Monday, August 25, 2008

Race Report: Sportsplex Super Sprint

"Taking charge of your body can help you take charge of your life. And that power can help you go wherever you want to go, every single day." - CHERYL BRIDGES TREWORGY, member of five U.S. World Cross-Country teams

1.5 miles into the run portion of Saturday's race, I reached the top of the first hill, wanted to throw up more than I can ever remember, knew I had to do this hill again during the second loop of the run, and actually thought, "This might be my first DNF."

Yes, a super sprint triathlon really can be that hard.

* * *
I don't want to do this.

That was my very first conscious thought when the alarm went off on Saturday morning.

It had been a very difficult week at work, a very full week of training, and I just wasn't feeling it. The very last thing I wanted to was 'look for the pain...again.'

Sleep in, big breakfast, mimosa, watch TV all day? Yes.
Race? Not so much.

But, just as I've done SO many times in the last two years of training, I. GOT. UP.

I thought about the message I'd received at the Y the day before and I put my feet on the floor, more as an act of faith than with any real intention.

Twenty minutes later I was at the race site. Got checked-in, bodymarked, and headed back to car to get my gear. Knowing very clearly the state of my mental toughness, I knew that I needed some SERIOUS motivation. I pulled out my number and the big marker I keep in my transition bag (just in case I run out of time and need to bodymark myself) and wrote P!'s name (yes, with an exclamation point) on the back.

I've known P for a few years. His family graduated from Genesis Home's Family Matters program and a member of his family now works at the shelter, teaching other families what she learned during her time in transition. P often talks about how much he loved living at Genesis Home. He is bright-eyed, enthusiastic, and always smiling - despite the hard times that life continues to throw his way. I ran this race with P in front me because I knew that he would have absolutely LOVED to have been out there that morning. I needed a gratitude check and dedicating the morning to P was just that.

* * *
Not surprisingly, the race was a tough one for me.

Still, I gave it everything I had to give on this particular day, audibly repeating P's name several times during the run. Thanks to him, I didn't DNF. Instead, I ended up with my fastest swim, bike, and run efforts ever in a tri; placed 3rd in my age group (by 3 seconds!); and remembered how important it is for my racing - and my life - to have a greater purpose.

Many, many thanks to my sister, brother-in-law, and Sage Endurance teammates for the cheering and support throughout the day!

Swim, 400m, 7:51 (1:58 / 100m)
Bike, 12 mi, 36:49 (19:56 mph)
Run, 3.1 mi (or a little shorter!), 25:49 (8:20 / mi)

Total Time, 1:12:28, 16/97 Women, 3/17 Age Group