Today I ran my first triathlon. I had all intentions of training to make it through without injury and finish in a decent time. However life doesn’t always work out the way we’d like it to.
Four a.m. I was on the road, pitch black without a car in sight. It is a serene time in the morning, nothing but your own thoughts. Sometimes your thoughts can get into your head a bit too much and create crazy feelings. Today however the thoughts were more of excitement.
I resolved to myself I would finish the race in about three hours. My training had been lackluster at best. Arriving at the beach with hundreds of other women made all my fears go away. That is one of the wonderful things about athletic events. Everyone is willing to help and give whatever advice you may need.
It didn’t matter who I asked, they would give me advice that was helpful. I found several friends that were doing the triathlon also. I began this journey as a self-exploration. Pushing myself doing marathons had helped me reach feelings deep inside. I was blessed with dozens of other women I knew signed up for the same triathlon.
Walking to the starting line the wind started to pick up a bit. With the clouds overhead the air was crisp and cold, not your typical September morning. While waiting my fingers, toes and lips started turning blue. I thought what had I gotten myself into.
When my wave was about to start I stepped into the ocean. This was my biggest fear. I am not an open water swimmer, and have trouble even walking into the water. With so many women supporting me the thought of getting into the ocean didn’t cross my mind.
I started to swim and realized the panic of other swimmers around me was a bit too much. I slowed as to not get kicked and slapped by others. The swim cannot be described. It was both more difficult and easier than I had expected. When I got out of the ocean and started to T1, the perseverance of what I was accomplishing started to become a realization.
Crazy things happen you may not realize. I went to put my shoes on, but my feet had swelled making them difficult to get onto my feet. Once I had dressed it was off to biking. The biking was for me like a Sunday morning ride. I was not here for the competition, but the thrill of the finish.
I finished biking and off to the 5K run. Running the course I was motivated by seeing women in their 70’s continue with determination. Knowing they had started the race well before me but kept pushing forward inspired me. Where I thought I would be walking I kept running.
I crossed the finish line sprinting to victory, in under two hours. I was thrilled with my time. The slowest out of my friends, but for me it was success. I overcame my fear, and went on to complete my first triathlon. It was triumphant.