Sunday, August 15, 2010

Me = Triathlete!

It IS true!  It IS!  That feeling they say you’ll have upon completing your first Danskin Triathlon IS as amazing as they say it is!

The primary feeling I have right now is gratitude.

Gratitude first and foremost for my amazing daughter Elisabeth, who told me a year ago that she’d do this with me and who made good on her promise, beginning with walks around Green Lake for months on end, and culminating today when she patiently stayed with me all along, even though she is an accomplished athlete in her own right,  having recently finished a few half-marathons. 


We said all along that we’d cross the finish line together, and we did.  Tom, Peter, and Kat (Aleks got no sleep last night, so stayed home) were even there to capture the whole thing on video!

My gratitude also goes wholeheartedly to Jennifer, the Swim Angel, who got me off to a great start by talking me off a, well, a wave that I hit (figuratively and literally) within the first few hundred feet of the swim and who gave me the encouragement to find my rhythm, believe in myself (in spite of gulps of choppy water), and do what I knew I could do – which was rock the swim (in spite of massive amounts of seaweed which, amazingly enough, didn’t bother me at all).  Elisabeth, whose strong suit is running and biking more than swimming, stayed with Jennifer a bit longer – though I have a feeling that they just enjoyed chatting at that point!  Thanks Jennifer – you are truly an inspiration! 

Hundreds of volunteers lined the race course today, and every single one of them was so encouraging and helpful!  Between them rooting for the triathletes and the triathletes encouraging each other every single step of the way, the mood through the entire race was 100% positive, encouraging, and supportive.  THAT was absolutely incredible!

Since we’re dolling out the thanks, I really, really need to thank a blackberry bush about 2 miles into the run/walk that provided a much needed energy boost.  Ah, August in Seattle!  And the ice that was being passed out on this 97-degree day… totally awesome too!

I did get one call out from someone who passed me near the end of the run and said, “NorthwestLadybug! I read your blog!”  Her name was Minuko, if I remember correctly   That felt GREAT!

Thanks, of course, to my awesome family who stood in the very hot sun at the finish line for an hour and a half, just to cheer us on!  (Aleks cheered – albeit sleepily -- when I got home…)


We’ve already decided that next year, BOTH my daughters will join me and that we’ll all three rock the 2011 Seattle Triathlon! 



Any mom/daughter teams want to join us?  We can definitely promise a good time!

So that’s that. 

A year ago, as I stood in my Air Boot and watched Marcy cross the finish line, I told myself I’d be out there in 2010… that I could do it, in spite of a badly broken ankle that feels like it will always be considered “on the mend” (it hurt every step of the way today!) and in spite of being 53, overweight, and out of shape.

You know when I fully believed myself? 

Today, as the countdown to enter the water reached terrifyingly close to zero and the volunteer said, “Ladies, you can now call yourself triathletes!  Now GO!”

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Margaret said...

Congrats!! You did it with your customary grace and determination. AND GRIT. I would most certainly have drowned during the swim portion; I'm a terrible swimmer. Way to go!

Tonya said...

Congratulations, Carol!!!! Woohoo! I have tears for you!

Wuhoo Fitness said...

Dear Carol,
I for one must challenge your self assessment of being old and out of shape..... Excuse me but didn't you just complete a triathlon? No small feat Sister! FANTASTIC job today!!!! WUHOO for YOU! Hey since you're already trained why don't you keep up the momentum and join me for the Trek next month? I won't be there as an angel I'll be there as an athlete and it would be AWESOME to give you a BIG high five and a HUGE hug at the finish line!
Jennifer Malocha
CEO of Fun at Wuhoo Fitness

jennifer said...

Yay Carol! I was there too but *thankfully* was in wave #6 so got to start at 7am and missed all the heat.

It was very well organized and a great job considering there were close to 4000 people there. But too much pandemonium (and it took all weekend too) for me, so I'm going to skip it next year BUT there are OTHER same-distance triathlons around that aren't so crowded. There are 2 up here in Bellingham, think about come up here to do them as Danskin warm-up triathlons next summer!

BethanyWD said...

I got a little misty watching the video! Awesome!

c said...

You did it! You said you were going to do it and you did! Congratulations! I remember clearly a year ago when you set this goal for yourself and it's great that now you've done it. And extra special that Elizabeth did it with you. Yay for you both!

Kathrin said...

Congratulations, Carol!!! You can be so proud of yourself. You are a determined woman. What an accomplishment!!! I think it must be even more special to have done this together with your daughter.

Susanne said...

Congrats Carol, I so admire you for what you have accomplished. You can be so proud of yourself.
Great pics......

Lynn said...

WOW!!! You did it, Carol!!! What an awesome accomplishment--congratulations!


kayak woman said...

Clicked here from Tonya or Margaret's blog at some point. Congratulations! I do not know how you (or anyone else) ran a race in that kind of heat! You are inspirational!

Goofball said...

congratulations....watching your video (without sound, I'm in a meeting room) gave me chills. It really did. Wow, how great. What an achievement.

hurray for the bush, the blog readers and all the other positive vibes

Unknown said...

Hi Carol! Congratulations! Thank you for the shout out (It is Masako, not Minuko...but close!) I had run across your blog when looking for people writing about their Danskin experience, so it was fun to read about yours...and it was fun to see you! YOU DID IT! It was my first triathalon too and it was a GREAT feeling to finish. Congrats again!

Carol said...

Thanks so much, everyone, for the positive vibes! It's MUCH appreciated! Sorry I don't comment here more often. My blog is automatically published on Facebook and there tend to be more conversations there. In other words, "friend me"!

Tillybud said...

The last time I read your blog was when you'd broken your foot. Now today I click and read this - I couldn't believe my eyes! Congratulations - truly inspirational!!

G in Berlin said...

Congratulations! You are an inspiration to me.

Snooker said...

Words cannot express how happy I am for you... so I'll just give up on that.
I'm rather misty here. So happy that you stuck to your guns and did it!
You're an inspiration.
Thanks for sharing your story with the world.

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