Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Real Talk and Triathlons

I have a story to tell you. I'll get to that.

First, a couple of weeks ago I posted a Throwback Thursday picture on my Instagram of Granny B and I on our trip around the Northeast, and one of you commented on it that you loved reading my blogs from that trip.

That comment prompted me to go back and read those blogs and laugh hysterically. And realize how much I missing blogging. This really is like my journal.

The thing is though, other people don't read your journals, so you don't monitor what you say or worry about it not being good enough. These are just excuses - real writers don't care. They write for themselves.

That's another thing that 34 years have taught me, do the things you love to do for yourself. I have to stop worrying about what other people think. Or what their goals are. Or what successes they have had. They aren't doing their things for me. I shouldn't do mine for them.

I am a work-in-progress. Today, more than ever, I can realize that.

I recently became closer to an acquaintance and as we have gotten to know each other better, we have learned things about each other. One thing is that we are very similar and sometimes I think we share a brain. The other thing I have learned from her is that I am actually very mean to myself.

I exude confidence to the people I am not close to and I would love to tell you that confidence carries through everything, but the truth is - I am VERY hard on myself. I am learning to be better. I am learning to love every part of me.

It's a battle.

I still worry every day that I will not leave a mark on this world that I can be proud of. I worry that I will disappoint my parents and grandparents. I worry that I am not living up to my full potential. 

I have to stop worrying and just start living. 

Now, your story...

A long time ago I set a goal to complete a sprint triathlon. About a month ago, I achieved that goal.

To say that I was scared out of my mind would be the understatement of the year. On Saturday, when I had to go pick up my race packet and check-in my bike, I thought my heart was going to explode.

On Sunday morning, I started my triathlon in Tempe Town Lake. For those of you who don't know - this is not a lake you would choose to swim in on any other occasion. The water was so cloudy that when you put your hand into it, it disappeared. Wearing goggles was just a formality because you seriously couldn't see anything if you wanted to. We were swimming into the sun so the glare off the water made it virtually impossible to see even the boy where we were supposed to turn. People were running into other people, I got felt up at least four times in the first 100 meters, it was a logistical nightmare!

Finally, the crowd clears out and I make it to the first buoy. I think, here's my chance to make up some time. And I start swimming freestyle. Bad move, Airplane. Bad damn move.

Next thing I know, I look up and I'm totally off course. Apparently, when you turned the first buoy, you were supposed to swim diagonally to the next one - it wasn't a square. Shit! Time to give up the freestyle, put the goggles on my head, and breast stroke the remainder of the swim.

I get out of the water and run into the transition area to dry off, get dressed, and start the bike portion of the race. I'm feeling pretty good. I get out of transition in about four minutes and I'm off on the course. About two miles in, I get a flat tire. I wish I was kidding.

Long story short, I walk my bike up to the nearest police officer and ask where I can get air in my bike. He lets me know that there is one support truck (for 1400 racers) and he will call it. It takes at least 40 minutes for the support truck to finally pull up, they load me and my bike into it and off we go to bike repair. On the way to the repair tent, the driver tells me that if they can fix it he will take me back to where he picked me up and I can finish the race.

Part of me was hoping they couldn't fix it.

They could. New tube and I'm off again. Pretty sure I'm the last person on the course, I decide that I'll just cut it a bit short. You see, there was a super sprint distance and their bike turnaround was right past transition and about 6 miles closer than mine.

I come around the corner still planning to cheat a bit, and the freaking support truck driver is there picking up signs. I can't turn around now - he'll know I cheated. Damn!

I ride on. Then I saw someone in front of me on their bike - I'm not going to be the last person on this course, so I speed up and pass her. Victory!

I finally finish the bike portion and put my hat on for the run. Again, the super sprint distance had a shorter run - I think, I'll just take their route. 

One problem, I have no idea what their route is and there is no good signage. Foiled again, I proceed to finish the 3.1 mile "run." Which was really more of a fast-paced walk for me.

But the moral of the story is: I finished! I finished a sprint triathlon under my goal time (if you subtract the time that I had to stand around waiting). But I'm not sure I'll ever do that again.

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