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…

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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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2018 already?

It’s already time to think about 2018 triathlon plans!

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I have two events remaining this year – one big, one small. Then, BOOM, it’s gearing up for 2018. Already!

Here is what I’m thinking for 2018. I’m gonna’ keep a few sprints that I really like doing and try to intentionally improve on my times. Then, I’m going to do a few bigger sprints with open water. My initial thoughts are…

May 2018 – Beaverdam sprint tri – 750 ows, 15, 3
June 2018 – Rose – I’ll do it with someone if they are interested
June 2018 – Smile Train, 5th year – can’t miss it!
July 2018 – Little Uno (one mile ows swim)
Sept 2018 – OBX – distance tbd
Oct 2018 – Rose in Chapel Hill

I’m also looking at doing one or two Half IM distances as a team, doing the swim and/or bike legs. My first tri was in 2009, so it seems like a good goal to do my first Half IM distance in 2009 – 10 years later. I’m on the slow track but moving forward.

Anyone else got plans for 2018? Already signed up for the big race? I need to think more about what my specific goals are – beyond just finishing. Nothing wrong with finishing, but it’s time to get better. Focus on quality, not quantity.

You should hire an athlete!

Athletes make excellent employees

Here are my personal reasons for why you should hire an athlete! Granted, I’m a little biased. I realize that, and I’m OK with that. Read on & see what you think…

  • Goal setting. Goal setting is natural for athletes. Whether it’s a run or any type of athletic event there’s always a goal in mind, even if it’s just to finish the event. Being able to see something big, even just in concept, and committing to it is part of being an endurance athlete.
  • Being OK with being messy. Life is messy, and exercising is *very* messy. Hard work usually requires sweat – maybe literal, maybe not, but athletes understand that working hard and sweat are tied together.
  • Understanding consequences. One of the unintended consequences of signing up for events such as triathlons is the huge (did I say huuuuuge) amount of laundry! You have to be willing to have both, and there are many parallels in life & work. Creating things can be messy and can have unintended consequences.
  • Setbacks. Anyone who has any athletic experience can understand the power of a setback. Race day can take a sharp turn quickly. Being able to adjust for factors that are out of your hand – like weather, pot holes, choppy water – is a great skill that’s developed over time and with athletic performance.
  • Endurance. Long term planning at work requires the ability to pace yourself, especially through a complex project or one with multiple people/layers. Employers want people who are able to endure and be persistent over time.
  • Planning. Planning is different than goal setting. Seeing something in the distance is one thing; being able to plan backwards from that goal with smaller steps and milestones along the way is a concept that resonates very well with athletes who enjoy triathlon or other long distance sports.
  • Tools. Having good equipment (tools) makes a really big difference in performance. Being able to quantify your distance, pace…having solid running shoes…a good timing sports watch… a good support system in place…goggles that don’t leak…all those things make a huge difference. It’s best to invest in good quality rather than cut corners and suffer long term injuries. That’s true about people, technology, and just about everything!
  • Commitment. Sticking to a goal is a great skill and ability to have. It’s one thing to say you’re going to do a big event in 10 months. It’s quite another to consistently get long bike rides in, wake up at 5am, and swim miles every week over a period of time. Sacrifice & commitment are tied together in working for something that’s important.

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If you were to Google this question – “why you should hire an athlete” you will get tons of hits… see here for more  …I’m just sayin’….. people with an athletic mindset will set goals, crush them, and do it all over again – for fun! Why not put that energy to work at the office. Makes sense to me!

Did I mention that I’m available?