Monday, July 21

Marble Falls Triathlon 2014

This past weekend Jessie and I completed the Marble Falls Triathlon not too far from Austin, TX. Jessie completed the Sprint distance swim-bike-run, while I opted for the Olympic or International distance: 1,000m swim, 23mi bike and 4.4mi run.

This race was special for two main reasons. First, was the fact that it was our first triathlon in almost two years. With all my attention dedicated to qualifying for Boston, swimming and biking took a back seat the past few seasons. The other reason this race was special was that it marked the four year anniversary of my first-ever triathlon, which just so happened to be the same race. I was nostalgic before the swim start, thinking back on my first race; it felt surreal to be back in Marble Falls to reignite my triathlon passion.

My race strategy was simple:

  1. Swim: don't drowned.
  2. Bike: take it easy (lots of hills).
  3. Run: give it what I had left.
All of this resulted in a great experience that I'll sum up in three words: humbling, motivating and fun.

Humbling

Four years ago I wrote a short recap of my first triathlon race in Marble Falls, and in it I said: "What a humbling experience it is to see 55-year-old women fly by you on the bike going up a hill." Even after four years of endurance training under my belt, it's still something that happens... and it's still a humbling experience. I must say, I knew I wasn't in that great of shape going into this race, but being back out there made me realize that many people have been working hard at multi-sport while I was zeroed in on one. There are no shortcuts in this sport if you if you want a respectable time. You can't cheat your way out of training. Only beating my previous Marble Falls time by 15min (with much cooler temperatures this go-around) reminded me of those facts.

Motivating

But the humble pie inspired me. Being out with a community of people determined to be healthy and accomplish their goals was incredibly motivating. The fast athletes revved up my competitive engine. The first-timer's reminded me of myself four years ago and the positive impact it's since had on my life. I came away from Marble Falls tired, sore, and motivated to get back into training.

Fun

Jessie and I aren't making money off of this sport (although you'd think some people are with how serious they take it). It's not a job, it doesn't pay the bills. Far from it, actually, triathlon can be expensive! Ultimately we do this because it's fun. Yes, putting your body through the ringer to cross the finish line is fun to us. Some think it's a sick cult, but triathlon has added a tremendous amount of value to our lives: health and fitness, goal-oriented determination and countless friendships. Training and racing are incredibly fun, and I hadn't realized how much I missed the ladder! 

Jessie and me before the race

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