Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Great Equalizers

After weeks and weeks of putting “things” off, I’ve made appointments (dentist and hair), sent emails (both work and personal), and actually settled into the normalcy of summer marathon training rather than summer marathon and triathlon training. Granted, much of my schedule craziness was due to the excessive amount of time I spent out of town between late May and early July. But, I digress.

I have -- obviously -- continued to reflect on my experience and revel in the glory (perceived glory of course) of my triathlon. As with any endurance sporting event, there’s the potential to learn a lot about yourself if you’re open to that sort of self discovery. And I may one day share these lessons with you if I can stop patting myself on the back long enough to think about what I learned.

But first a story… a story about awesomeness.

My friends, though faster than before, I am still a slow runner. Sometimes I am super Zen about this, and other times it annoys the crap out of me. While I would love to fully embrace my penguin tendencies there is a part of me that really, really wants to get better. And in the world of running, better = faster.

A few months ago, you may remember, I began taking a beginner swim technique class. I was friendly with a few of the women in my class, we chatted before and after, we exchanged a few emails. All very innocent. Now, one of these women was -- like me -- training for her first triathlon, the Danskin Sprint. She’s kind of a badass. A veteran marathoner and an eight minute miler, she bikes to work… from the suburbs, about 25 miles, one way. She’s in a league that I can only dream about being in… running-wise, that is. And frankly, she’s had a lot more time in the saddle than I have had (do you like my fancy cycling lingo?).

At Danskin though, I came in ahead of her, beating her time by one second. I’m totally serious. One little, itty, bitty second. In a road race, I would have been an hour behind her, but because triathlons combine events, rarely is one person stellar at all three (among us mere mortals anyway). My strength, as I suspected, is the swim, which I almost made myself believe didn’t matter at all. The bike makes or breaks you, right? And after that, the run. The swim is so short it barely counts. Turns out, it all counts.

Now, for the sake not revealing to my people the super crazy competitive nightmare that I am in my own head, I’ll say only this: our transition times were almost identical, and my bike was only three minutes slower. She kicked ass in the run. I kicked ass in the swim.

We all have our strengths. And this is reason #1 on a list I am currently compiling called, "What is Totes Awesome about Triathlons." I'm compiling it in my head, so don't get too excited about me posting a list. I'll probably forget I wrote that in five minutes.


Kendra said...

You crack me up! I bet you beat some old ladies too.

Lou said...

Oh Keni... You have no idea how many old ladies I beat. Of course, there was one who zoomed passed me during the run... sooooo... yeah...

L Sass said...

I need to try this triathlon biz. You are inspiring me!

First step, stop skipping exercise altogether for weeks at a time. I need to take baby steps.

RBR said...

hmmm... we ALL have strengths? With me, it is more of a "I suck less" at one event.

Oh, and old ladies pass me all the time in that "I suck less" event. I actually passed an 80 year old at mile 20 of a marathon only to have the old biddy pass me back at mile 25. Whatever. I turned her in for doping. Heart medication my ass!

Roisin said...

I just liked that you said "totes awesome"