Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Why does one tri...

Last Saturday was a success.  I finished my first Olympic Triathlon and did it well.  I was joined by three friends who were equally amazing in the stellar day!  I think back to my lack of ability to swim and breath at the same time and just smile at the progression I have made.  While on a relaxed training swim the Friday morning prior to our race my friend and training partner Mike and I were floating on our back in the middle of a lake and just were laughing out loud!  What we have changed in our world and how we are now choosing to go through it is at times humorous!

I am "tri-ing" for me.  I am tri-ing for my kids and my family so that I can be stronger and show them that you are important and you need to make time for you.  I have done running races and a few triathlons but I am always blown away by the people and effort at these events.  The camaraderie that builds with complete strangers over the course of the day just makes me happy.  It makes my effort and time spent over the past weeks worth every early alarm, cold water swim and humid bike ride.  This whole journey is not about seeing how fast I can run or what speed I bike at....although fun to see my improvements over the course of my training...but it's about me and the deep down reasons why I choose to push myself.

My buddy on this journey is my friend Mike.  Mike will be forty this year and is married to a wonderful woman and dear friend Laura and they have two great kids who are close in age to two of my kiddos.  We have had many a meal with our families together but it was one meal last year  around November 2014 that moved Mike in more ways than one.  Neither of us remember the details around the discussion but it concluded in "Sure, let's sign up for a half Iron Distance in October of 2015...we've NEVER done that before...should be a great time!?!?!"

Mike and Me post Luray Olympic 2015

April of 2014 Mike and Laura were delivered some news that no one wants to hear or have to share with those that care so very much for them.  Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I can remember the day she sat at my kitchen counter and told me like it was yesterday and I wish that day never happened.  I knew she was a strong women before but a year after this whole treatment and recovery she might be the strongest woman I know.  I don't know first hand but I would imagine that when one is faced with this those that are around you feel the need to be equally strong or even stronger if that is possible.

With that Mike decided that he needed to make a change.  He needed to TRI for Laura and his family.  He needed to change something that was happening in his life...he needed to find an outlet for him with all that was swirling around him.  Mike signed up for a half Iron Distance Triathlon and in the two races I have completed with him so far...he has ROCKED it!  He had never done a race of any kind...I remember him saying to me prior to that night of drinks and food...that his body is just not meant to run...ever.  Mike is also signed up to run the NJ Marathon with me in May of 2016.  Sometimes things just change...and change although hard and complicated...can be really good.

Mike is tri-ing for himself and since December of 2014 with all of our training and his amazing determination...has lost over 50 pounds and is following the training plan day by day.  He is a rockstar and he doesn't even know it.  We wake up early to get our rides in...we swim side by side in our neighborhood pool cursing each other for coming up with this idea as we both swim in our pink caps.  We text each other after a workout to say that was miserable...good luck to you!   We are tri-ing together and for each other and our families.  At each race the excitement that we both feel is at a record high, we give each other a hug...we know that we've got this.  I am pretty sure Laura is next to join in this craziness...she is already running on the treadmill and has a bike on the trainer in the basement...we are one pool away from a new girl in training.  Did I mention she is the strongest person I know!

We have fifty two days til our big race of 1.2 mile swim, 56 miles bike, and 13.1 run.  After completing the hills of Luray we feel like the flatness of Wrightsville Beach may be okay.  My hubby and our coach ensures us every day that we are on the right path, we trust in his plan, we know that we are doing amazing things and we will have a great day!  We know that the support of our families and the example we are setting for our kiddos is all worth it.   The new people that we have become are bigger and stronger than anything we imagined.  We finish things and know we can get to the next day...even with a smile on our face.

So October out for two very giddy, nervous happy people that will be ready to crush 70.3 miles.  We are going to tri our best for us and for anyone that thought this was not possible...and on some days that may even be us ;)

Embrace the Suck...choose you...and as our coach says...sTRIde on!!!

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