I did it! I finished a full triathlon!!
On Sunday, I was part of the SheROX Philly tri. This sprint tri includes a .37 swim in the Schuylkill River, a 15.5 (hilly) bike ride, and a 3.1 mile run. Yikes! I haven’t looked up my race times as of yet but that is of little importance to me right now! I finished by running across the finish line… that’s all that matters to me at the moment.
For a little background, last year I was part of a relay team with a friend. Last year all I had to do was swim, but I enjoyed the day so much that I decided to train for the entire tri myself. I won’t bore you with details on my training before the race. 🙂 What I will share about training and this race is that it took me outside of my comfort zone in so many ways. I am not a natural athlete, so this was a way for me to push myself to become an athlete – and honestly up to race day I struggled with identifying myself as an athlete.
In the final weeks of training and tapering, I started to think about all that I had put into this race, and all that my family (and friends) sacrificed for me to compete and just get in one more workout. As I got closer to the race, some days I felt strong and powerful, and other days I wanted to throw up just thinking about the race. I was told this was a good place to be right before a race.
What sticks out to me the most about training and racing is that I reclaimed a part of me! A part of me that has been lost for a few years in between a college degree, a masters degree, a career, having babies, raising babies, homeschooling, writing. The list could go on of all the things that could have kept me from training for this race, but instead I looked it all in the eye and determined that I was going to be a bit selfish and do something for me! And I’m so glad I did.
The race was great and brutal at the same time. The day started early around 4:30. Once I got to transition and set up, it was just a matter of minutes before we were getting lined up to race. The swim went really well. I kept a steady pace through out the swim and just kept thinking, “Thank you God for a beautiful day to swim.” When I made my way to the end of the swim course, I spotted Keith along the shore and gave him a thumbs up. He returned a wave 🙂
Then it was off to transition for the bike. I have to admit, I was most worried about the bike. While I have done cycling classes throughout the year, I don’t’ have a lot of actual road time – for a number of reasons. I also heard the bike course was brutal – a couple of my friends who raced it last year filled me in on what to expect. I was as prepared as I could be yet not quite prepared for the ongoing hills and two huge hills! I did take a little tumble when another bike and I briefly touched on the wet bridge, but we both bounced back up and kept on going. And for those of you who know me and my “love” for flowing blood, I wiped it off and kept on going. Yes, I did have the medical tent clean it after the race.
I finished the two loops of the (brutal) bike ride and transitioned into the run. I knew I was only 3.1 miles from the end. My race goal from the beginning was always to have fun, enjoy the day and run across the race line. Because of this, I didn’t over push myself with the start of the run – my hamstrings were also starting to spasm a bit, which didn’t help much. And in all honesty, a lot of ladies were walking the final part of the race – although there were some 50 and 60 year old ladies passing me . How’s that for inspiration?!?!
I did run across the finish line and went straight to Keith. 🙂 My husband (and best friend and coach and nutritionist and motivator and “get to the gym” encourager) has been so wonderful to support me in this race and all its training. I couldn’t have done it without him. As he and I have said through so many things over the past 14 years, “Go Team Whitmore!” My boys have also been so wonderful to support me and encourage me through all the times I had to go workout. As soon as we got home from the race, Cade took my medal and hung it up next to my medal from last year. Kory’s first question was “mommy, did you win?” I also couldn’t have raced today without my in-laws coming up to stay with the boys for the weekend!
As crazy as it sounds and as brutal as the race course was at times, I’m looking to race again next year.
Who is going to join me?
Come on… you know you want to try something for yourself! 🙂