Once I commit to something, I’m all in, even when it turns out to be a really bad idea on the surface. You may have noticed that one of our team members (Heather J) is new to multi-sport events this year. Since I’ve been doing tris for over 15 years and LOVE them, I wanted to be there when she did her first event. So, I found a “local” race that offered a Duathlon and Triathlon on the same course at the same time. Perfect! We entered the race and then I decided to look at logistics. It turns out that the week prior, I was scheduled to be in India for three days and the “local” race was 2 hours away from home. Oops!
Rather than back out, I convinced as many other people as I could to do the race. Six of us signed up, ate tacos in my backyard the night before, and then headed to Maryland for the race without kids.
Thank goodness for friends. I set my alarm for 5:55am instead of 4:55am. Fortunately, everyone else was more coherent as we settled into our hotel the night before and set their alarms correctly. I did not want to get out of bed. But, I ate my LUNA Protein, got into my kit, and helped load bikes onto the car. We got to the race site with plenty of time to get numbers, chips, body marked and into wetsuits. I was cold, but not my completely nervous self since everything had gone smoothly and I had lots of pals at the race (I’m used to racing alone since I had kids). Lack of nerves helped me get down a gel 15 minutes prior to the start with no issues.
Brrr… getting into the water was cold, but I was glad to have time to get acclimated. I had planned to use this race to practice going out hard and then settling into a rhythm for the rest of the swim. It worked out well until I tangled with someone else and we just could not get away from each other. I ultimately pulled up and let her go. It’s not fun for me to swim on top of other people and - at this point in my life - I race for fun. Pulling up allowed me to find my own space and swim well (and straight) the rest of the way.
I was thrilled that I got onto my bike with the shoes in the pedals with no issues (I had the 4th fastest T1 time of all participants - men and women - in the race) and started out with lots of energy. Too much energy it turns out because as soon as we hit the hills (and there were a few), I felt like I was going backwards. I just didn’t have the power that I normally have, was sucking wind uphill, and then wasn’t recovering fast enough on the downhills to prepare for the next uphill. I drank my electrolyte drink and ate my gel to get calories in, but was struggling to find my “happy place.” I enjoyed some cat & mouse passing with other women in my age group, but ultimately I couldn’t hang and dropped back a bit. Thank goodness for downhills into the finish!
I just put one foot in front of the other and smiled. I knew from the bike that my trip had taken a toll on me and I just wanted to enjoy the run. It was two laps out and back on a trail so I got to see all the Chix and our pals several times. I didn’t care how fast I was going or that I got out-kicked at the end. It was a beautiful day and I finished the race.
There are lots of times when I wish I would let myself walk away from a commitment when it didn’t make sense any longer. While unpacking from India, doing laundry, and re-packing for a trip to the tri, I had moments of wondering if I was sane. I’m still not certain of the answer to that question, but I know I’m glad that I made it out to the race. Two friends completed their first multi-sport event, something they each had wanted to do for a while and six women left life behind for a morning to make an investment in themselves. I’ll take being part of those experiences over jet-lag recovery any day!