Sunday, July 17, 2005

I Did It!

I did it! Or, I should say, Brittany, Raquel, Kate, and I did it! To forewarn you, this may be a bit annoying because I am going to talk about the race. So skip to the bottom if you'd like. It's still kind of sinking in, but I can't believe we did it. A half-ironman triathlon! Even more so is that it wasn't as horrible as I thought it would be. I mean, it was not easy by any means, but I think with the training that we did, and the mental preparation, all of that together made me realize that we would be able to finish. To recap, it was muggy and overcast. The water was choppy, and I had a bit of an episode that really made me freak out and feel like I was going to drown a bit in the water. It's not a good feeling, people. I actually had to force my mind to calm down, because I knew if I continued to panic, I would be unable to finish (and I was going to finish, goddammit). As bad as it was, it made me realize why I do these friggin' things. I really feel as though I challenged myself to complete something that a year ago I would not have thought possible. It took both mental and physical discipline, and really made me realize that I am not comfortable unless I feel challenged in some way.

Anyway, Kate and I swam together as much as possible, waited for each other in transition, and took off on the bike together. It began to rain the moment we set off, and rained (hard) for the entire 56 miles, but the rain was actually a blessing. I've never biked in the rain before, but it was AWESOME. It was cool and refreshing, and FAR better than hot and sunny, even when it poured so hard the raindrops actually began to hurt. I got pretty good at eating and drinking while riding. Thanks to Raquel, "Big Poppa" from Ready to Die was in my head for most of the time:

Needless to say, I did not too engage in many deep thoughts, but I tried to contemplate as many non-bike thoughts as possible ("Ooh, look at all the corn." "What should I name my bike?" "Why did I do this again?" "Who in god's green earth would live in Blountsville, IN?" "Should I have more gatorade or water?" "Disgusting Clif bar." "What are we going to eat tonight at Jeff's?" "Was that a rooster?" And especially, "Oh, I see, this is why John Kerry lost.")

We found each other on the run and were able to talk and encourage each other through goddamn 13 miles of pain. The run was definitely the most physically challenging portion. I have to give so much credit to Raquel and Kate because I began to get crabby by the end I would not have been able to continue without them. I also give so so much credit to Brittany for rocking out (I'll leave the other part out) and for letting us rely on her for just about everything. So thanks, gals. I'm so proud of us!

We spent the remainder of the weekend at Jeff's parents' lake house in Culver, IN. We were so blessed to be treated with incredible hospitality -- tons of food, booze, pop, dessert, central air conditioning, and comfortable beds waited for us when we arrived. We slept in, had coffee on their pier, ate a delicious breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and eggs, and spent the rest of the afternoon resting, swimming, going out on their boat, and just generally lazing around. It was difficult to come back.

So, all in all, I've learned a couple of things about myself. First, it's always good to have friends, especially friends who are generous, kind, and supportive (and make sure you reciprocate that generosity, kindness, and support). Second, always challenge yourself! But don't get too cocky. Third, be grateful for your health. I am.

And, summer is only HALFWAY over, dammit.


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