A couple of weeks ago, post camp while still on my antibiotics for bronchitis and sinus infection, I decided on a whim to participate in AZ's Tri 4 the Cure event. It's a super sprint race with a majority of first timers as well as some local Elite athletes. Last year I watched in amazement as people zipped through the 4oometer swim in record time as well as scared to death first time swimmers hanging on to the ledge at times. 30lb mountain bikes followed the $5000 TT bikes and disc wheels. 15min mile joggers running their first 2 miles EVER as well as 6min mile speedsters.
Inspirational? Yah, pretty much sums it up.
So, on Wednesday before the Sunday race I registered with the "Elite" crew. I laughed at the thought of it when it was suggested to me, but what did I have to lose? With my mom's sudden passing I have an entirely new outlook on life. No regrets. Live every day to it's fullest, the sky is the limit.. and most importantly…. take care of your own health.
I knew of 4 girls I'd be "racing" and I honestly thought I only had a chance to out swim two girls and out bike another, but I was certain they could all run faster than me (I didn't just make this up, they have posted several 6+min mile races and I had never run a sub 7min mile in my life)… I figured I'd be coming in 5/5 of the girls I knew. I went into the race with no expectations other than to just go go go. I left my Garmin at home and decided to try racing sans socks for the first time (gotta do what ya gotta do when the race is < 1 hr!)
In the pool I passed the girl who started in front of me in the first 100meters. As I got into transition I had caught up with one of our local rising stars who had a shot at actually WINNING. I busted my ass to get out of T-1 as fast as possible, right on her wheel. I stayed a few bike lengths behind her for the first loop, then she slowly disappeared. I had passed one other girl that started in front of me, but she did catch me in the end… I bolted out of T-2 just a few seconds ahead of her.
YEAH for no socks!
I could see the two leaders in front of me and just did everything I could to keep them in sight. I was quickly passed, putting me the 4th girl back, but every one of those girls started in front of me, the closest to me having a :45 head start. I just kept telling myself all I had to do was keep less than :45 between the two of us and I could take top 3!
It's amazing how many thoughts can cross your mind in just 2 miles. But, the number one; bring me to tears thought I had was my mom. It was brought up just days after her passing that she had suspicions of breast cancer herself. While my mom was a nurse for over 30 years, the last person she ever took care of was herself and I suppose internally she knew how sick she was and she refused to go get treated. She had many additional health concerns on top of it, but to know that I was out there racing for a cause that supports finding a cure for a disease my mother may of had.. Well, that's the only motivation I needed.
In a race less than an hour long I went 110% the entire time. I beat all but 1 of the girls I thought were faster and stronger than me. I ran 2 miles at a faster pace than I've ever ran 1 mile in my life….
I finished up there with these speedsters, shocking my self… It was a very proud moment, indeed.
HOWEVER, the highlight of my day was being surprised seeing my dear friend Tonsa, SURVIVOR, running to the finish of her first ever duathlon. 5 years ago Tonsa was diagnosed with breast cancer while training with "us" for Ragnar Relay. We changed our team name to "Running Ragged, Inspired by T and raised ~ $5,000 in less than a month for Komen in her honor. She kicked that cancer's a@@ just like she did today's race. I'm honored to be her friend.