Friends don’t let friends tri alone. Yeah, I think that says it all.
If you’re familiar with the tri community, one thing that seems to ring true is really a great big family. There are no strangers; only people you haven’t yet met.
Over the last year, I’ve met some of the most wonderfully supportive triathletes, and this is true from the newbies (like me) to the pros. That’s not to say that I didn’t know absolutely wonderful runners. Quite the opposite, my runner friends are beyond fabulous. The difference is as a runner I was segregated from the pros during races, whereas pro and elite triathletes mingle amongst the other racers before the race and leave when they line up to start their wave. They also make themselves available at expos, tri club meetings, and training sessions.
Just as an example of how supportive the tri community is something that happened a couple of days ago. On Monday I got an email from Fletcher Bauman. Fletch is a business associate and friend who happens to also be a IronMan. Fletch knows my first full tri is on Sunday and has been following my progress. He also sent me a "suck it up buttercup" type message when I was complaining about being too busy with work to train properly (yeah – I needed to hear it again). Anyway, Fletch emailed me on Monday about getting together so we could talk about triathlons in general, and so he could provide insight about the race. Turns out he has volunteered at this race for the last 8 years so he knows the course well. Now if you know Fletch, you know he’s a very busy man between work, training, and family commitments. However, he took the time talk with me and also brought some tri magazines for me to read. I mean, how cool is that?!? I think by the end of the conversation I was already talking about racing an Oly (Olympic distance). It was probably good that he had to leave for a meeting otherwise I might have signed up for a half iron on the spot. He’s that much of a motivator. 😉
So it’s 4 days until IronGirl (IG) Columbia. I’m really excited and not nervous (yet). I don’t feel over-trained like I have in past running races. I think racing the duathlon two weeks ago helped me see that not only am I physically able to handle run-bike-run, but I can push thru mental challenges and keep going when my calves cramped. Plus last Sunday’s open water swim went well. I did 1300 meters so I know I can swim the.62 mile distance. I know the bike course so I just have to be smart and not grind on the hills. And I’ve feel like I run better off the bike than just running (strange, but whatever works). So all I have to do next Sunday is keep moving after the start gun and don’t stop until I cross the finish line. When I’m done to have a beer (or two). I really haven’t had any alcohol for month, so after this race I’m going to have a Sam Adams. That’s the deal I made with my coach, Ben Bartlett – I have to earn it. LOL
Tick…tick…tick. Countdown to race day and I can’t wait to see my friends!