Heart racing. Legs shaking. Muscles pumping. Sweat beading.
Those are all attributes of a race, my friends. I have completed numerous 5k’s, 8k’s and 2 half marathons…the next race on my list was a triathlon. I wanted to do one for years, but I just recently got a road bike and was able to fulfill my dream.
Initially, I had no idea where to start! I read countless blogs on tri-tips and training programs. I looked on Pinterest for a clear cut training plan, and finally I created one that worked well for me.
I chose to do a sprint triathlon for my first one consisting of a 400 yard swim, 16 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run. I remember thinking, “Oh, I got this! The only thing I really need to train is the biking”…boy was I wrong!
After my first bike ride of a lonely 5 miles, I realized that biking is a lot harder than I thought it would be—but it was also really fun! I made my way up to 10 miles before I realized I needed to practice the bike-run transition. I trained for about 1 ½ months before the triathlon.
On race day, my husband drove my cousin and me to the race site. We were extremely surprised when we arrived and saw tons of people with fancy triathlon bikes, tri suits, and sporting gear…and there we were…in our quick dry shorts and sports bras. I was intimidated.
Leading up to the race, I gazed over the different transition sites, as this was my biggest concern. After that, I got in the lake and started swimming to warm up. To my surprise, the water was very warm! That made it easier.
Fast forward 30 minutes, and it was time for takeoff. All the ladies 40 and under got in the lake ready for the gun shot to begin. That feeling was like nothing I’ve ever felt before…anxious, excited, and terrified all at the same time! What if I kick someone? Or worse, what if someone kicks me and knocks my teeth out!? I would not be able to complete the triathlon.
Once I began swimming, I felt confident that we would all stay safe-ish and complete…except the swim was way more difficult than I thought! I have always been a strong swimmer, but I started out too fast and before I made it to the first buoy, my heart was beating out of my chest. I had to tell myself to slow down. Swimming in a lake is completely different than a pool…for one, the water is green not clear…so you really are not sure what is around you. Second, there are multiple bodies passing you and though no one got hit, I was still very alert. Lastly, they had us swimming against the current…I definitely didn’t practice that!
Getting out of the lake and onto land was sketchy, as my legs felt like complete jello! I thought “How in the world am I gonna make it?” alas, I did…I made it to the bike, threw my shoes on and hit the road. I got this…
I don’t got this! Though I trained on hills, this course kicked my tail! There were minimal downhill areas and a lot of gradual inclines. I was disappointed when I made it to the 5 mile mark thinking it felt like 10 miles already…
I somehow managed to finish the 16 miles and begin my run. Honestly, the run was the best part! Before my race, I was sure the run would be the hardest part! It was actually my favorite, and I ran it faster than I did when I was training. Crossing that finish line was such a great feeling!
Whether we finished first or last, we finished! I know, we compare ourselves to one another…everyone wants to be the best—that is in our human nature. However, there are so many different people in the world…people with short legs, long legs, thick thighs, thin thighs, broad shoulders, narrow shoulders…the list could go on.
In Galatians 6: 4-6, the Bible reads “Don’t compare yourself with others. Just look at your own work to see if you have done anything to be proud of. You must each accept the responsibilities that are yours.”
You see, God made us the way He wants us…that does not mean that we are all perfect the way we are, no. He inspires us to challenge ourselves in life to make us not only stronger human beings, but to be stronger in Jesus. These types of experiences help us grow spiritually.
This was one of my challenging goals—seeing that I can put my mind to something and achieve it. Without God’s help, I truly would not have had the strength or the determination through my training or my triathlon.
Be happy with where you stand regardless if you come in 2nd place or finish last. You completed something you set your mind to, and the only person you are competing with is yourself.
What is something you have set your mind to and completed? I would love to hear!
Until Next Time,
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN