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A Year Ago Today

Posted Apr 18 2010 8:36am

sheer determination as I closed in on the finish line. yay!

A year ago today, I was in my very first race. It was a triathlon turned duathlon due to pool problems. A year ago, I got up early in the morning and ran (sort of) 1 mile, biked 6 miles and ran (sort of) 1 mile. It was a tough race because I’d never done anything like that before. If you would have told me a year before that that I would ever have been running, much less in a multisport competition, I would have looked at you like you were nuts. It wasn’t something I ever expected to do, until I decided to do it.

Deciding to become a triathlete was the very best decision I have ever made for myself. I’m not a great one. I’m not even a good one. I come in at the back of the pack. I can’t always run the full distance. Races make me nervous as hell.

But that first race hooked me. I had to walk in both of the running miles, primarily because I had been training on the treadmill and didn’t realize how different road running was. That first race exhausted and exhilarated me all in the same moment. It was hard and it was something I went into not knowing if I could finish. But I did cross that finish line, running.  Last year, I completed two sprint triathlons too. The first one was crazy tough, the second one was better.

Like anything else, with practice and determination, this stuff gets easier. I have my first triathlon of the season scheduled for next Saturday. As you know, I screwed up my toe and haven’t done much training because I couldn’t get my sneakers on. I figured I’d bag this race and volunteer instead.

But this morning, at the time when I would have been done with my race last year, I went out for a walk, maybe a run. It depended on how my toe felt. Surprisingly, it felt fine. And my walk became my first run in two weeks. 3.2 miles. I walked a little bit, because even though my toe felt better, my stamina needs a little work again, but the run went far better than I’d hoped. With the walking, I managed an 11:52 pace.

In a year, I’ve gone from barely being able to run (my second mile in that first race was more walking than running) to being able to hold my own on the road. Not to mention, I really, really enjoy it now.

So I’m thinking, if I can get a couple of good workouts in this week, maybe I’ll tackle this race next weekend. I won’t be as trained as I’d hoped but I should be able to cross the finish line. And really, that’s all that counts.

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