I knew that I had backed off of training so after a major panic on Saturday (thanks Stephanie for talking me down) I had some good time to myself that evening (and listened to the new Annie Lennox and some Radiohead to calm me). I got up on Sunday morning and told myself to just enjoy each moment, that TODAY might not be about a personal best. And crazy enough, I listened to myself.
I began the swim and just relaxed thinking about finishing each stroke, and I felt strong. I finished the swim in 46 minutes, which is pretty consistent. I was happy to finish, now OFF to the bike!!
I felt really strong on the bike and decided I was going to really push myself keeping cadence high. This was a tough course with some good rollers and a few larger climbs. I thought by my bike computer I had come in under 3 hours.....the results say 3:04, averaging 18.2 mph. Still happy with that regardless. I am going to break 3 hours.....next time! Just gotta get a little stronger on those hills!
Now comes the run....I hop off my bike and my watch says 3:47....so I am thinking wow...if I could just pull out a 2 hour 1/2 marathon, I could be close to six hours and PR. So, I took off, watching my heart rate and keeping it low. This run course? The toughest thing I have ever run. It was rolling hill after rolling hill and by mile 3 a nerve in the back of my right leg was throbbing and my feet were hurting. My mental game started to go downhill. The run course is two loops and before you enter the second loop you go directly past the finish line. I actually considered walking right off the course and not doing the second loop. I knew that I was not in any kind of pain where I was going to hurt myself, and I needed to finish this. I turned the corner and saw a girl from my core class on Mon/Wed. She was struggling as well, this was her first Half Iron. We began to talk and decided that we would stick together during the second loop and see eachother through this. (Holly is her name)
So we trudged on, making small goals like...."ok, we are going to run to that sign and then decide what to do." AND "we are going to run this entire hill and then recover and walk at the top" It was awesome, I had made a new friend and we were determined to see one another through all of this. And we talked and chatted it up like two women can do that the last 6.5 miles started to fly by. Holly.....you rock! Way to go on your first Half Ironman.
What I didn't tell you is that when Holly and I decided to run together, I knew that any time goal was done and before this I felt myself looking down at my time every few minutes. So, I hit STOP on my watch. By far the most mature thing I have ever done racing. I didn't want to be tied to it anymore, and I just wanted to finish. I put the watch away and moved through the course trying to stay positive.
My run time?......2:34. Yes, not good for me. It's ok, it wasn't my day to shine that way!
So how does all this apply to the title of this post?
From Triathlons I know that each race is going to be different much like each day. We have the choice to approach it positively! (I know this is easier said than done.)
From Triathlons I know that sometimes it is about helping others and seeing them through the finish line. Quite often we get focused on self in this sport because it is so individual. But it felt so good to set aside my agenda and help someone (and in turn she helped me) on the journey.
From Triathlons I know that just finishing makes me a winner.
From Triathlons I know that discipline is something we need in life! But don't forget to turn off the watch and slow down and take in air and breath. I am so glad that I did.
From Triathlons I know that I am capable of so much more than I often give myself credit. I think this is a lesson I will learn over and over.
From Triathlons I know that it is really great when the announcer is a good friend, because it is so fun to hear your name on the big speakers! (had to put that in there, thanks Adam!!!)
I am thankful. I am thankful for the good friends I have met in this sport (Nate, please don't retire). I am thankful for the people that showed up yesterday to cheer me on.....Shelley, Thiele, Amber R., Ellen, the T3 folks, Lisa O., Maggie (at the finish, showed me the beer tent....good lady). thank you NOAH for being at the Finish Line and offering me the last bite of your burrito and some Vitamin Water. (happy now Noah??) I am thankful for good health, please don't take it for granted. One year and counting baby!!!
Got to do a bit of a shout out for my girl Maggie.....I am so glad that I met you in Austin and got to share this experience with you! I am excited for Ironman CDA and that adventure. We are going to rock the course as only Team Magleen can! It was a blessing in disguise when I found a riding buddy and my partner in crime for Couples Triathlon. Your dedication and athleticism are truly amazing (Third place in her age group yesterday....5:36...wow) BUT what I love most is the way you come alongside and support. You allow me to just BE....for me to be okay with who I am, whatever it is that I am doing, in any given moment. You teach me to be exuberant, wild, rich, deep, and rare! You are a precious friend and irreplaceable!
SO....live full, rich and rare....and revel in ordinary and extraordinary moments....if you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you. I CAME TO LIVE OUT LOUD!!!
(Longhorn Triathlon was my final race of the season....gonna recover a bit now and then get ready for Austin Marathon.)
Team Magleen at Couples Triathlon earlier in the season!
Maggie and I after finishing Longhorn Tri...love it!! (why are these two cute girls SINGLE??)
You just gotta laugh...it makes it all better! By the way Mags....I got my tickets...to your gun show...GOOD LORD!!