Shake It Up
This year, so far, I have felt like a piece of Snow White glitter in the world's largest snow globe. Sometimes, I feel like I'm being tossed around, other times I'm falling in slow motion following and being followed by the souls closest to me, and few times, I am floating all alone. Don't mistake any of those scenarios in my shimmering life as being gloomy; I have loved every moment.
I might have raised the delicate globe with the palm of my hand, shaking vigorously, by committing to a triathlon. I enjoyed hearing the air bubble create a pocket against the glass of my training. In six months time, I rekindled my childhood love for the water, I got my bike out on the road (a first in years), participated in two duathlons, and was introduced to open water swimming in my wet suit (read: sausage casing). My vocabulary expanded as I learned a whole new language: clipless pedals (but really...they are CLIP IN pedals, sheesh), chamois (pronounced SHAMMY), tri slide; brick workouts, transition; I used the following phrases on the regular: invisible suitcases (when your arms are DEAD following a hard swim), lady bits (as in my lady bits, on this bike, are killing me), fuck, this is an expensive sport (commonly shared with ANY triathlete who said well, you need to get a...); my behavior changed slightly to include: toddler-like tantrums while trying to get comfortable with road cycling, tourettes-esque outbursts following a great workout or race, an obsession with finding THE PERFECT goggles, frequent visits to Boston Market for a #1, a serious drive to do something different, and do it as best I could.
I took many deep breaths before gently placing the globe on the table, watching the flurry unfold, like the ripple effect. That was the day before my first triathlon.
The universe responds with me not getting a race chip at the expo, weather warm enough to heat the river to a 'scorching' 81.5 degrees (not 'wet suit legal'), torrential downpours and lightning storms delay the swim start by two hours, only to clear the skies for summer sunshine. My start delay caused enough anxiety that I almost puked over my already water logged feet. My pre-race nutrition was consumed, more than an hour before my start and I was exhausted of standing around. But I think I saw Blue and he looked glorious. Finally, the field self-seeded and I got paired up to walk off the dock with Scuba Steve (full on face mask/snorkel). We sat on the edge with seconds to spare before we were whistled off.
The swim took forever, going by so quickly. Time almost seemed to stop. The warm cloudy water rushed from behind giving me a great push through 600 meters only to fight me while I cut across to towards transition. I moved like a slug, hardly dealing well with being upright, to row 14 where I'd find my crap. I took my time drying my feet, as I choked down a gel and dug around my bag for socks. Ah, socks in the shoes...with my sneaker balls. Where's my helmet? Glasses? Extra gels? Oh my, how could this be so organized, yet so disorganized. Jesus.
Bike Out: ugh, I had get on this thing and not fall off, at least in front of everyone. I remember a "hair pin" turn early on in the course map - two laps..., hmmm, that equals two "hair pin", cliff hanging turns. But wait, yup, there's another turn just before dismounting. Math isn't a strong point for me; however, I immediately calculate my risk with a clenched jaw. FOUR "HAIR PIN TURNS" (I use quotes here, as the lead course marshal continued to use that descriptor for the tight turn). I opted for mini freak outs with occasional waves of contentment through the entire bike course. I took the final turn only to stop short behind a woman dismounting early. Just get me off this damn thing.
I racked my bike, stashed some fuel in my top, and grabbed water to run out of transition. SHIT! Did I really forget my bib? Damn it. I sprinted back into transition (yea, okay Row 14) to grab my belt. That level of excitement took more out of me than I originally thought. Once I came to the street the trees parted ways to welcome the sun. I started to fry. The rest of the run sucked; I dreamed of being in the water again. I longed for a cold drink. At the same time, my level of emotions blew through the roof. I thought of all the people who have supported me on this journey while goosebumps covered my body. I needed to be done; I shuffled the rest of the way.
I rode the high of crossing the finish line for a few more days with a camping trip to Lake Placid. My partner got in some solid half Ironman training and I tagged along by choosing (the operative word here) to ride 20 miles of the course (sweet Jesus the hills), swimming the Mirror Lake course (the body of water is certainly the fountain of youth), and shuffling through 11 miles of the half marathon route (redemption on River Drive!).
My motivation peaked in the mountains; I came down from my high as quickly as the temperatures rose on the ride home.
Trusting the process, this is the cycle. I'm prepared to set new goals and rally around them.
But first...the beach is calling my name.