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My triathlon experience

One of the best things about racing, is getting to sit down some time after the race and write about your experience… Every race is different and putting down on paper, at least for me, is a way of transferring and processing all those emotions.

I have struggled with my weight for some time.  It’s been fucking hard. I know I am an athlete because it truly is my passion to workout and burn some energy. It is when I feel most at peace and also, alive.  Some people call me crazy, but if they only knew it is exactly what keeps me sane (or sort of!)

I was so insecure leading up to the Spa Girl Tri. I knew I was not going to look like most of the girls there, and that I would be bigger. I was self conscious of the race gear I had – even though at the same time it made me feel like a rockstar!!!  The Negative Nelly kept popping up and it was hard to shut her up… but I kept sending her off.

finish line triathlon exercise sport running people

finish line triathlon exercise sport running people

As my son and I were walking in the day before to rack my bike and get my race packet, I was able to see there were literally ALL kinds of ladies. All sizes and shapes… that kind of helped put me at ease… but not totally.

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Race day came and thankfully I was more excited than nervous. The excitement you feel in the air before the race is like constant buzz… everyone is ready to go. I was very lucky that I had my Mom to help me with son and they came to support and cheer for me. Very grateful!!!  This was very important to me as I wanted him to see me cross the finish line.  He has seen me train… He has seen me sacrifice.   How amazing it is that my little man wanted to do the race with me?

The swim part was so easy!! By the time I got in the water, there was a certain current, since it was in the lazy river at the JW Marriott and it is in a circle. I swam the 400 meters in 4:39according to my watch.  Next year, I will get myself more towards the front of the pack to avoid this current.

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The transition to the bike, we had to run up a hill to get our stuff. And to go out on the bike, you had to walk it quite a way… they did not let you get on.  That first transition took 7:46.

The bike was pretty flat and I felt good. Every gal I wanted to catch up to, I did.  This one girl that caught up to me said it took her a long time to be able to, that I was even cruising and she could not catch up. But she did. The last part of bike to get back to transition was a big ass hill. I knew it was coming and was not looking forward to it… As I was going up it, huffing and puffing, I noticed there was only one other lady on her bike going up the hill… the rest were walking it!!! That was a HUGE ego boost!!!! I may be bigger, but I was also stronger!!!

The transition to running was faster, and the ran start right next to our bikes.

runner man triathlon shoes rehab

runner man triathlon shoes rehab

The run was tough, but I knew this coming as its the one I have kinda neglected. But as I was running, I had a big aha moment.  I need to be grateful and loving towards my body… it does so much for me!!! My body is strong. My body is healthy and yes, it has some fat to lose, but it still fucking rocks!!   How can I expect my body to give me what I want (losing the damn fat) when I am so critical and judgmental? I need to be grateful every single day of my body. EVERY DAY.

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When I was coming closer to the finish line, I got so overwhelmed with emotion.  Ever since I did a triathlon in Austin many years ago, I fell in love with the sport. I love that, after 11 years, I got to do one again. I love that exercise has helped me in what is the hardest time in my life and has kept me from falling into a depression.  I am grateful for having a healthy and happy son. I am grateful for my family and always having my back.  I love that God has put angels around me disguised as friends when I needed them the most. I am grateful every day to have strength and courage. I am grateful for strangers than have become friends.  I am grateful for my coach Jen, who inspires me every day. I am grateful for Ed, who’s words of encouragement during spin class have helped me more than he can imagine.

I am very grateful.

I have a long way to go, but I did it!!!!

Tannia V.

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