Let’s look at some numbers:

Saturday, 7/17/10= 1st triathlon training EVER.
Saturday, 9/11/10= 1st sprint triathlon.

As I turned 31, back in June, I would have never, in my wildest (or most insane) dreams, would have thought that in just 3, yes 3 months, I would be able to call myself a “triathlete” with 1 sprint tri under my belt.

I’d like to take this moment to thank… myself. Conceited you say? Well, you know what- all of the motivation, pushing, inspiring and “kudos” in the world cannot actually make your ass MOVE. Setting a goal for yourself is something that must come from inside.
You hold the cards.
You control your destiny.

So again, I’d like to say “thanks” to myself for a job well done! If it wasn’t for “me”, I would have never gotten up that hot July morning for the first training session, and I would not be where I am today.

(Of course, of course, the cheerleaders, motivators, kudo-givers and all-in-all rock-stars by my side and on the side lines shall never be overlooked!) =)

Two weeks after my very first triathlon, I was right back on board with my training. I was SO happy when I found out Deb had scheduled a tri training, because honestly, in the back of my mind, for just one second, I thought to myself “I’ve done a triathlon, so now I can take a break, right?” Wrong! Training keeps me motivated, active and accomplished. There’s no way I’ll quit this. No way.

2 weeks post tri we completed about a 1250yd swim, the normal 10mile bike, then about a 1.2mile jalk (jog+walk… thanks Lindsey!). It felt good to be back in the game. Real good.

Today we hit Ft. Desoto for another training session. We had a new member come out with us (Silvia) and she certainly kept up for being a newbie! I skipped the swim, as I had been feeling scratchety and sore throat-filled for a few days. The weather in Tampa has shifted- fall is into full gear- so I didn’t want to exasperate the back-to-school mung with the shivers. So I decided to run while they were out in the water. Looking back, I probably would have been OK doing the swim, as the sun came up pretty quickly and melted any sign of fall by 9am. Oh well…Que sera, sera.

I started out at the parking lot and set my goal to the Fort, which would put me right at 5k (3.1miles). I threw on my sunglasses, and started a brisk walk to warm up. The weather and scenery were truly beautiful- a bit cool, calm air, sweet smells from the gulf, and the rising sun casting a warm glow on the pavement. Perfect conditions for tri training. I started with a slow jog, which turned into a truffle shuffle- which I happily accepted. After all, I wasn’t feeling 100%, so I knew this wouldn’t be a spectacular jaunt. When I reached the fort, I was actually feeling quite good! Sooooo, I continued on- about an additional 1/4 mile passed the Fort.

I decided to cut across and head to the pier, where I moved over to the beach for the hop back to the parking lot. Low tide was in full force, leaving long, wide stretches of packed sand- ideal for running! I pulled out some more energy and Chunked it down the beach a bit more, finally cutting back over the sea oats (legally) then back onto the path to the lot. Although I didn’t time or measure distance, I know I did more than 3.1miles-probably close to 4.5miles, which I was proud of!

By now, I had figured about an hour had passed and expected the rest of the team to be half way through their biking by now! But as I rounded the corner heading back to the cars, I saw that the bikes were still hitched, with no triathlete in sight.

Minutes later, I spotted the rest of the team coming down the beach path, looking refreshed and accomplished. After all, they had completed about 1250yds!

We all regrouped, snacked, and hit the pavement. I’m not going to lie- today’s bike was HARD. Mentally HARD. I wanted to quit about a bisquillion times, but each thought was shot down with sense. If I know I can do 10 miles, well then I’m going to do 10 miles. As I hit the 5 mile turn around point, a “pro” came up next to me. Expensive bike, sponsored jersey- the whole shebang. And as he road by, he slowed down just enough to say “Keep up the good work. You’re doing great!” You won’t get this kind of acceptance in any other sport, believe me!

I didn’t time myself, but I felt pretty good as I rolled back towards my car, and completely satisfied with myself for not quitting or shortening my ride. Sitting on the couch watching TV cannot replace the way accomplishment feels!

You know, many times when I’m out here on these long rides, or scary open water swims, or even while I’m doing some foot distance, I oftentimes think about my cousin Daryl. He passed away back in April after a long battle with pan can. He was only a few years older than me. When whining or doubtful thoughts enter my brain, I’ll think about him, and how he won’t be able to spend the remaining 60 or 70 years he might have had if he had lived a full life here on earth.

His life is gone.

During his fight, I’m sure he would have given anything to be able to ride a bike, or go for a swim, or a jog. I am healthy, and able to do these things that most people cannot or will never do because of health reasons, or mental doubts. Keeping positive thoughts and Daryl’s memory in the forefront of my mind during triathlon trainings keeps things in perspective- giving me all the more reason to want to continue with this adventure.

We didn’t do a post-run. It seems like we were all kinda pooped out from the long swim (and my run) and the bike. So instead we had some snacks, chatted a bit then headed out.

We’ll be back next Saturday for Lindsey’s “Oh shit, I’m doing a triathlon next week” training session at Ft. Desoto. Be there or be square…shaped!

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