I won my first race in many years last weekend. It was the Tri for the Cure - a women's sprint triathlon in Denver, Colorado. I didn't toe the starting line with the goal of winning the race. I did the event for many other reasons, namely to give myself a goal. Tri for the Cure was something to shoot for; something to actually train for. It gave me purpose over the last few months. My workouts had meaning. It felt good.
I didn't realize how much I missed it.
I have spent the last 3 years focused on other things: getting pregnant, raising a baby, and trying to stay healthy and balance my life as a new mom, wife (don't forget that part!), and businessperson. I was working out, but I wasn't training. There is a big difference.
When I'm training, it's with an end goal in mind. I write a training plan and I follow it. I'm never perfect, but the plan gives structure to my days and weeks. For this race, I created a training plan that included 5-7 hours a week of specific workouts - many were focused on going hard. That was the part that excited me most. I was going to breathe hard for an hour (or longer). I can't remember the last time I did that! I was going to get fit again!
It's funny, when I hung up my racing flats in 2005 to focus on Skirt Sports, I said to myself, "I'll never do a brick workout again. Hallelujah!" Yet, my favorite structured workout was our company 6:30AM Thursday morning brick. A few of us gals met at the Skirt offices and did a 45 minute ride followed by a run that increased in length every week. I realized that brick workouts can actually be fun, and more importantly, they can get you really fit!
Fast-forward to Tri For the Cure Race Day. The race was awesome - from start to finish. I am so lucky that I have been blessed with a strong engine, and I have so many years of training and racing that the muscle memory came back quickly. I came out of the water first, and as I ran past all the women who were waiting for their races to start, a huge cheer went up. I couldn't believe how inspiring it was to see all those beautiful women and hear their excitement for me. Inspiration begets inspiration!
I went hard and enjoyed the wonderful pain of racing. At the finish, I took a few extra seconds to slap every hand in the finish chute and do a little dance at the line. I was truly and deeply happy at that moment. It was not a ten-hour Ironman. It was a women's sprint triathlon, a mere one hour seven minutes. But I believe that every accomplishment in life should be celebrated. I felt like this was a win for me on more than the racecourse. I reawakened my competitive athletic self.
After the race, Janet (Skirt Sports Online Sales & Marketing Director) said, "I've never seen you race before. I've never seen you do what you do. It was so cool!" It hit me - This is WHAT I DO!
I still love swimming, cycling and running. I love setting goals. I love going hard. And I love the feeling of finishing a race. I love it even more when I finish strong and I'm sore the next day. It makes me feel like I really earned it.
I absolutely loved doing the Tri for the Cure, for the first time since Skirt Sports started sponsoring the event in 2005. Right now in my busy, overflowing life, a sprint triathlon is THE PERFECT reason to wake up with a purpose.
One final note: If you haven't yet seen our Personali-Tees, you should check them out. In retrospect, I wish we had one that said, "I TRI for doughnuts." I definitely would have worn that one after the race! What "I Tri For" Tee's would you like to see us make?