But let me take you back about one month ago (because I was so busy back then that I kept procrastinating posting in my blog… (poor excuse))… It was an early Sunday morning, driving from my gf's sister's bf's house in Santa Rosa to go for my training bike-ride on the Vineman course. As I was driving up on the 101, all to myself, I began to recognize the landmarks I'd been familiar with going up towards Windsor HS from supporting my cousin and friends doing the half and full Vineman the past three years. And then it started to hit me. Man, I'm actually doing my first ironman distance triathlon in a month. This is crazy. And as I'm going through this monologue, feelings of 'I can't believe I'm doing this/remember why I'm doing this' start to overcome me. It's the combination of true inspiration mixed with awe and a sprinkle of a little bit of "why?! this distance is so long!" And how does this physically look? It's tears. I'm crying because I remember how, why, and when I got started doing triathlons. If you recall, my mom passed away with cancer in October 2011. And ever since then, I have pushed myself to accomplish the tasks I feel really push my life's potential because you never know how long you'll live to see things through and in the end of it all, put it all in honor of my mom. And as a profound jump off from that, it's for all the people in my life that have been affected by diseases that hinder living life fuller than they had imagined, such as my Dad who now has Parkinson's, my friend's parents who have died from cancer, ... I had considered doing tri's for a couple years past because I used to be so intrigued when I'd watch my cousin and friend do theirs, but I had always kept saying, 'i'll wait till i'm done with grad school…' But, like they say, there is no time but now. So I signed up for my first tri (Wildflower Olympic '12) during my last semester in school, and now, about 12+ races of running and triathlons under my belt in two years, I'm signed up to do my first ironman.
So, I'm crying as I'm driving... it's a good thing... i'm so inspired… i'm so pumped!… i become humbled…
Then, already emotional without the aid of something external, one of the songs that really inspires me/gets me hyped up starts playing on the radio, not lying… don't laugh… well, you can laugh… "Firework" by Katy Perry. Aw yeah! It's the uplifting words mixed with the crescendo-ing melody/pitch… ahh.. that really brought the tears out. And then a little chuckle, laughing at myself for having an unmanly sense of motivation.
Fast forward back to this weekend… I did it. I'm an ironman.
Synopsis: wake up at 345am, eat, swim 2.4 miles, walk a little (i don't know why it was hilarious to see people, including myself, walking during the swim. i actually laughed), eat, drink, 112 miles on the bike in 90-100 degree heat, eat, drink, eat, drink, question your decision-making ability, drink, pour water all over body, start run, wait, can't run, walk, drink, eat, drink, drink, jog, walk, jog, it's still 100 degrees, drink, #2 twice, sprint to finish line a little after 9pm… oy vey. You ask how I did? The competitive person in me would say I didn't come close to my expectation of time. I did it in 14+ hours. I was hoping for about 12-13. But, does that really matter to me now that I think about it? Nope. What really matters to me, and what I came to grips with coming out of T2, is what I had been TRYING to say to myself the weeks leading up to the race–just finish. So that I did. I finished because I know not a lot of people are able or privileged to do the same. I finished because of love–the love and support I receive from friends, family, and all the volunteers and random cheerleaders out on the course. I finished because my mom was in more pain than I was yet I can say she "finished" life in glory. I walked most of the run. It's okay. As someone hollered to a suffering runner (i.e. walker) behind me, "you're moving forward, that's all that matters." Indeed.
|The camera makes me look dark.. oh wait, i am. |
(note to self: next race–not in the summer)