September 09, 2019 - This was my first Olympic length triathlon and it was a testament to true grit
Yesterday, I completed my very first Olympic triathlon (also my 3rd triathlon ever). Unlike the 2 prior to this one, I actually took the time to check out the course before race day. My hubby, kids and I drove the bike course just so that I could be more comfortable since this would be my longest ride cycling in a race. Starting out I could see it was hilly, by the end I had convinced myself that I might have to walk this massive hill that appeared to be a 2 step incline. My hubby encouraged me to grit it out and just do my best to finish. It helped ease the pressure I had placed upon myself.
Race day came and I was excited but mostly nervous, not about the swim or the run but abou the bike course. I was afraid of not being able to unclip in time if I couldn't climb the hills. I was afraid of not being able to finish. I was afraid of getting a flat tire on the course. As soon as I came out of the water, first in my age group and saw the lead I gained for myself, my mindset shifted. I was going to push to keep that lead I had. Before I knew it the 2 step hill was there as I turned a corner. I didn't have time to be scared or panic, I shifted in the lowest gears possible and cranked. I passed people that had to walk, people that were twisting and turning to maintain momentum....it messed with my head for half a second, but then I decided then that I was going to overcome it. I climbed through the burn in my legs, through the doubt in my mind and I conquered it. I completed the course with more hills than i have every rode on and I proved to myself that I am STRONG.
After being passed by many and passing only a few on the bike course, the run came. I felt fairly good coming off the bike so I guess the brick training eventually does help with transitioning. I knew I was in the home stretch and the run would be challenging, but it is a sport I have done for a long time. I gained back some ground and finished strong in under 8 minutes for my last mile. My hubby was at the finish line to greet me with my kids and he walked up to check my time. When he told me I placed second in my age group, I thought he was lying. I nearly cried. The best part of the whole race was the support from the team, the volunteers, the park officer shouting for me and giving encouragement. The amount of kindness in this sport is phenomenal and I LOVE it!!
This summer has been incredible. I love triathlon, I love this team and I am so excited to support others and continue to persevere in my own life. Next summer the goal is a half/full iron man. I look forward to training hard and becoming closer with my teammates.