Just the thing you want to be worrying about right before your first triathlon. We didn't go to bed until 12 a.m. and then...
I woke up almost every hour, on the hour.
3:00 a.m I hope my bike works
4:00 a.m. I hope my alarm goes off
5:00 a.m. I hope I finish
6:00 a.m. Max was crying and coughing (it's not always about me :)
6:10 a.m. Time to get up and go.
We arrive at Eagle Creek Park at 7:00 a.m. and join the mass of women and their supporters heading to the starting line. Tony tells me to hop on the bike one last time to make sure the brakes work.
I hit the pavement. Chin first, in front of a bunch of hardcore women racers in all their gear on their expensive bikes. That's embarrassing.
Then I remember why I don't like sports...this always happens to me, and now my confidence is shaken. I start to tear up a little as the blood drips down my chin. Tony tells me to "get tough". I think I could be tougher if I was riding a bike I knew wasn't going to hurl me face first into the concrete.
We get down to the starting point and find a bike technician, he tries to pump air into the tires and one goes flat...with less than 15 minutes until the start time.
Ok God, I really wanted to do this race and it's looking like I won't get the chance. I didn't want to let everyone down. All this training....for nothing? Please God, let him fix this bike.
And he does...with only 3 minutes until start time. I race the bike over to the racks and throw on my swim cap and goggles. There's not even time to stretch.
The adrenaline is pumping so hard I can't even think straight...I am trying to calm my nerves so I can breathe through the swim. I am almost to the front of the line.
I'm next...can't breathe...hope my bike works, this swim looks a lot longer than when I do laps in the pool...I hope the water isn't too cold...104....go!
The water feels great and I'm swimming fast, waiting for my adrenaline to slow down so I can breathe. I get into a rhythm and not many people pass me. I can do this! I make the first turn of the swim and the sun is directly in my eyes...I can't see anything but the occasional far off buoy. The right side of my goggle fills with water and now I can only see through one foggy side looking into the sun. So I somehow make it out of the water in 14 minutes and 11 seconds. Out of the 388 that finished the race my swim was ranked 181.
I knew this would be the easiest part, I run out of the water to see Tony holding Max and my dad cheering me on. I think about kids Max's age in Kenya that have a place to go now. I start to run faster. I am completely out of breath and a little terrified my bike won't hold up, I throw on my clothes and I am pedaling, slowly... Then there's my mom yelling something about Kenya...keep going.
Terrified to go very fast for fear of a tire explosion or brake malfunction, I go at a steady pace...soon wondering if my name is "on the left" because a LOT of people say that to me as they speed by me. Ok, so I won't be getting a trophy today, but I think this bike just might make it the 10 miles.
In the bike race I ranked 360 out of 388...just about every racer passed me. Ah well...I did it!
Then the run. I figured this would be the hardest for me. The first mile was. After all that swimming and biking, I was tired. This is where I started to pray. A song I used to sing at camp as a little girl, popped into my head. Maybe because I was thinking about being tested and a line from the song kept repeating in my head. Tried and True. Tried and True.
"Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I'll be a living, sanctuary for You."
I thought about the way we are tested in our lives and the way we react. We can give up when we are tired, or we can finish stronger. So I decided to finish stronger. I picked up my pace. And then before I knew it, the cheers were within earshot and the blue blowup finish line was within view.
In the run I ranked 292 out of 388, and overall the whole race I ranked 337.
I could hear my parents and Tony cheering me on as I crossed the finish line and I don't know if I have felt that good since they placed Max in my arms for the first time. Because even though everyone was cheering me on, they were also cheering you on. Because we did it! We raised well over the goal. We raised $1,700. And there are more of you who have told me you still want to give. So it really doesn't matter where I ranked, it matters that I finished. For you and for them.
So there is only one thing left to say,