Monday, May 24, 2010

triathlete

saturday was my triathlon, the woman of steel. and if you'd please excuse me, i'd like to toot my own horn here for a minute.

(my gear)

when i signed up for the triathlon i was six weeks postpartum. i had 29 pounds to lose to be at my pre-Penny weight (and another eleven after that). i could barely run a block or so. i had no clothes that fit. i was miserable in my body.

but i'd been there before, three years ago. and i know that bodies are remarkable and love to be pushed to new heights. so i set my sights really high. i've been thinking about a triathlon for years, but they seemed so...not for regular people. just for super athletes. but whatever, i just made a human so could it be harder than that?

so i trained. and trained and trained. five days a week for the last six months. it was my master and i was it's slave. it was tough. grueling. it was 5 a.m. mornings at the gym. late morning walks until i could run, pushing the girls in the (falling apart) jogger. it was swimming, biking, weights, running. it was counting every calorie i put in my mouth. it was learning new sport (and it's language). it was spending money on equipment i didn't know i need (hello biking shorts with PADDING!). it was choosing every single day that i wanted it; that i was going to make it happen. it was finding all new ways to motivate myself.

as the race approached i started to get really nervous. i felt as prepared as i could have been physically, considering where i had started. i did the entire race the saturday before at the gym. i knew i could swim 300 meters, bike 12.8 miles and then run 3 miles. but there was so much unknown. i've never done one of these and i only know four people who have. i called them and had them talk me through it again and again.

me: "are you sure i can't run into the bathroom and change into clothes after my swim?"
me: "are you sure i won't die?"
me: "what if my swimsuit rips in half?"
me: "what if i get a flat tire?"
me: "what happens if i die?"
me: "what if someone kicks me in the face while we're swimming?"
me: "what if someone faints when they see my body in all those (too) tight clothes?"

i think i was more nervous about the race than anything else i've done in a long time. i'd invested so much in training for the race, i just didn't want to blow it. i'd pictured myself crossing the finish line at least six times a day for the last six months. and if i didn't cross it, i'd be heartbroken.

devastated.

but,

i crossed finish line.


i did it.

jayson was waiting for me right over the finish line. i grabbed him, and he kept repeating to me, "i'm so proud of you. you did it. i'm so proud of you." we both cried, and the entire world melted away. in that moment it was only he and i. every once of pain and every sacrifice was worth it to feel what i felt then. it is almost indescribable. i was so proud of myself and so thankful for my body. it is a moment i will remember for the rest of my life. i kicked butt.



(my biggest fans)

of course, i didn't literally kick butt. i finished in the dead middle of the pack. that's all i wanted and all i expected. but, i did have the 14th fastest transition time at the first transition (i killed the transitions).

they had to modify the race since it was 40 degrees, raining and freezing. they switched the swim to an additional run. that wasn't my favorite, but i was also glad i didn't have to ride my bike and run wet. run, bike, run.

(joy, ryan, teresa and haylee came to cheer me on)









this race, the woman of steel was inspiring. it is an all woman triathlon and i saw ladies from all walks of life. some young, some old. some fit, some seeking to be fit. i was there alone, but many were there with friends and family. the energy was palpable. we got an email that included everyone's reason for doing the triathlon (we had to submit it with our application) and the reasons were varied; some were funny and some were heartbreaking. when i looked around during the race i knew we all had different reasons for racing, but that we were all seeking a common goal. to finish. to find some healing. to be triathletes.


and now i can count myself among them. i can call myself a triathlete.

i am a triathlete.

i am a woman of steel.

i'll never forget it.

24 comments:

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Congrats Heidi, you SHOULD be proud.

Ruth said...

- wow - congratulations!

Jan said...

I think if you complete a tri, you are MORE than allowed to toot your own horn!! How awesome, congrats!

Sharalea said...

You are amazing!! So proud of you--you worked so hard & you MADE IT HAPPEN. What an awesome lesson for your girls--we can do ANYTHING if we're willing to work hard & DO IT.

You are looking awesome, your cheer team is the cutest, and YOU GO GIRL!! :)

Krista said...

i am just so excited for you and proud to know you! it truly is an amazing experience. congratulations!

buttercup said...

Heidi, you are so inspiring! Way to go!

Shelly said...

You rock! I am so proud of you. It took serious guts to make that goal and stick to it. You look fabulous, your ARE fabulous! (your post made me cry) Congratulations just doesn't express the emotion I have for you. I just want to give you a most sincere compliment that I think that you are awesome.

shannon said...

Way to go Heidi!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kanko and Jade said...

Congratulations!!!!! You're AWESOME!!

Katy said...

um...ok...im glad you didn't end up calling me back and telling me this story over the phone. reading it on your blog allowed me to cry in private. hahaha...im not even kidding I had goosebumps. Way to go sister! Im proud of you. Maybe someday I will get off my @$$ and do something.

Alison said...

I'm so proud of you! That is amazing! I've done marathons but no triathalons and seeing you do it makes me want to try! How far did you have to run since they cut out the swim? And where did you find a bike? That's the thing that would kick my butt in a triathalon - the biking. I think I need to work on my balance : ). Also, I always think this - but your girls are adorable. And I love Penny's sweatshirt!

Denise Robertson said...

Now I've been inspired. I'll have to start googling one in my neck of the woods.

Ruth said...

You totally rock...

austinamasandra said...

YOU. ARE. AMAZING!!!!!!!! I am so proud of you, I could never do that, YOU ROCK menina!!!

Freedom Warrior said...

You are so amazing and you know that if we could have driven there in time we would have been there!

j@nAe said...

You made me cry. NO ONE makes me cry. But you made me cry. I am SO proud of you.

Elizabeth said...

Wow, Heidi. Awesome.

I am inspired by your dedication and what it took to actually complete this. I have never done a tri, but when I crossed the marathon finish line for the first time, I fell apart. So I feel like, in some small way, I know a bit of that emotion. And it's incredible.

Congratulations!!

Scott Campbell said...

Nice Work Heidi!! You are an inspiration, I have always thought about tris, but never done a real one only a mini in High School. Your story is motivational and I think you ROCK, way to go!!!!!

k e n d r a said...

you are so amazing! and you look super hot in your gear. like charlie's angels hot.

Owner of the Band said...

I'm bawling like the baby inside me. I love friends and hormones!! Nice job babe!!!

Elisa said...

Wish I could have been there :( I am so proud of you babe! I will be doing a tri in the next year... that's my goal!

Natalie. said...

So.inspired.

M*10-e said...

heidi - you.are.my.heroine! Thanks for inspiring me to stop making excuses to exercise regularly - no triathlon for me, but daily exercise is surely possible! Congrats!

darcie said...

Way late to say it but CONGRATULATIONS! I knew that you'd do it! I had goosebumps reading your post and I think that you are awesome! Way to go, Heidi! I'm so impressed!