The last race that almost didn’t happen!

My triathon season for 2017 is over. It’s been a long one (since April 2 and through Oct 8). Yesterday I did the Ramblin Rose in Chapel Hill…that’s where this whole journey started back in 2009. I’ve been talking about this particular race with some friends since the beginning of the year, literally since January. I had signed up for several events and just ASSumed that I had also signed up for this one since I was planning on being there. This pic shows that I finished, but this is how it started…

rose 1

Well, come 3:30pm on Saturday I go to check my bib # and it’s not there. All my friends have a bib #. But not me. So I start checking my emails to confirm my registration and there are none. Nothing. The time of 3:30 pm is important because packet pickup ends at 4pm and it’s in Chapel Hill, about 45 minutes away from me if I had left that second. They had said that you could still sign up at packet pickup. There was literally NO way for me to get there and sign up in person. There was also literally NO emergency contact info (name, email, phone, etc) to find anywhere. On Saturday afternoon, a few hours before the morning of the race, I did not know if I was going to be able to participate in my last race – and one of my favorites – of the season.

I was freaking out!! The only thing I could do was to send a message via social media on their FB page. I did. And I waited. I kept trying to formulate a Plan B in my head. IF I can’t race tomorrow, I’ll cheer for my friends. I’ll take pics. I’ll be the best cheerleader ever! But I’m super F pissed at myself. How could I NOT sign up for something I’ve talked about since January!? Just how crazy AM I!?

Somewhere later the people at Ramblin Rose message me that yes, I can sign up at 6:30am onsite. (No cost mention, just that I can.) So for the bargain price of $100, I’m back in the game! My friends meet me at 6am, we drive over, I sign up paying nearly double what I thought I was going to, all is good.

Swim? good. Bike? good.

WAIT – it was good until half way through and I get a flat. Thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump. Damn. I have no tools, no tube, no nothing. Shit. It’s over. I just paid $100 to swim 5 laps today. Awesome. My first DNF.

I tell a rider passing me while I’m on the side of the road to let the next volunteer know that I have a flat. Maybe someone can help or at least give me a ride back so I don’t have to walk it 4-5 miles back. Then an athlete named Shelley stops & says she can help me fix it! …really?? Well, she could have – but the tube was totally gone. Neither of us had a tube even though she did have tools. She tried putting in air with the co2 cartridge, but it wouldn’t hold air. So, after some time, I thanked her profusely and told her to finish her race! Don’t waste any more time here, it’s over for me but go!! I call Jason from the side and, still cheering for others passing me, I tell him it’s over. I’m totally flat, no extra tube, no tools, no help. Lots of cussing. I’m so pissed. IMG_2274

And then, someone from the sag/helping crew shows up. Her name is Sophie & she has tools AND A TUBE. She was like an angel mechanic. While she’s working on it I call J back and tell him that I might be back in the game…if he doesn’t hear from me again then I’m back in! She magically fixes it like the badass that she is, and soon I’m on my way. I thank her as I’m riding away. The kindness of strangers at this event was really amazing. Such support and genuine concern for everyone on the course. I ride away. Come into the transition & see J with the boys! This is the first race they have been to so it was exciting and also very emotional given the way things have gone with this event.

rose 2I’m off on the run. About half way in, someone calls my name – it was Shelley, the one who helped me first on the bike. She recognized my TriMafia gear/shirt. She runs up to me & high-5s me, saying she was so glad to see me and that I made it back, got help, etc. Then, as I’m coming back I see Cathy starting the run. And then as I’m rounding the finish I see Parker and he wants to run me in through the finish line. I told him I needed his help & he was ready! So for the first time, I ran the finish chute with my youngest.

 

I know ONE thing I’m doing during the off season. I’m learning how to change a tire! For real this time. No messing around.

But here are some pics of my first 2009 Ramblin Rose. I printed everything out, making sure I knew everything and was prepared. I found this folder when I was looking for something else this summer and it made me smile. This is also my first little one, Ethan, at 11 months. This is how it all began!

 

 

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Own that $hit!

Perspective is everything, right?

Who you hang around – in person or virtually – determines where your “normal” is, right? If you hang around people who drink a lot, that’s normal. If you hang around people who exercise a lot, that’s normal. If you hang around people who are creative, that’s normal. If the people in your life are kinda’ jerky, that’s your normal. If you hang around people who are Ironman triathletes, that’s normal. On & on & on & on…  The idea of normal becomes very relative to where you are in your life journey. It’s also easy to forget that not everyone shares the same normal as you, or will see you as you see yourself.

Normal

Today I went to my ear doctor and figured since I was there, I should ask about ear plugs that are better than what you get at the drug store. So I mentioned that I swim 2-3x a week and do triathlons. This had not come up in previous visits. She asked me how long of a swim I was doing (since I mentioned I had one coming up & wanted to get my ear problem fixed before then). I told her the swim was just under a mile, but that I had done the Half IM swim back earlier this summer as well.

Silence & shock. More silence. The sound of silence.

Silence-header

Finally she said, “…WOW! those are real triathons!”

It’s easy to forget that most people DON’T swim regularly, don’t train for swims, or do triathlons at all. We’re a strange bunch. But it was a good reminder that even on days I don’t feel like a badass, it really is pretty cool that I can swim a mile. I wanted to jump off the table & say “Yessssss, I get it, I might not look like I can do that but I can!!” It was one of those moments where her medical degree and my triathlon experience felt equal. Sometimes there’s a big disparity between a doc & a patient…like they are so much better than you. I could almost feel the equality gel between us, nearly tangible. It almost made her more willing to help me with the ear plugs now that she knew I wasn’t just piddlin’ around in the water. I was a “real” athlete so she should give me some legit options with my ears. It didn’t make me mad or offend me, but I did notice the dynamic between us shift a bit. Very interesting. I’m guessing that as a female ENT, with a very pretty presence (hair, makeup, heels, thin, kinda’ sparkly) she has felt that exact shift once or twice herself.

I def left there feeling awesome about myself. Own that badass $shit about yourself! Anything that makes you feel powerful, strong, resilient, and a badass….own that $shit every single day!

earplugs pink

So I left with a cheap pair to try out before doing custom plugs that are almost $200. I’ll see how it works! Hopefully that will help with my ear issues. In the meantime, I’m gonna’ own it! =) Hope you do too!

training day 1

Very tired after a long training day. Doubtful & hopeful, all at the same time. 9/4/17

 

Diving into fear

Unicorns and diving boards

This has absolutely nothing to do with triathlon but I *must* share this with y’all. I’ve been going to Optimist pool for a while now, and they have that deep dive pool with the 2 diving boards. One is quite tall, but the shorter one is about 3-4 feet off the water. It’s been my nemesis for the past 2 years. See the pic below? There’s the tall one, and then the one to the left of it which is the smaller one. Doesn’t look scary at all until you stand on it. 
optimist diving pool
 
I keep seeing it and thinking to myself – “you can do it! You did it over & over when you were a kid! It’s not that tall, just do it!” But as you know, fear can be immobilizing and paralyzing and speak loudly in your head saying “nope, not todayyou cannot do this!
 
At the beginning of the summer I did jump off the board, feet first. But I could NOT convince myself to dive. Perspective is everything, and looking at the board from the concrete is like, meh. But standing on its edge and looking down into the water is a completely different perspective. It feels very high, and very uncomfortable even though it’s the low board.
 
On Sunday we took the kids to the pool and I told Parker (6) that if he was brave enough to jump off the board, I would dive off the board. He had been wanting to for a while – sound familiar? – and if he did it I knew I had to step up. He did it!! And there was a part of me that was like, aaaaaaaw crap. Because now it was on me. Once he did it he loved it & couldn’t get enough.
 
This was the day before the pool closed for the summer and there was a short line. So there was pressure knowing people were behind me. So I did it! Even though I was scared I dove TWICE off the board! The second time gave me a headache 😉 but I did it. I’ve been chasing that unicorn for two years, thinking about it and getting pissed at myself every time I didn’t do it. 
unicorn from pinterest
Fear can be such a road block for doing things we want to do – whether it’s a physical challenge, mental block, relationship thing, or something related to work. I was SO glad I did it, especially knowing it was the end of the season and I wouldn’t have another chance until May 2018….and that was just way too long. Unacceptable to let something like that get in my head. Really glad I did it. Hope you can catch your unicorn soon, too!