I spent the weekend doing the Dewey Beach Triathlon. I blame my post marathon relay high back in May for my being crazy enough to sign up for a triathlon when I cannot swim. I started swimming in May. By early July I still could not swim in the deep end of the pool so I switched gears and formed a relay team. Maddie, God love her, did the swim, Joanna did the bike and I did the run. Because of my double concussion in July and the lingering dizziness I keep experiencing, my training went to hell. I literally showed up this weekend and figured I’d be able to run 3 miles. I did. It was hot. My back hurt. My quads were tight, but I did it. And due to my fabulous teammates we came in 25th place out of 40.
The moral of the story: Training for things is better but even if you don’t train, your body can do more than you think it can. It just hurts more days later if you don’t prepare. I still can’t walk down steps or get into a seated position without grimacing. I’ll survive.
I went to Dewey with 11 other women, 8 of which competed. I am so proud of my friends and what they accomplished.
- Donna has a bad knee AND a bad ankle and therefore never runs – she finished.
- Karen doesn’t run at all – she finished – jogging across the finish line with Donna, thank you very much.
- Kristin, who’s father, David Hall, tragically drowned in the ocean a few years ago, not only finished, but kicked the ocean’s ass and did one for Dad – amazing courage – I cant even imagine what that took to swim way out past the breakers like that!
- Lynn lover of water and water sports, but without any swimming technique, taught herself to swim over the summer by practicing in the Potomac River – she finished – with the best time out of our group.
- DeeAnn and Lindsey, long time runners, became triathlon machines training together for this event all summer – they finished.
- Maddie and Joanna trained moderately (Joanna was also nursing a bad back) yet with ease had amazing times on their parts of the relay.
- Jeanne, another gal from Frederick, also competed. This would be the same Jeanne that qualified for this year’s Boston Marathon. She came in 30th overall and placed third in the Novice Women’s Group at Dewey, her FIRST triathlon by the way.
- These fabulous women are between 33 – 46 years of age. Some have been exercising hard for years. Others kicked up their fitness regimen just for this event.
- And I can’t forget Ian, the lone Frederick Man that signed up. He did the entire tri with a pretty bad chest cold. Unbelievable!
When we pulled into the parking lot the morning of the triathlon, a stunningly, beautiful women stepped out of the car parked beside us. Her long flowing hair was almost completely gray and she had to be in her late 50’s / early 60’s. She asked if this was our first triathlon then told us she was a returning Dewey Beach Tri participant.
“Last year I just told myself, ‘I don’t give a shit‘, she explained. “I don’t care if I’m last or the slowest, I’m just going to go out there, take my time, finish and have fun.”
I saw her later over by the relay transition area. She looked fabulous in her wet suit, jogging in after her swim. She handed off her ankle chip to a pretty dapper elderly gentlemen and he took off on his bike. She peeled off her wet suit and then sat on her towel and caught some sun beams. She didn’t seem stressed or even winded. She simply seemed, content.
I thought I’d see 1000 young, psychotically fit people. I didn’t. I saw every shape, size and age this weekend. Some folks had all the high tech gear while others just threw on shorts and grabbed an old bicycle to participate.
Another Moral Of This Story: Nike and that woman in the parking lot are right. You’ve gotta just do it. And while you’re doing it, don’t give a shit – just have fun and finish. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.