He would listen to me vent, and I noticed if I had placed all of the fireball energy somewhere else as in a workout…things were calmer at home. He also got back into shape and we raced together.
I always wanted to do an ironman….and my husband told me that I was crazy. After another season in 2010 and a few half iron mans under my belt, I eagerly signed up for an ironman last season. Last season was filled with long lonely bike rides, swims, and runs. I had time to reflect on what motivates me, what is important in life. I can tell you that doing the race was easier that the hardest 12 hour er shift I worked. People often don’t believe me for saying this. I can tell you that I was able to go to the bathroom, I got to eat and no one yelled at me… I learned valuable lessons during the race about myself. The swim was the easiest part for me. A flat tire at mile 0.5 going down a helix and nearly crashing my bike….and a flat at mile 23 again. I waited more than an hour for the mechanic. I thought I was prepared and only packed 2 tubes on the bike…and some in my special needs bag…and the brand new tube had a leak at the valve. I was upset, thinking I might not make the bike cut off. I thought to myself, this is one day in your life. You have to make it count…you need to have a smile on your face and enjoy that you have the ability to do this race. Life is short and don’t sulk…just rise above and go for it. I saw my kids and my family halfway through the bike and I screamed and cried at the same time. They were a reminder to realize how lucky I am. I crossed the finish line a little later than I expected…but I can say now that I did an ironman.
So if you ever doubt that you could do a mile run, or a 5k, or ride a bike up and down hills…just try…and we have a full season of bike, running and swim opportunities to help you!
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