Ochsner 70.3 is next weekend and while I haven’t crossed the finish line yet, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on what got me here in the first place…because it really is all about the journey. I didn’t believe this at first…I thought….um…duh it’s definitely all about the MEDAL! I have lots of shiny ones hanging up on this cool little board I made and they are oh so awesome!! But I have
realized that it isn’t at all about the medals or the bragging rights…ok maybe a little about the bragging rights. 😉 Let me just start from the beginning.
It was May something or another 2011 and I was in a coworkers office chatting about something…not really sure what the conversation was about. I had been trying to take off stubborn baby weight from Zachary’s birth and dealing with thyroid issues and fibromyalgia stuff….I assume this had something to do with the conversation, but what I remember is right before I left his office he said, “Do you know what they call the last person that finishes a triathlon? A triathlete!” I walked back to my office thinking…”wow….a triathlete…that sounds pretty cool” and of course I googled TRIATHLONS IN BATON ROUGE and stumbled upon ROCKETCHIX. I had no idea how to swim “on top of the water” so somehow I stumbled upon Crawfish Aquatics and I think the rest of the day was spent googling anything related to bikes and “what is transition” and that was the day my triathlon adventure began!
My first race was July 2011, Rocketchix II, and I was immediately in LOVE with the world of triathlon! I finished 6th that race in my division and it felt so amazing when I crossed that finish line. I swam the 350 meter swim in 11 long minutes, but I finished and I wasn’t last and I was a TRIATHLETE!!! I spent most of my time training for that race during work hours. Geoffrey was deployed to Afghanistan at the time, and I was moving and building a house; but luckily my mother in law was kind enough to come over a couple of times a week in the wee hours of the morning so that I could learn how to swim without floaties and fins! The very next week I was so excited that I started looking for more races. 70.3 caught my eye and while I was no way prepared for it at the time, I told some of the guys that one day I would do that race!!! One of the guys LAUGHED OUT LOUD! The others just kind of looked really uncomfortable. I mean I did just kill it in my first sprint triathlon….what’s an extra 50ish miles right? HA. Ok I KNEW a half or full Ironman would require tons of time and effort but I had already gotten it into my head that it was going to happen…sooner or later.
Geoffrey returned from deployment that fall and I was so excited to show off my new hobby. The first race that 2012 season was Rocketchix I and I was about twenty something weeks pregnant with
Laynie. This is the race that made him want to join in on the fun. Rocketchix II was July 28th of that year and I was a whopping 38 weeks pregnant and finished with no problem. People think I am crazy, but I felt accomplished. Laynie was born healthy and happy 8 days later. Of course 70.3 wasn’t happening this year because I was pregnant most of the year, but in November I did swim 1.2 miles as a member of a relay team in RiverRoux Triathlon in New Roads. I went from not knowing what a freestyle stroke was to swimming 1.2 miles in only 18 months of training!!
I spent the 2013 and 2014 triathlon seasons just adding races under my belt and convincing my crazy friends to join in on the fun!! I did adventure races, sprint and Olympic triathlons, 5Ks, 10Ks and 2 half marathons….but for one reason or another…no 70.3. It has always been my goal…so why haven’t I done one yet??? Finally after the GIRL POWER TRIATHLON, at the end of the 2014 season, they were giving everyone this super discount and the stars aligned and I finally just stopped making up excuses and registered!
I HAVE to mention paleo and CrossFit in this blog…right? Somewhere in the middle of all of those races in 2013 I felt like I wasn’t improving like I should be. I still hadn’t reached my weight goals and I thought maybe I had “plateaued”. Then again, I was having a random conversation with a coworker and this was the first time I heard the words: paleo and CrossFIt. After trying that crazy protein-only-no-carbs-whatsoever diet, paleo sounded AMAZING. So I tried it, and LOVED IT!! A quick google search of “CROSSFIT in GONZALES” led me to a gym near me owned by another “battle focused” friend…IT WAS A SIGN! CrossFIt seems completely unrelated to triathlons, but adding this element of strength training to my routine is precisely what gave me the confidence and the extra push I needed! Besides, I realized I really enjoy picking up heavy things.
So it all started with one question…from someone who probably still has no idea how he impacted my life. “What do they call the last person to finish a triathlon? A triathlete.” 70.3 is next weekend! I was pretty nervous about my first marathon this year…but I finished…faster than I thought. I am TERRIFIED about not making the cut off times for the bike leg next weekend…but if something happens…no matter what it is…and if I don’t get my shiny medal…it has been quite a journey just getting to the starting line. No matter what happens, I will keep on reaching for my goals. For all of you that believe in me, THANK YOU. For all of you that doubted me, THANK YOU. For all of you that babysat so I could spend countless hours swimming, biking, running or going to the gym, THANK YOU! I couldn’t have made it to the starting line without you!!