As I moved some things around in the closet, I started thinking about where I started in this sport, and where I am now. I remember my first triathlon in 2008... I remember every detail about it. I especially remember how the air temperature was 42 degrees when we got out of the pool. I rode on a hybrid bike. I ran in a bike jersey and workout pants. Fast forward to this past May when I rode my Masi carbon road bike, complete with aerobars, wore actual triathlon gear, and qualified for Team USA at the Long Course Duathlon National Championships. I earned a spot for the World Team, but ultimately turned it down because of expenses. Regardless, I qualified for the team and that was a huge accomplishment.
By no means do I consider myself fast. I think of myself as pretty average and subscribe to the idea of "If I can do it, anyone can." What it comes down to is determination, persistence, and never walking away from things when they get tough. I don't think that what I do is overly exceptional. I'm just a girl who wakes up before the sun comes up, works out, goes to work, comes home, takes care of things around the house, sometimes works out again, and then goes to bed, just to do it all over again the next day.
Triathlon training gives me time to self reflect. People ask me what I think about when I am swimming for over an hour. They comment that it must be boring to stare at a black line at the bottom of the pool for lap after lap. My arms sometimes get a little tired, but for the most part they operate on autopilot and I don't even think about what I am doing. After about 500 yards, my heart rate stabilizes and I just cruise. I bought a new training watch that keeps up with my laps, so I don't have to even think about hitting the lap button every 100 yards to keep up with my distance. Instead, I just think about everything going on in the world. I think about Justus and how his spirit will get me across the finish line. I think about my kids at school and wonder what they are doing at home... I wonder what they see at home and if they are safe inside their homes. I think about what I might blog about. I think about what Demetrius is doing at work, I think about the person swimming next to me and wonder what they are training for. Sometimes I try to race that person to the end of the pool. I wear earplugs when I swim so things are very quiet. There are times that the pool is crowded and people are yelling, throwing pool toys across the water, doing cannon balls, participating in lessons and classes, and I just tune it all out and swim. Sometimes I look at my watch and realize I am nearly finished with my workout. I have a moment of self reflection and realize that I could keep swimming that pace all day if I had to. It's an amazing feeling.
Ironman is two weeks away. I have been training specifically for this race since April of this year. I have already started to wonder what my next challenge will be after this race is over. It's not that I am wishing time away or anything. I just know that I always need a goal and some sort of direction or else I train aimlessly and that's no fun.
For now, I need to lay down for a little bit before my next workout of the day: BRICK!!!! That workout will be a 2 hour bike ride and a 1 hour run, bringing today's workout total to just under 5 hours. Seriously, what will I do three Saturday's from now? Sitting on my ass is NOT an option.