Wednesday, July 23, 2008
While there are many reasons to be humble, and qualifiers that dampen the measure of my success, I would rather bask in the feeling of pride and accomplishment for placing third in my age group at the triathlon Sunday.
It was another sweltering day. As I set up my transition area first thing in the morning, I was already sweating and drinking great gulps of water. The pond was full to the surface with choking weeds and floating algae. I was in the first wave, so there was nothing else to do but swim through it. People emerged covered in brown scum. I am used to swimming in weedy lakes, but this was exceptional. Still, it didn’t slow me down and as I ran up the grass to my bike I felt good.
The bike was all hills for the first 5 miles, and then evened out to rollers and flats. I decided to push as hard as I could through the hills, sparing no pain, knowing that I could get down on my aero bars and rest on the flats. The bike is the only thing I really excel at, so I wanted to do my best.
My goal for this race was actually to push harder on the run. I have always been afraid to push, for fear of bonking. I knew I could do better though, and wanted to test my limits. The run was hilly and difficult, especially since the road had just been paved and the black tar was reflecting the heat. I just kept my legs turning over and asked myself if I could take more pain. If the answer was yes, I turned over faster. When I couldn’t take any more, I just maintained. Soon, the end approached and my friends were there cheering for me. I had enough in my engine to kick in some extra speed at the finish line.
The best part was sitting with my friends at the awards as the announcer called all of our names. Everyone won something, either in his or her age group or overall. I was really happy to have such amazing friends who inspire and support me and make me feel a part of something so special. I am lucky indeed.