Miltons Womens Only Tri
Day 247 of 365 days of running;
12:49 am checked clock... nope not yet time....
1:53 am checked clock.... damn time.....
2:36 am checked clock..... tell the butterflies to stop dancing in my tummy...
3:45 am alarm rings.... holy mother of god.... must have been asleep?
A Sprint triathlon... I'm insane. My bike has no gears. That hill is 6km long.
Boil the kettle. Drink the tea. '750meters 30mins... transition one 5 min....'
Drink the dam tea.
4:30 am staring out the window in the quiet, in the dark waiting for my guide.... '20km bike ...1.5 hrs... those hills'.
4:35 am in the van with guide Shannon and Doris (tandem) ... 'Transition two 3 mins....'
6:25 am at the parking.... unloading Doris... careful careful watch the bell. '5km run... 40mins....'
7:00 am registration desk... smiling talking happy. Setting up transition.
'My life is transition' Notice the swim course is clockwise. Crap. Double crap I don't breathe on the right. 'My life is transition'
8:15 am watch the first supersprint go.... brave souls 400m to go, you will love this like ice cream on a hot day.
8:23 am smelly bathrooms to pee... prerace jitters
8:29 am beginnings of wetsuit tactics... '750m swim 40mins... transition one 5mins...'
8:33 am wet suit up to my calfs... Why do they make these so hard? '20km bike 6km hill... no gears... no fucking gears...' did I just swear out loud? perhaps no one was listening.... Smiling
8:44 am wet suit up to my waist... waiting for 9am 'Is it a wee bit chilly out here? Don't mind me covering up....'
8:47am wet suit on. walking to the water. Can I wear my goggles now? It's so bright out here.... Saying good bye to my bike. She and I have to share encouragement. After all we are in this together. My new life, my new beginning. My new me.
9:02am (all these times are in my head like I stand still and count the seconds until they will set me free) In the water. Wet. Waiting. Rocks underfoot. '750m swim 30 mins.' OUCH... stupid rocks. Moving back, purple caps, pink caps... Golden caps...
9:11am There is a barn on the opposite shore. Shannon says the buoy is siting on that line. I can just catch the glimmer of it's roof against the trees. Truth is, I don't care. I just wanna swim and set free this fight that is hanging in the balance. We swim...
The water is cloudy. Warm and caring. Just me and the bubbles. Bubbles I can't see but feel as I pass them on to the next stroke and the next. I don't have to hear anything. Shannon and I can swim. We can flow with the waves like maple syrup on pancakes.... like butter melting on toast... like ... what? Oh you want me to turn right? ok... start again. This swim I could do all day. I am eerily happy here in this water. No thought beyond that. This could be easier than running. Did I say that?
That must be the shore up there in the distance. It's not the barn. It's not the shore either... it's moving... oh ... kayak ...
There is the shore. And those rocks.
Running running... 'transition one 5 mins....'
My glasses... So happy to see them. Wet suit down... water on the ground. I shed it like a skin of lingering pain. Gone from me. Owning my new life. Owning this time. Owning this race. '20km bike 1.5hrs'. Helmet on. running. running... they love watching this. I hear it in the crowd. I get to live it. So lucky to be me. So lucky to believe that finally.
Pedal pedal huge speed bump. My poor poor tush. My body says we will remember this. Good I think. It's mine to remember.
Turn and pedal more. This is the start of the hill. Up and up and up and up ... stand up and push.. stand up and cry a bit.. stand up and want to give in.. Stand the heck up and take that moment because you can't take it away from a willing fighter. Up and up and up... '20km bike 1.5hrs'... smiling.. turn around... coasting down. We can't even pedal. Doris is free in this moment. No pressure, no fear. Glory and wind. Hope in my heart. Flying fearlessly. Smiling... I yell to Shannon "I've got a new plan"... what she asks... " let's not crash and die!" must be 49km/hr. We laugh and go with it. She says did I find the vultures overhead disheartening? Vultures I ask? Is that a metaphor? Truth. GO doris go... 'transition two 3 mins'
Dismount. Coordinate and focus. There are two people jumping off. Running.. setting doris down. Running... for real now. '5km 40min'...
The ground is warm. The air is heavy with effort and inner growth. Up the hill around the corner. One lap... and turn around. The air gets lighter... we are nearly there... Up the last hill... they aren't going to give you this race for free. Push legs, you've trained for this. Up Up ... and run. The finish Shannon points. Just my luck.. It's green. Therefore invisible. I don't care. Run run... let everything go on the wind. Run run.. believe in myself. Strong enough for this. Strong enough for me.
Happily crossed the line. Hugs abound. All clocks stop. Hearts stand still in wonder. All things accomplished. Glorious day.
Finish time 1:54:19.... tethered swim 750m 25:37, tandem bike 20 km 59:32, tethered run 5km 32:11
Hell yes... hell yes....
Thank you Shannon. Thank you Doris.
Thank you everyone for support and encouragement and focus. Thank you for belief in this blind girl..