Milestones

Posted on April 13, 2012. Filed under: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This week I hit two milestones:

1.            I finally reached my sprint goal.  (Yay!)

2.            I officially registered for the June sprint tri.

I’ve been working toward my sprint goal for a good couple of months.  I was so happy when I reached it this week that I almost pulled a George Jetson and flew backwards off the treadmill.  Thank goodness for railings.

Not only was I ecstatic because I actually reached my goal, I was—and am—ecstatic because attaining my goal means I get to set a new one.  A bigger one.  A more challenging one.

Which is why I am doing the sprint tri.  I’ve said that this will be my third tri.  It will actually be my third and a half.  I was so nervous the first time around that my friend and I entered as a two (wo)man team.  The tri was called A Little Sand in Your Shoe, and it was on the beach in Guam.

I had to swim from Tumon Bay out to a sand bar and back, bury a ball in the sand, then run down the beach to tag my teammate. She had to ride her bike through the jungle (one participant got lost—I think I got the good end of the deal), run back down the beach, and dig up the ball I had buried.

Except that I was so caught up in the event that I didn’t mark the location of our ball well enough, and my teammate couldn’t find it.  We came in 2nd place for the 2-man team anyway.  It didn’t matter that there were only two teams.  I was hooked.

As I was thinking about that race this week, I recalled the reason I entered it in the first place.  It was a challenge.  A fun way to see how far I could push myself, see what my body could do.  Only I didn’t have enough confidence in myself to do it alone, and I was fortunate to have a friend in the same boat.  Funny how often we end up hanging out with people who are so like us.

That got me to thinking about the reason I set out to do two sprint tris on my own.  My motivation for them, as it turns out, was not so uplifting.  Each of the two tris were like bookends containing a a heavy life load.  The collapse of a marriage.  Sickness. Death.  I needed something to hold on to, something of my own. I needed to know that I could rely on myself—and I needed to preoccupy my mind and my time.  At this point in life, I was figuring out how to do that without self-destructing.

Turns out that running—competing in tris and half marathons and other races—is good therapy.  It shows you what you’re made of.  It gives you confidence and peace. At least it does for me.

This time, my third full sprint tri, I am back to where I started in Tumon Bay—almost. I set this particular goal not to dull any pain or preoccupy my mind.  I am blessed.  Life is, after all, really good.  I set this goal to challenge myself, and to have fun.  But now I have the confidence to rely on my own abilities, whether I succeed or fail.

I may know who I am, but races always surprise me.  I get to learn more about what I’m made of.  And that’s a goal worth achieving.

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3 Responses to “Milestones”

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“It didn’t matter that there were only two teams.” LOVED IT! 🙂

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Congrats on the milestones and great post ! I can certainly identify with the reasons you mention for racing. It’s a challenge that will help you learn about yourself in new ways…and its good for your health too 🙂 Good luck with the training !

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