Hey there RYPEness!!
It’s always fun for me to look back over my triathlon career and marvel at how far I have come, and how funny training was in the very beginning. Actually…I find myself in the midst of some pretty funny shiggity in my current training season. HA! So I went back through some of my notes, and found a very old blog (from spring 2008) when I was training for my very first 70.3 race. I found it hilarious…so I thought I would share:
Twas an Epic Weekend
Well…the end is almost near…White Lake Half Ironman Triathlon is only three weeks away. I can hardly believe it myself.
On Saturday a good portion of the Western Carolina Team In Training teams participated in Charlotte Racefest. Those training for shorter distance events did the 10k run, the rest of us did the half marathon. At this point, I have never run farther than 9 miles.
“That’s OK…” my coach said. Umm-hmm.
Miles 1 -3, just getting the legs stretched…easing into the stride…chit-chatting with the pack around me…having a good ole time. Got to mile 4…still feeling awesome…my buddy and I did about a 60 second walk…then picked the pace back up. Feelin’ good. Mile 8…lawd, lawd….not feeling good anymore, but not feeling bad either. Mile 9ish…HILL!…thank you little two year old, whoever you are!…that cute little cheer got me up to the top. Seriously y’all…she was adorable! Mile 10…HILL! Are you kidding me? Mile 11…HILL! Please. Help.
All in all, it was great. I was extremely proud of myself. I have always dreaded running and have never run in a half marathon before. So crossing that finish line – not last – felt so incredibly good. I felt like I could lay back and bask in my accomplishment…
…NOT! Why? Cause we have another training event on Sunday! What you ask? We are going on a 60 mile bike ride…starting at Crowder Mountain…MOUNTAIN!
So I wake up Sunday morning. My legs feel like 100 pound weights. I step out of bed…almost fall because the 100 pound weights immediately turn to wet noodles. At this point I really think that the best option is to take a couple of Advils and return to the fetal position. But noooooo….I decide to brave the ride.
I arrive at the meeting location…legs tight as I don’t know what. I ask one of the coaches about the course…his response “oh….its hilly!”
But he tries to console me with, “But!!!…if you can do this then the White Lake course is a piece of cake!”
So we start the ride…immediately out the park there is an uphill. Get up it, no problem (fresh legs). So we are going through rolling terrain…moderately hilly (as the course was described)….no big issue. One of the ladies riding beside me says “my coach said the worst hills are in the first mile.”
GREAT! Lets ride…I am sure we have gone a mile already!!!
So I am riding along…meet a new friend, Suzanne. She has been here in Charlotte since the 80’s…originally from Buffalo…lives in the suburbs…you know, just great “gettin’ ta know ya” chit-chat on a beautiful 60 degree, sunny afternoon in the Carolina’s. For miles and miles, through the back roads of North and South Carolina, the terrain is mostly FLAT!
Man…this is great! We get close to the first rest stop…we are in a little over 20 miles. I get my first fall as a result of the clipless pedals. At the stop sign…over I go. No biggie…it was bound to happen. And who cares…THE TERRAIN IS FLAT! So we get some needed water, grab a banana, clean my “knee vs. gravel” battle wound and off we go.
Then we make a turn. Something inside of me felt funny when we made that turn. Like danger lurked ahead. It was a dark, uncomfortable feeling…but I didn’t listen to that inner voice…I just road…like a woman on a mission…down this poorly paved road…shaded by rows and rows of magnificent trees.
Down hill…flat….down hill….flat.
This is just too good.
Suzanne, “Shelly, you see this hill?”
So we get some momentum…and before you know it, we are at the top! No biggie.
Then another curve…What?
Another hill. Bigger and more daunting then the first.
Then another! AND ANOTHER!
Are you freakin’ kidding me???
We climbed ALL THE WAY UP into Kings Mountain National Park.
I think then can just bury me here. Cuz I’m DUN!
But we made it. Actually…I cut my ride short about 3 miles. There was a little footnote on the route sheet:
“In case of emergency, there is a short-cut…”
All I needed to hear. My thighs actually having a voice of their own to scream obscenities at me classifies as an emergency to me.
The alternate route cut the ride by about 3 miles and E-LI-MI-NA-TED a very challenging hill (you like that term huh?…I took it from our coaches…they think they can say that and trick us…like we don’t know that means KILLER BEAST OF A – YOUR QUADS WILL EXPLODE – CLIMB!). So I take the short-cut… that unfortunately was not short on hills!
I’m ready y’all. I am ready for whatever White Lake has to throw at me. I made it through Epic Weekend! And you know what? I am very proud of my accomplishment!
So…Why Tri? Because…it’s totally worth it to have stories like this to tell!!