I finished my very first half IM! Everything was perfect for Redman Triathlon in Oklahoma City; weather, pacing, volunteers, nutrition, and finish! Well, not everything went perfectly but I’m not complaining; I finished! I did this race to prepare for the goal in Arizona and I learned some valuable lessons. I had everything written out, double checked, and even printed on places to remind me. The swim was calm and relaxed and right on target. The bike was hilly but I never varied from the heart rate plan and I felt strong. In the previous two shorter races I did, I bonked on the 6 mile run course. Not this time! I was flying through my first 6 miles of this 13.1 course.
Then I hit mile 7. That’s when the wheels came off. I had rehearsed my race day nutrition and I was following it perfectly until the run. I knew I was behind on my caloric intake but I pressed on. One of my favorite signs on the run was, “Your mind is telling your body to stop but your body is telling your mind to SHUT UP!” It made me laugh and my legs were screaming. I had to walk more than usual but I’ve learned to swallow my pride as a triathlete. I tried to compensate by drinking the Gatorade at the aid stations but that upset my stomach. I know, I know, never race with what you don’t train with. I told you I learned some lessons.
Then, with 3 miles to go, as I was walking, two guys in street clothes, who were members of our tri4Him organization, encouraged me with these words, “Your savior carried His cross with every last step, and even when He fell on His knees, He kept going…for you; so don’t you quit!” So, here’s my encouragement to you; when you’re out of gas, down on your luck, crippled with anxiety, or paralyzed by fear, keep moving forward! Eventually the finish line will appear.