I spent a great part of last week talking with athletes who were preparing to race on Newfoundlake in NH at the Mooseman Tri series. There was an Oly on Sat and a 70.3 on Sunday. The forecast was grim, the course is so tough on a sunny day forget about torrential rains and the nerves and anxiety was great. It's really the first big race of the season for many around New England. As of Saturday night, I knew everyone was ready.
Sunday morning the alarms buzzed here in our home and we all chuckled as we looked outside at the crazy wind and rain and read 49 on the thermometer. ok... here we go. Off to a new 5K here in town. To set the stage just a bit for that here is a bit of sobering data. The county I live in here in Maine has been recorded as the UNhealthiest county in Maine. Perhaps New England. I am not sure, I block that one out. The obesity rate is High. Very high. That's why I was super excited to have a new road race pop up here in town. We have a sprint tri that occurs in July now too. That was also a wonderful addition to the summer actiivities around here but honestly, a 5K walk/ run is more welcoming for those who aren't already involved with sports.
Despite insanely bad weather, people came!!!! Some ran and some walked. Some of us were racing for the 'upteenth' time and others were doing their First EVER race!!!! Remember, it was POURING. Not raining... Pouring. And it was cold. And believe me, lounging on a couch with a hot coffee in your hand watching the news would have been pretty darned nice! And, even my parents came to watch! ( They live >60 min away!!!) Truly, the most dedicated parents in the world. Thanks Mom and Dad!!!
9:00 and we were off. My husband and I hustled down the road and my 3 boys all cruised along behind. They ran with one of their best friends and we had many friends and familar faces races around us as well. There were two of us TriMoxie running. Joanna, knocked 2:20 off her PR!!!!! She took 3rd overall. I ran 2 steps ahead of Mark ( my hub) until about 2.8 miles in when he just left me. oops. How does he do that???? He nearly broke 19 min with a 19:02 and I hit a PR with a 19:14 and took 1st. I was psyched with my time. But More psyched to turn around, and after only a brief minute or so, I saw Cameron ( my almost 13 y.o.) flying in at 22:21. Wow. A minute later, Tommy ran through the puddles to 23:20! I jogged down the road to see Nick. Nick and Gavin ( my boy's best buddy and son of our best friends ) were running to the line. Gav was ~10 yards back. I screamed " Get him!" :) He did. But, Nick fought back and the two Sprinted THROUGH a huge puddle and crossed together. Grit.
I watched for the next 30 min while person after person crossed the line. So much success for getting out of bed on a cold rainy Sunday and doing something fun and active to encourage healthy living.
From there, I changed into dry clothes and started my run home. I had about 50 more min to do. I felt reallllllllly cold and VERY hungry but I was out of gel. oops. I flagged Mark down as he drove by and grabbed a warmer shirt and a bite of power bar. All set. I headed off but within 5 min a car flew by me and hit the deep puddle Perfectly and sent a title wave of water ON my FACE and soaked me to the bone. Again. I also stepped left to avoid this ( unsucessfully) and stuck my foot Underwater. Ok. SO much for that!
I ran on. And, I'm happy to say, I just felt better and better as the miles clicked away.
The other part of the day.
Wow. That is all I can say. Wow. I spent the next several hours texting back and forth with people on site and clicking the athlete tracker. I was just blown away by how nervous and excited and PROUD I was feeling. I had happy tears in my eyes all day long.
You can see what everyone did specifically on my Facebook TriMoxie page but let's just say this.... they were ALL SO TOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Three athletes of mine raced, and they all earned spots to the World Championships for 70.3 in September. Kim won her age group, Marisa took 5th and Tammy took 10th!!!!
Meanwhile, back at home, another tough ass lady was out in this weather working through 2 long runs!!! And, she rode 100 miles Yesterday! Wow!!!! That is TOUGH stuff!
It's just an incredible feeling to share this with them. You know.. we are all so hard on ourselves. I lump myself into that pot.
We feel guilty if we miss a swim or a ride. We feel discouraged if we dont' hit our 100s on the same interval or if our watts are low and our run pace off. We get mad at ourselves when legs feel dead and energy wanes.
Stop. We all have to stop. You know why?? We are DOING IT! This is a somewhat extreme lifestyle. It's not "normal." ( whatever that is....)
I have had the pleasure and been lucky enough to get to know these people who hired me over the year or two in some cases. They took a risk with their training and asked me to help. They are people who are SO busy with other aspects of life. Children, spouses, jobs!!!! We all try So hard to fit in these hard swim, bike , run workouts day after day after day after day after day! It never ends. And sometimes it's cold or wet or you just do not want to do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The exhaustion that comes along with trying to schedule a 2 hr bike ride and a run into a nice family day or a work day or a day when your son tells you last minute that he has a concert at 1:30.. it's hard!
We have to do the best we can do. Many wonder why. Why do this?
I can't always put it into words and therefore I don't usually try. It's a feeling. I think if you asked the athletes who crossed the muddy finish line in Bristol, NH yesterday if it was worth it, you would have a unanimous response. Just my guess.
I am still feeling so much excitement and renewed love for this sport. Renewed love for this lifestyle.
I feel so lucky to be able to help people grow a love for this like I have. Thank you guys!!! I am SO PROUD of you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All of you out training and preparing and those of you who Crushed it yesterday!!!
WAY TO GO!