To Tri or Not to Tri: That Was the Question
Last year I poured my heart into the vision of running a half ironman triathlon. I trained and tried and trained some more. But in the end, my knees just would not take the pounding of so much running. I ended up in pain, frustrated and sad that I was not able to complete this goal. I was able to run a couple of sprint tri’s last summer and loved those. But I was really just viewing them as preparation for the half ironman. It takes hours of training and determination to achieve that 70.3 miles and I was close. But not close enough.
My love for the sport of triathlon began in 2015, when one of the nurse’s, Ann Gilbert RN extraordinaire, at the hospital where I work created the Montana Women’s Triathlon. It is a low stress, high fun opportunity to try out the sport. When I first heard about it, I thought maybe I could be on a team and just do one of the sports. I asked a coworker if she wanted to be on a team with me and she told me that she was going to do the entire thing. The competitive side of me kind of rose up, and I thought that if she could do it – so could I! So I did – and loved it! Oh, I was scared and nervous but what a blast. I was 57 years old that summer, and certainly not in great shape, but decided to give it a shot anyway. Swim- bike- run just resonated with me in a way that few sports ever have. I love the training, the competition, the excitement, and yes the T-shirt and medals.
After the big fail of last year, I kind of gave up. I decided, after a particularly long and depressing winter, that I just wasn’t going to compete this year at all. No triathlons, no half marathons, nothing. Not only have I not done much training, I have gained a bunch of weight and feel – well – unathletic to say the least.
Then spring began to bring sunshine and warmth to the frozen state of Montana. I started riding my bike outside again. One day as I was out on a long bike ride, I realized that the motivation of a race coming up helped me to work out better and longer. I took up race walking and discovered that I can walk almost as fast as I can run (yes, I’m a back of the pack turtle runner – and proud of it). The ads for the MT W Tri began showing up here and there. The ads for the Seeley Lake Challenge Tri (my other favorite) began showing up. And then it happened. I signed up for both. I must really want those new T-shirts!