Ohhhh boy. Okay I know this post is on a slight delay but honestly, this is the very first time I have gotten even two seconds alone to relax and reflect. I just did my very first triathlon! HOLY COW! 😀
There are so many thoughts that popped into my head before, during, after. Some good, some bad. I took them all, acknowledged them, and then allowed them to either fuel me or leave my thought process entirely. I want to take a second to share some of those things with you in the hopes that it may inspire others to try such an awesome feat (or to at least roam outside their fitness comfort zone)…
So here is the recap of the things I took away from this AMAZING, thrilling, learning experience:
- The TriRock race itself is KICK ASS! It was such an amazing run. They made the environment so fun and the number of volunteers they had really made for such an inspiring day. One of my most favorite moments was on the tail end of the 2nd mile of the 3.1 mile run (aka the tail end of the ENTIRE thing, like I was dead at this point) there was a group of kids who had to all be no older than 8. They were standing out in the heat, jumping up and down, yelling and high-fiving every runner who passed. I wanted to cry at that point bc every muscle in my body was screaming WHAT THE FUDGE?! But seeing those kids put such a ridiculous smile on my face. I laughed, high-fived them, and then sped up… Until about 1 min later when I realized my body hurt again hahaha. If TriRock comes to your area, try it out.
- I have the most amazing support system in my boyfriend. This guy seriously was almost sweating more than me when I crossed the finish line because he was running around from spot to spot to get pictures and video of me at various times. He also was probably more excited than me when he saw the results. He came over to the transition area where I was still trying to figure out how to breathe properly and told me that I was 3rd in my age group and that I had beat my goal time and I swear he was beaming. He IS the reason I felt so great about my performance that day.
- I really need to do long endurance work more. This race kicked my effing butt. I will be honest though, I didn’t train. Not really. Not like you should for something like this. I kept up with my typically 4-6 day/week Crossfit routine and I added some morning runs or bike rides to that (all between 2.5 – 7.5 miles). I at no point attempted a run and bike in the same day. Nor did I go longer than 7.5 miles at any given time. I’m not sure if it was fear that stopped me or if I thought my lack of training would give me an excuse if I was awful on race day? It was stupid and I will mark that as one mistake I will not make again.
- Swimming is no damn joke BUT I am better at it than I thought. The swim was not easy by any means and I resorted to a bit of a frog like swim for splurts to give me some relief. But I honestly expected the swim to go worse than it did haha. When I got in the water and immediately passed up 3 girls it sparked something in me and I was like “huh, maybe I can actually do this shit!” Do not underestimate the swim. Even if it is “only 1/4 mile” *insert emoji crying face here*
- “Constantly varied” should not just be how your crossfit box programs their WODs, it is how you should live your life. When it comes to fitness, unless you are a professional athlete or training to be Mr. Olympia, you should incorporate any and all sorts of fitness and exercise into your routines. After all, fitness is about being able to be healthy, agile, strong, fast, and ultimately a survivor. Crossfit preaches functional fitness and I believe that is something we should all live. What good is it that you can bench 350 if you can only do it on a Thursday after sun down, when you’ve had your pre-workout, and you are on your favorite bench. Live your fitness in the way in which it helps you to live your LIFE optimally.
- Mobility. Recovery. Do not take them for granted. My body ached for two days after the race. I don’t know that it helped that I went and did max squats the day after hahaha but regardless. My right calf is still riding the struggle bus. Because I strained it minimally a few days before the race and I didn’t care for it like I should have. Do your mobility people. Both before and after. Incorporate that as an essential piece of your training. Your body will thank you.
- Stay hydrated. Not just during the race but leading up to it. One thing I am thankful that I was given as a tip is to super hydrate in the two days leading up to the race and especially the day before. Your body will dehydrate like crazy on the day of the race. Especially if you are like me and decide to do your race in the first days of September in Austin freakin Texas haha… Yeah next time I am picking a cooler month for this nonsense haha… Have an electrolyte replacement option available in your transition area. I used to be a pure water person. Trust me, that will not do it for this. BUT avoid super sugared up ones because if you are anything like me that will just expedite cramps in EVERY MUSCLE IN YOUR BODY.
- Do NOT compare yourself, your level, or your fitness to anyone else. I know these things have results and I mean they are a RACE so naturally there is come competition there and if you’re a super competitive person like myself then it is even more so. Don’t psych yourself out. I like to believe I am at a decent fitness level. I am not an elite athlete and I know endurance is one of my struggles (which is what propelled me to challenge myself to do this in the first place). In the days leading up to the race I got so into my own head and let myself think that I was being pathetic for doing the “super sprint” version of the race and not a longer version… I think my boyfriend almost killed me when I said that haha… But he was right. It was the first time I had done something like this and just because I am halfway decent at crossfit and can lift doesn’t mean it was “pathetic” that I wasn’t a superstar at this. It was new to me. Obviously there was a reason I signed up for the shorter version at the time… And I definitely was reminded why after the race hahaha
- I am BADASS… You are badass. Everyone who does something that pushes them outside their comfort zone is badass. Why? Because it is not easy. It will never be easy. Ya know what is easy… staying inside your comfort zone. Staying in that bubble where you don’t feel pain or get sore or challenge yourself. That’s easy. But what does that get you? Nothing. There is no growth, no change, no progress, no ass kicking done in the land of complacency. So don’t be complacent. Leave your comfort zone, try something new, and bask in the thrill of it all; no matter how it goes.
- Do not ever take yourself too seriously. Life is short and, even when competing at athletics or in fitness competitions of any sort, you put in everything you can and give your best and that is all you can do and should ALWAYS be good enough for you. Have fun in any feat you take on because life is a journey. It is about experiences and about learning and growing and loving every moment.
I am so thankful to have had this experience. I thoroughly enjoyed every part of training and of the race itself. I can honestly say I am beyond proud of myself. I do not know when I will do anther triathlon; though I think it is something that I may consider in the future. What I do know is that I will continue pushing my “limits”, stepping out of my comfort zone, and challenging myself. My next feat will be Crossfit related as I am already on the hunt for a crossfit competition. BUT I fully intend to make long runs and bikes a part of my regular training and fitness routine. I have a new found love for biking in particular. I could not be happier with myself, my support system, and my training and coaching.
On to the next thing! 😀