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!”