Wednesday, July 7, 2010

24 days...

When I tell people that January 2009 was my first half marathon and May 2009 my first triathlon, most don't believe me. Perhaps it is because I jumped full throttle into the community and training... or perhaps I just fake it well... that I know what I'm doing, that is...

If you had asked me 3 years ago if I thought that I would have run 2 full marathons, 10 half marathons, dozens of 10ks and 5ks, raced olympic and sprint distance triathlons, completed a half ironman unofficial event and was training for an official half ironman distance race... I would have laughed at you, and probably thought you were crazy... But here I am, just 24 days away from my race... and looking back at the last couple years with awe.

When I first started running, I used to resemble what you would imagine a penguin would look like in running shoes. No, I wasn't quite as round but I had about the same grace and coordination as one would think a penguin would have if he or she were wearing running shoes. I ran at about a 14 minute mile (sometimes slower, probably)... and now I've knocked around 5 minutes per mile off my time. I never in a million years pictured myself getting this far, and achieving all that I've accomplished... so really, when I sit here and think about my goals and try put the heat on myself to accomplish even bigger and better things - I have to remember where I came from and where I am now... and be thankful and content with my achievements.

In all of this, I have to say a few "thank yous" to various people without whom I would never be able to pursue this crazy newfound (well, in the last 2 years) passion of mine... Jason for his enthusiastic support, love, and encouragement... for putting up with my crazy training schedule and for taking it for the team in watching our lovely (though rambunctious) children... I would not be able to do this without him - emotionally or otherwise. To my mom, for being so supportive regardless of the fact that she finds this all to be a bit crazy but for helping with the children whenever needed, even when she's not feeling well... To my bestest buddy and training partner, Jax, for introducing me to this crazy lifestyle and for encouraging, motivating, inspiring, and supporting me every step of the way. There's NO WAY IN HELL that I would be able to do this without her. She was the one who put up with my SLOOOWWWWW-ass 12 minute miles and didn't (out loud anyway) hate running with me... she's a phenomenal athlete who just radiate a certain energy that is infectious. To Bobbie for her encouragement and love...and SWIM HELP!! Seriously, this woman is an AMAZING swim coach - so patient and helpful - and I owe so much of my improvement over the last year to her lessons. To my coach, Bryan - for pushing me over the last few months, and helping me realize my own potential as an... an.... an.... alright, I'll say it... athlete... To Randi for being such an awesomely fun training buddy...and for being a shoulder to cry on for all things triathlon (and non-triathlon) related... To my amazing children for trying to understand my crazy schedule and for loving me in spite of the fact that I've been a crazy nutcase over the last 6 months... And to the dozens of other triathletes (and athletes in general) who, on a daily basis inspire and motivate me to be the best that I can be... who push me to better myself and to continue to participate, even on days when I really don't want to. (There are so many wonderful friends I've made along the way who deserve thanks as well, but far too many to single out, but I truly love you all and thank you for making this journey so amazing!!)

... and to all my non-triathlon friends... Thank you for not completely abandoning me and hating me. I know it's so hard to understand what I'm going through, having not experienced it yourself... and I apologize for being distant, for always being busy... for being a shitty friend... for not listening more or for not spending more time with you... but I promise there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I will gladly utilize my free time after this race for making up lost time, if possible.

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