Being fairly new to triathlon, this is a concept I’m trying to embrace at each race, but not always with success. I usually feel like I did “fine” in the swim, I pushed hard on the bike (maybe I could have gone harder?), and by the time the run comes around my mind tells me “slow down and it won’t hurt so much” or “why didn’t you do the aquabike?” (only swim and bike). I’ve sometimes come across the finish line feeling like I could have given it just a bit more. A sign of a how hard you pushed yourself can be how horrible you feel once you’re done. Sounds fun doesn’t it? But really the pain is temporary and the feeling of pushing those limits and accomplishing more than you thought you could is indescribable.
At my most recent race, TBF Ice Breaker Triathlon, I saw a gal (who I now know is Susannah) ahead of me the last couple of miles of the run. As I was slowly closing that gap I heard someone tell her that she was the first female. I had no idea what wave she started in since the age on her leg had rubbed off (at this race the women had two wave starts: 34 and under, then 35 and up. And even though I told the race directors I was 32 they wrote 43 on my leg and put me in the 2nd wave. So rude. But I digress…) Either way I made a decision to try and pass her. So with about half a mile left I dug deep, tapped into the feeling of painful speed from my track workouts, passed her and got to cross the finish line as the first female! While I might not have pushed as hard as I could have during the entire run (or race), I know that I at least pushed hard as I could on that last half mile. I love the photo below because it shows how hard we fought to finish strong (we hugged soon before this pic was taken. Triathletes are the coolest). So while I might always question if I could have gone harder in a race, I know at least at this race I gave it my all in the last half mile. So here’s to pushing the limit even more and feeling like [crap] at the next race!