Friday, September 4, 2015

Five Years

   Last week, I hit my five-year anniversary of racing triathlons. That's just crazy to me, as I still feel like a newbie sometimes. Even yesterday, I kind of felt like I forgot how to swim. Anyone else get that feeling? You're in the pool and you just kind of feel like you're just flopping around out there? It's a joy, let me tell you.
   As with joining East Nasty, I have to blame my friend Holland on my interest in triathlon way back in 2010. While I had been toying with the idea of doing a tri for a few months, it wasn't until Holland planted the seed of signing up for Ironman Augusta 70.3 that I really started taking the idea seriously. (Sidebar - I love crazy friends who encourage me to do crazy things with them.) I soon registered for the Cedars of Lebanon sprint tri as a training race, which was held in August at that time. It was a 300 meter swim, a 16.5 mile bike and a 3 mile run. I had three goals for this race: 1) Don't die, 2) Run the entire run portion, and 3) Finish under two hours. And though it was incredibility hot and really hard, I accomplished all three and finished in 1:41:55.
   Since that August day, I have finished a full Ironman, four 70.3 triathlons and numerous Olympic and Sprints tris. I have crossed a finish line on a red carpet to thunderous applause from spectators, and I have cried alone in the middle of a park because I just couldn't run another step. I have questioned my sanity and life choices many, many, many times. I've learned that nothing tastes better than a cold Coke after a 80 mile bike ride in 95 degree weather. I can tell you the location of every bathroom and mini mart in all of Nashville, because you never know when you're going to need one during a run. I have had fish nibble on my toes during an open water swim, and thankfully, have avoided any run-ins with snakes, leeches or alligators. I can talk about races, training, paces, swim sets, heart rate and my favorite flavor of Gu (Salted Caramel) for HOURS. I know who Chrissie Wellington, Mirinda Carfrae, Andy Potts and Craig Alexander are. I have looked at a workout and thought "there is no way I can do this," but then go do it anyway. I have pushed myself further than I thought I ever could and now dream bigger because of it. I've gained strength, support and inspiration from the amazing friends I've met along the way, and hopefully have given some of that support back to them.
   It's been a wonderful journey so far, and I'm looking forward to where else it takes me.
First finish line to Ironman.

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