Try something new, they said. Step out of your comfort zone, they said. I have always wanted to try a triathlon but with no bike, no helmet and no money to buy these things,  it was out of the question. Indoor triathlons with running on a treadmill did not appeal to me. So when a friend posted about an outdoor tri with no bike needed and it was FREE… could I say no?
The Park Ridge Trifecta was Sunday. I was nervous as Saturday I had a 10 mile training run so I didn’t know if I would be able to complete the 3 parts of the tri. I told myself that I just wanted to finish and do my best so that was the goal….that and not drowning!

Saturday’s training run was not a good one.  10 miles in the rain with a head full of thoughts and feet that felt like lead is not a good experience for any runner. I was feeling defeated so I was worried that I would not do well Sunday.
I woke up and the sun was shining. I took the dogs for a walk and was feeling good. I grabbed my bag, sure that I had forgotten something yet packed things I didn’t need, and drove to the race. My 14 year old was with me as she was going to babysit for a friend of mine who was also doing the Trifecta.
Upon our arrival, my friend and I were the first ones there so we were allowed to choose our position as well as event order. We both chose to do the events in the true ‘tri’ order. Swim, bike, run.
We set up our things on the pool deck and got ready to start. I had gotten some good advice from experienced tri ladies so I felt a little better.

My race ‘ticket’

I got in the pool and my lane mate asked if I had goggles. Yup, I had them…in my bag!  I got out and ran to get them on my face just in time!  The whistle blew and we started swimming.  30 minutes to complete as many laps as we could. It took me a while to get my rhythm  but once I did, I remembered how much I used to love swimming. I remembered how at home I used to feel in the water. About 1/2 way through the time, I started to get a little tired but I remembered what a friend had said, Think about Team Hoyt. That man swims pulling a boat with his son…..and I was off and swimming again. I alternated between breaststroke and freestyle and soon the whistle blew and I was done! Time for the bike.
Spin bikes were placed on the pool deck so I did not have far to travel. I took off my tankini top as I had my sports bra underneath. I put on the GOTR tank top and pulled on my running shorts over wet bottoms. As I was bending to put on shoes, I was faced with the sight of a full frontal from a nearby older gentleman participant who was changing!! With my eyes burning from that sight, I headed to the spin bikes.

The towel and GOTR water bottle
as reminders of why I do this!

I put my water bottle and towel on the bike and asked for help as to how to work it and the seat height, etc.  Yup….never taken a spin class or been on a spin bike!  So the instructor took us all through a course of hills and valleys to simulate and real ride. We were up and down out of the saddle with speed changes and resistance changes. My feet came out of the clips a few times and I lost my balance a few times but I didn’t fall off the bike! I just kept peddling for the 30 minutes logging 10 miles (or so the monitor said!). The whistle blew again and it was time for the run.
I put my towel and water bottle by my bag, pulled on my requisite tutu and left the pool deck for the run. This was the part I thought would be easiest for me. 3.1 miles? Big deal!  Piece of cake, or so I thought. The whistle sounded and I started slow….on foot in front of the other…forward was my pace. Running on tired legs, with a tired body was not so easy. I struggled to find my happy pace on my wobbly legs for the first mile. Once I got out of my own head and was moving forward, I knew I could do it. Running in wet bottoms is not fun but no big deal in the grand scheme of things!  It was hot and the sun strong but it was ‘just’ 3 miles. I could do it….I knew it. I finished the final 3.1 and went back to the pool deck.
I did it!  I finished all three events!  I didn’t drown! I didn’t hurt myself on the bike!  I didn’t quit! I tried something new and did my best. I stepped outside my box, outside my comfort zone, and found a new part of me. I know that this was not an ‘official’ tri but it was real enough for me to know that someday I want to complete a ‘real’ tri.
We all need to do things that scare us once in a while. We all need to get out of the comfort zone and realize we are better, stronger, smarter, than we thought we were before. Sometimes we need a push and sometimes we need someone to hold our hand. This time I had both. And for that…and new adventures…I am forever grateful. Peace.

#tutulady finished GOTR strong!!!

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