Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My New Labor Day Tradition! :D

Happy Late Labor Day! :D

Yesterday was a very happy day for me. :) I'm anxious to tell you about it, but first, a little background information is needed.

This spring I determined to "try a triathlon." I had plans to do the triathlon in Hayden Idaho, right here in my home town, on roads which I myself regularly tromp on... I was so excited!

But then my mom got sick. So of course I left town for three weeks to care for her, played catch up when I got back home, and since I still hadn't trained for the swim... I reluctantly, I let the opportunity pass me by; it was excruciatingly disappointing. I comforted myself with the hope of signing myself up for swimming lessons and entering another triathlon in a nearby town later in the year.

But you know how unpredictable life can be. :o  Summer continued to keep me busy. As badly as I needed it, swimming still happened only 4 times this year - no lessons (It was much more feasible for me to step out my door and run or roller blade, than it was to go to the lake or across town to the pool). So I went to Daily Mile and changed my goal from...
"Right now, my goals are to successfully complete my first half marathon and triathlon, this year"
"Right now, my goals are to successfully complete my first half marathon and triathlon."
(Note that the "this year" was dropped off the goal. And if you are new here, you might like to know that, YES, I did complete my first Half Marathon!). I tried to tell myself that it was "OK to wait until next year to do a triathlon," but honestly... it was very disheartening. The wind had been totally taken from my sails. This was a very sad decision.

Then, Sunday at church my husband was handed a flier advertising a sprint triathlon for Labor day morning... the next morning.

This was quite spontaneously put on by a friend in our church. Not even waiting to get home from church to let me know about it, Miles brought the flier straight to me (good man... he knows his wife! ;). The moment he showed it to me, I KNEW, I HAD to be in it.

Somehow, I knew I was ready. Somehow, not having swimming lessons I planned to take DIDN'T MATTER. Somehow, knowing I had never swam anywhere near a half mile before in my life, didn't matter. Somehow, having to find both a bike, and a wetsuit - by tomorrow morning, didn't matter. NOTHING MATTERED... except for the fact that I had been given a second chance - and I knew I had to take it! (Actually, there was one other thing that did matter; there would be kayaks there to rescue me if I absolutely had to rest! :o)

Of course, you know the rest of the story. :) I called my friend, Valerie and got permission to borrow her daughters bike and wetsuit; I woke early the next morning and had a bowl of oatmeal with black strap molasses and real butter (that's how I like it), and a cup of alkaline Nikken water with a shot of liquid chlorophyll and peppermint added to it to swallow down a few nutritional supplements; I showed up for the race with my water bottle, goggles and cap; AND, I did not have to be rescued.  :D

I'm choosing to believe that I'm ready! I can do this!

There were 9 people in this first annual Triathlon... I'm the one on the far right.
Though the numbers of participants were few, I heard that the course we took was actually tougher than the Coeur d'Alene Triathlon course, which I intended to participate in earlier this year and missed. It was an AWESOME course! :)

Getting goggles ready for the swim...

I was so excited about having done it, (not to mention SO exhausted) that when I got back to shore I didn't even rush to take off my wetsuit. I sat on the ground, just basking in the moment - in awe. I had done it! :D

My friend, Dave, pulled me out of my trance as he started yanking my wet suit off of me so I could continue the triathlon. His wife, Valerie, has been in triathlons many times, so he knows how to be a good tri-athlete support (when helping out is allowed - depending upon the race). My husband was also a support crew member. He was to stand at a particular bend in the road... making sure no one missed a turn that might be easy to miss. What I didn't know, was that he was also off posting signs while we swam... so participants would know where to go (Probably for me... He knows me well!! :o). The funny thing is that I didn't know he was out posting signs, so I stayed with Laurel for the rest of the race (bike ride and run).

Laurel tried to get me to run ahead of her here... can you believe that? I said, "No way!" Then I grabbed her by the hand (hard to see in this photo) and we ran through together. We raced together, after all! :o

Now, I need to tell you how the race went. You probably wonder how I did... :o Well, you already know. I went, I raced, I rocked! ;) Not enough info??? All right then, I'll tell you more. :)

Like I told you, I stuck with Laurel so I would know where to go. Unfortunately, Laurel had also borrowed a bike for the race, and there were some MAJOR issues with shifting going on. Laurel had to bike up steep hills in a large gear. That REALLY slowed things down! I'm super impressed that she made it up the hills without walking, but wonder if walking might have been faster. :o Laurel seemed to feel bad about her bike slowing me down. By the way, there were other things which slowed us down as well... by A LOT, but I won't bore you with the details. Worried about her bike slowing me down, Laurel offered to tell me the route and encouraged me to go on without her, but I had to be honest with her; "Laurel," I told her, "I'd rather finish LAST, than not finish at all - because I went the wrong way." I really meant it. I was there to prove to myself that I could do the swim, and to enjoy the experience. Nothing else mattered, and I really enjoyed visiting with Laurel! :D    

Laurel and I DID come in last. But we completed the triathlon. We accomplished our goals. We swam! We lived! ;D And I know Laurel has done this before, so she already knew she could do it; but for me, I discovered (once again) that I am FAR MORE CAPABLE than I realized. Not only did I live, I wonder how much farther I could have swam... I wonder what else I can do? :o ... :D

PS. There were a many friends and family members there cheering us on as we finished each of the three portions of the race; each of the three portions of the race ended and began at the same location. We swam first, then biked, and last of all we ran. When I came in from the bike portion, I was completely alone, and totally last (I stopped at a friends house to use the bathroom just before the bike portion ended, so Laurel got ahead of me during that time. I didn't realize we were so close to the checkpoint; the plan was to catch up to her BEFORE getting there! Thankfully, Laurel kindly waited for me at the check point for the running portion of the race).

For just a minute - knowing that I was LAST (and that I had actually spent a portion of the race - not racing, but instead standing still or just walking, - due to reasons not mentioned in this post) I was a little embarrassed to be cheered for so heavily because I didn't think I had earned the cheering. I was also a little embarrassed to take so long getting there - and not have anyone know why (pride is a terrible thing).

Having this experience of coming in last got me thinking about how our Father in Heaven might feel as he watches us, sometimes come in last. I figured that if these friends were proud of those of us who strangled in at the end... Heavenly Father surely must also be proud of us all, for all of our accomplishments. In God's eyes, there are no comparisons between His children. HE KNOWS what is going on in each and every one of our lives. I think, He is probably as proud of us when we come in last, as He is when we come in first; the point is that we enter and finish the race!

Wouldn't it be great if we could all see each other the way God does... and view everyone as winners?

Wishing for us all ~ humility and the ability to see others through God's eyes...

Corine :D

PPS Valerie, my running partner was also there. She took 5th place; way to go Valerie! :D Here are a couple photos of the three of us women who were in the triathlon... (all friends :)

I'm the one in the middle. ;o

...just goofing off! :D
I hope this triathlon snowballs and we get a huge turnout next year! But regardless of how many people participate - I'll be there! :)

PS I’m thankful for the once in a lifetime opportunity to be last… as well as for opportunities to be kept humble. But I’m also looking forward to entering future triathlons… and kicking butt! LOL ;D

Corine :D


  1. WAHOOO! Congratulations! So excited for you!

  2. I am so impressed! I would love to do something like that some day. I just have to find the motivation to find the time right now... maybe after my daughter goes off to college I will have more time.

    I think you are amazing for doing something like that... especially with only one days notice? That's crazy!

    Congrats! Congrats! Congrats! on finishing and accomplishing your goals. You've earned it!

  3. That is soo great!! I am so glad you were able to accomplish so much that day.

    Corine :D

    Thanks, Ginger! Honestly, I'm impressed, too! :o (Actually, I'm impressed with the wetsuit! LOL I couldn't have done that swim without it!!!) It was great for me to be able to be in such a small triathlon with so few people; knowing the kayakers could keep an eye on me and keep me safe gave me the courage to try it. I was SO happy to discover I didn't even need their help. It was a MAJOR MENTAL accomplishment (fear of drowning... on it's way OUT!). I hope you can find time NOW to prepare for things like this. You owe the blessings to yourself! ;)
    Corine :D

    Thanks, Cassie! :D And thanks for visiting me here. I have been crazy busy here lately with WAY too much to do. It's nice to be visited on my blog where I can be pinned down for a few minutes! LOL
    Corine :D

  5. Congratulations!! Glad you got to do something you enjoy and really wanted to do. And wonderful thoughts about Heavenly Father too.


There is a ripple effect in all that we do; what you do touches me, what I do touches you...

THANK YOU for your comments; you add so much insight and brighten my day! :)