Yesterday, I participated in the Rev 3 Half Full Triathlon in Columbia, MD. I signed up to participate as part of a relay team a few weeks ago on a whim. I was finishing up my last open water swim before the AC Triathlon and the workout director mentioned that she was doing this race with a swimmer but really didn't want to do the run. She's a BEAST on the bike but like most triathletes, she HATES running. So I said "Sure... why not?" She was participating as part of Team FIGHT! so I signed up and I'm now raising money for this awesome cause so PLEASE go visit that link and donate. :)
I parked at the Sheraton Hotel and boarded the shuttle that took the athletes to the park for the race. This was an awesome option for those of us who needed to leave the park before 2 p.m. and everything operated seamlessly. I met up with my team and gathered together with the rest of TEAM FIGHT! including other athletes and some race volunteers for the prayer circle. It was my first time doing anything like this but we stood there shouting out the names of those we were competing for. I shouted out the name of one of my twitter friends who is actually undergoing her very first surgery for her brain tumor TODAY! She's an amazing girl who has run countless marathons and who inspired me to become a Half Fanatic. It was a moving and emotional event that I wouldn't trade for anything. It definitely put a fire inside of me to give my all, no matter what.
The race started around 7:30 and so did the rain. Our swimmer did an amazing job and loved every minute of it. It was the perfect set up. He loved swimming, so he kicked butt and had a great job doing the one thing he loved most in triathlon. I was fortunate enough to be on a team with an amazingly strong cyclist who didn't care about the rain. She went out there and gave her all and came back freezing and wet but feeling fearless! Then it was my turn. I went out and OMG! Holy frozen feet, Batman... After standing around and sitting around for 4 hours trying to stay warm in the rainy 50 degree weather, running on stone cold feet took some getting used to. Once my feet warmed up, the rest of my body warmed up so then it was time to strip. I went out with running gloves and rain jacket but found that none of these things were needed. Unfortunately, at the time that I wanted to strip, I encountered some hills. I can do a lot of things while running, but it's no fun running a hill while fidgeting with other things so I walked for a bit during mile 2. Once I got it all together, I took off and never stopped.
While running, I was enjoying the course! It's challenging but not obnoxious. There were hills everywhere because, well, what do you expect? It's Columbia! But nothing too hard for me to handle. I thought about LOTS of things while out on that course. I was running with so many wonderful and strong athletes who did all three sports on this wet and cold day - something that would've given me pause. I was also tracing the footsteps of one of the greatest athletes that ever existed, Lance Armstrong. Regardless of what you believe he did or did not do, one can not deny that this man is an elite athlete and inspiring!! I also thought about Monika. During those times when doubt creeped into my mind and I thought that maybe I shouldn't push too hard. After all, I DID just run 16 miles the day before. But I knew that Monika ran marathons at a mind blowing pace and now she's doing her part and FIGHTING for her health. The least I could do is FIGHT with the same heart and determination that she had so I picked it up!
|Miles 4 Mokie!!|
I ended up running a negative split, and one of my best races ever!! I felt amazing and strong at the end and still had a great time while out on the course. I received cheers of "GO TEAM FIGHT!" from the volunteers while thanking the officers for their time today and even joked around with some. :) I complain a lot...A LOT about prepping for races and waking up early but while I'm out there running and of course, at the end when I receive that medal, it feels like it's all worth it.
I'm glad I did it and more importantly I'm glad I did it for Monika.