It doesn’t get easier, you just get faster. – Greg LeMond
This quote is true and a kind of a bummer. I was kind of hoping I’d get faster AND it would get easier. Nope. Still hard and still hurts. But faster? I hope so.
May was a busy month. Starting April 19 I did a race every-other-weekend up to May 31st. Icebreaker (April 19), Wildflower (May 3), Auburn Triathlon (May 17), Tri 4 Real (May 31). I was really hoping to see if I was faster compared to last year, and while I did do Icebreaker last year, they changed the run course so it isn’t quite apples to apples. Since Tri 4 Real was the only race I’ve done in the past that was the same course, that one was my barometer. Unfortunately it was the last race of the bunch and as expected, I was a little tired.
Starting in the swim, I drafted off of someone until we caught some people in the wave before us. She zig-zagged through them and that’s where I lost her. My arms were spent and I felt sorry for myself for being tired (cue the little violin). I finished the swim with an okay time – not my best but not bad. Once on the bike my hips and glutes felt tight but I pushed on. Checking my speed on the first half of the ride I was thrilled to be riding faster than usual for this race! Then I hit the turnaround and rode back with a headwind (now cue many little violins). Thus my faster than usual time for the first half – tailwind. When I finished the bike and got into transition to rack my bike I knocked the entire rack over! My bike was still hooked on so I stood there and held on so the other two racked bikes didn’t fall to the ground. Now feeling like a doofus, I just stood there and couldn’t move. I looked around, probably said a cuss word or two (earmuffs kids), then another athlete and the TBF (Total Body Fitness) crew came over and fixed it. I was so glad I didn’t cause any bikes to fall down! And I was a little embarrassed. Maybe. Just a little. After the TBF crew got it all fixed I threw on my running shoes, grabbed my race number and visor and ran off. My hips and glutes were still tight but nothing too painful so I tried to just keep a good, consistent pace throughout the run. And eventually I made it to the finish! I did take a minute off my best time from the previous year so even though (or maybe because) it wasn’t easy, I was faster!!
I do have to share my highlight of the day, which I stumbled upon by chance. After all awards were handed out, food and drink consumed, socializing over, my family and I packed up for the day and decided to head home. The TBF crew was cleaning up and everyone was going home. I stopped and had my kids use the bathroom near the finish, and while I was waiting for them to wash their hands I saw a woman in the distance running towards the finish. I figured it was someone out for some exercise, but no. She had a number on. She was finishing the race and there was someone not far behind her as well. These two women were the very last finishers. The announcer started to call out their names. I stood there, with my kids and husband, and we cheered for them. The two racers both had big smiles and did a couple fist pumps. As fun as it is to see the first racers finish and win a race, it is even more amazing to stay and watch the very last finishers. They show you true courage and determination. So while I might be getting faster, that pales in comparison to these two women who pushed through whatever obstacles were in their way and finished their race despite being the last ones to do so. That made my day and I was so glad to share that with my children.
Until next time!