Some people say life begins at 40. Others of us think, "oh gosh! What have I really accomplished at this soon to be age of 40?" I mean what have we really done that is outside of our comfort zone.
I would say I have led an exciting adventuresome life as an adult trying to do things outside my comfort zone for the most part. I have traveled to the Caribbean alone and Parasailed (scary going all be myself and yet I did it). I have studied Freestyle Martial Arts to protect myself and my kids and learned Fitness Kickboxing. I have learned to Scuba Dive and played some co-ed team sports. Teaching myself to sew during college and afterwards has been fun and challenging at times. Riding my bicycle has been a very serious love since I was a kid. I have stated before in my blog how much I love flying down hills as a great reward for climbing what seemed like an endless mountain. I feel free like a little kid when I am pedaling my bicycle zipping through a trail or trying to race on the side path as cars fly by on the road.
I am currently raising two beautiful little loves of my life my sweet girls who remind me to laugh a little each day and smile.
But of all the fun adventures I have had I have never once claimed or tried to be a runner or much of an athlete.
Never having been a runner but having many runner friends over the years, I figured what could it hurt to TRY running to help me lose the pounds so generously added by having my beautiful family. Let me tell you did I get that one right. My knees hurt when I started running but with a new pair of running shoes the pain subsided and I was on my way to figuring out how to run. I was so out of shape after having kids. I couldn't even hoof it a quarter of a mile. One doctor appointment set me straight into believing I could beat this thing called getting old and having high blood pressure. I decided the very next day I would run on the days I didn't ride my bike. I wasn't sure how to do that or what it would entail but I knew I had to do this no matter what. I set a goal of running a 5K for the fall of 2011 when I began running last June and ran / walked training until I could run the whole three miles with the information I researched in numerous library books and magazines. I was determined to run to get healthier, lowering my blood pressure no matter what it took by running and biking. My little girls need me to be healthy to take care of them.
So once I figured out how to run, I raced a few 5K but never really fell in love with running like I love riding my bicycle. It gets the job done of getting healthier but maybe there was more out there for me.
Anyone who knows me, knows I tend to be a bit of an over-achiever double majored in college, never worked just one job but sometimes worked two or three jobs simultaneously. I am a woman with ambition and I let nothing stop me even if I run into a few roadblocks along the way. I plow through them, over them or around them as most of you know. So, once I figured out, hey I can run, I decided I need to make this tougher. I realize I will never be as fast as the lifetime runners but I accept a challenge so here it is. I decided, I am going to set a goal I probably won't be able to accomplish but I am sure going to try. I am going to complete a Triathlon before I turn 40. Never mind I have no access to a pool except from Memorial Day through Labor Day and rarely am I actually able to swim with my kids with me because I have to watch them constantly in the water. So, how am I going to do this? I will figure it out just like everything else I do.
Last year I made a promise to myself that I would complete a Sprint Triathlon before 40.
So a year ago I started running and riding my bikes alternating days with an occasional day off. I knew how to swim but really haven't swam much since high school physical education class and getting my certification for scuba diving a few years back. I figured I could work on that this summer once our pool opened for the season. Then, my friend Dana came upon this Triathlon and we decided this was going to be our first Sprint Triathlon. We registered for it and set the Ballwin Triathlon July 15, 2012 as our goal to achieve before 40 years old.
Uh oh! I better get moving this is coming up soon.
My number 338 is how I was known for the day. It is official. We are racing July 15, 2012
Racing down the hill. I am the first one in the bright pink tank top and royal blue helmet.
I realized a few minutes into the bike race that I forgot my bicycle sunglasses back in the transition area. Bummer!
Having fun speeding to the finish line and waving at my kids.
Sophia, while waiting for mommy, picked a lovely bouquet of dandelions.
Kaylee's bare feet crunching through the dried grass as she walks around impatiently waiting for mommy to come back from racing.
My mini cheering section.
Dana waiting for me to get back. She is a faster swimmer so she was ahead of me the whole race.
Dana running up the hill to begin the 3.2 mile running segment.
I am running up the hill to the running segment of the race.
I think I can, I think I can.
My girls playing in the wagon waiting for mom.
Sophia was my water girl.
Whoa! "Where are you going mommy?"
"Going to the finish line Sophia!"
Unfortunately, I do not have any photos from the swim segment of the race because my photog didn't arrive until after I completed the swim segment of the race but I really don't want to post pictures of me in my swimsuit anyway so no big deal.
The playground my girls played in while waiting.
Kaylee coming off the slide.
Sophia top of the whale. Kaylee front and bottom of the whale.
Kaylee sliding down.
After we completed the Triathlon Dana and I joined some of our sorority sisters that came to cheer us on for lunch. My kids and husband tagged along too. As I mentioned above my girls make me laugh so I had to share this. The restaurant told us the rice would be another 15 minutes so they gave us free soft drinks for waiting. Meanwhile, my silly girls kept telling me they were thirsty. I told them it would be just another moment and they began to chant loudly in the restaurant with Kaylee leading Sophia in, "We want milk! We want milk! We want milk!" Over and over and over. Everyone was giggling at their protest started by my two year old. I was so embarrassed that my sweet little monkeys were acting like hoodlums. Where were the manners I have brainwashed them with since they were born? I mean at least if you are going to protest in a public place use the magic word, "Please!" Boy, I am in trouble when Kaylee grows up after seeing that protest.
Overall it was a great day! My friend Dana and I learned some very valuable lessons in preparing for a Triathlon. The top 10 list of those would be:
10. Practice your transitions between swimming, biking and running so your legs are used to continuing onto the the next segment.
9. Know what type of valve connection your tires of your bike are required for proper air filling.
8. Sport Beans taste nasty.
7. Bring baby wipes to wipe your face after the race.
6. Eye Cream stings your eyes when you put it on when you are sweating, but it is necessary to prevent wrinkles.
5. Check your goggles for leaks prior to the race and practice putting on your swim caps at least once.
4. Workouts bras sometimes get twisted and stuck when you put them on really fast over your wet swimsuit.
3. Have your old mountain bike on standby disconnected from the trainer fly wheel just in case of an emergency bike issue so you don't have to forfeit.
2. Make sure to check your tire pressure before 9:00PM the night before the race. Sport's Authority and Dick's Sporting goods are only open until 10PM.
1. Have fun and don't forfeit no matter what. You trained hard and you deserve to hold the title of Triathlete.
Most of all just have Fun during the competition, don't worry about anything else. If it isn't fun why would should you do it? Right? :-)