Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Athlete inside


You are no doubt asking yourself, "What monumental thing did she do that required such big, colorful font?" Well, a few months ago I signed up for the Mermaid Duathlon. It's somewhat like a triathlon, but this event did not require swimming. It was a run/bike/run. After signing up in March, I told myself I'd do some training, but insisted that I was not going to 'run' in the event, just walk. Well, I held fast to that....well, the not running part. However, I did fail at the training part, other than a couple walks here and there and just ONE 4 mile bike ride the week prior to the event. Needless to say I held reservations about finishing alive.

Pulling into the parking lot on race day, into a sea of athletic female bodies..almost all of which were serious about their physique, a whole new set of anxieties sprouted. Not only would I not finish alive, I would be all over the news how the token fat chick tried to keep up with the real athletes and they'd be saying 'what the hell was she thinking?'

I signed up with several friends, all of which ARE NOT fat and who work out regularly. But they are real women, a little padding here and there and NOT marathon runners (walkers yes, runners no). Comes to find out, there are many more like them in this race, just regular women looking to improve their endurance and feel good about themselves. AND...the best part of all, I was not the only fat one! I mean no insult, it's just fact that we feel this way about ourselves. I have 75 pounds to lose, so saying I'm not FAT is just ridiculous. Any woman there who was just like me (or even bigger), would be thinking the same thing.

So, anyway..on with my story: The race started at 7:40am for the duathlon crowd (the non-swimmers). I walked 1.5 miles (others ran), then hopped on my bike for 3 laps around the course, which was just over 11 miles. Then off the bike, very gingerly because NOTHING wanted to work right after that long of a ride, to walk another 2.5 miles. All in all, I put 15 miles on my body yesterday. You might be thinking, that doesn't seem so bad. Well, it wasn't. I did it in just over 2 hours. You might say AGAIN, why is that so great? For most people it might not be, but for me it was monumental (thus, justifying the big purple celebratory font above). I went (yet again) from being a couch potato, to keeping up with the cool girls...the athletes. I did not match them step for step or peddle for peddle, but I finished.

The highlight of the day was not finishing the race, nor was it the fabulous female bonding hour and half lunch we had was one shining moment. Road etiquette for bike riders is that you say "on your left" as you are passing someone. As you can imagine, this was a statement directed at me about a million times. I did not mind, I understood....I'm slower, cruising along on my brand new COMFORT bike, all the while these sleek bodies passed me on even sleeker road bikes. But, about a quarter of the way into my 3rd and final loop, I had that golden opportunity to utter those magical words I so coveted...."on your left!"

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:16 PM

    Awesome job! I know this is an old post, but I just finished my first du and am already looking for my next and came across your site. This race sounds pretty easy (flat course? I'm in!), and it's local.