Tag Archive | 500 meters

First Triathlon of 2009-Complete!

This 4th of July was an amazing day.  Independence Day.  A day to celebrate Freedom.  Freedom that did not come easy to our country.  It did not come without cost.  It took many willing to sacrifice for what they say they believed to be true and right.  It took determination to stand strong.  It took courage.  Many died for the freedoms we have today in America.

As I think about this day and the fact that I participated in another triathlon relay on this day of all days, it is quite clear to me that my weight loss is less and less about pounds shed and more and more about the freedom I have gained this past year.   The almost 65 lbs I have lost has not come easy.  There have been many battles fought.  Some won and some lost.  But the war is far from over.  It certainly has not come without cost.  Many sacrifices have had to be made as I choose a new way of living and eating and thinking.  It has taken determination and courage to face the parts of my story that I have not wanted to face.  I am certain I will have to continue to look at aspects of my life, past, present and future, that play a factor in my weight and health.  In many ways a part of me has died and a new me has been resurrected.  A me that enjoys athletic activities and healthy choices (most of the time anyway).

So this past weekend, I was once again part of a triathlon relay team.  My team this year consisted of me on the swim portion, Aaron on the bike (15 miles) and then Marissa would run (3 miles).  In addition to my team, Coach would be participating in his first ever triathlon and as you know, has been alying down smack talk about how he will beat my team.  We also had friends Todd and Holly (Marissa;s parents) participating as a relay team along with their friend Clint.  Finally our friend Ann was also competing in the triathlon for the first time by herself(she was on my team last fall) SO many friends participating in fun athletic activities.  Can it get any better than that?!

The best Team EVER!!!

The best Team EVER!!!

JG made great signs for us!

JG made great signs for us!

If you recall, last August I did this as well.  This time, my swim was .43 mile or 700 meters.  This is 200 meters further than the last relay.  Last time I swam 500 meters in 28 minutes (and change).  I really wanted to do this current swim in under 30 minutes but really was not sure I could do that.   During a practice swim it took me 33 minutes and while I was confident I could complete the swim, I wasn’t sure I could take that much time off my swim with less than 2 weeks to go before the swim.

Of course once again as I saw the buoys laid out, it looked much farther than I thought.  I began to question the sanity of doing this.  I was nervous again.  It is funny to me that as chatty as I am, when I am really really nervous, I go super quiet.  I started out my swim rather quickly.  I had Coach in my head laying down smack talk.  While I KNEW I could not beat him, I still wanted to do my best and at least give him a run for his money.  I started out too quickly though and before I even hit the first buoy I was quite fatigued and questioning whether I could do this or not.   I wanted to stop and float for a minute and recoup but I looked around and realized, at this point I was NOT last in the water (yet) AND stopping would give Coach an extra edge over me.  Oh Heck NO!  I was not giving him that!  AND I really didn’t want to be last in the water (again)  So I kept going, but I did slow my stroke down and my body settled into a steady rhythm.

As I approached the half-way point I looked at my watch and realized it had only been 10 minutes.  HOLY CRAP!  I could do this in 20 minutes at this rate! I didn’t realize I wasn’t really at the halfway point yet!  By now, I am the last in the water and the kayaking lifeguard people were checking on me.  I just kept telling them I am fine.  I am slow, but fine.  They can worry if my stroke changes pace or starts getting sloppy, but until then, I am fine.  Of course, I was getting leg and foot cramps this time that I had to keep kicking out!  They have to stay with the last swimmer, so of course I had an escort in!  I am determined that won’t happen next time!

I swam until my hand hit the bottom and realized I was at shore.  I stood up and about fell over as I tried to run/walk through the last of the water and up a tiny hill and over to the bikes, to Aaron.   My legs were rubber and all cramped up and didn’t want to move in a walking/running motion but I forced them too.   This time I RAN on my own over to Aaron.  And I was proud!  I remember thinking…”girl…settle down you are a big girl running in a bathing suit, think of what this looks like!”  Then I thought…”damn straight I am, I bet it is beautiful!”  I felt strong.  I felt free!  And I was soo bummed that once again I paid no attention to what Aaron was wearing so I didn’t know what I was looking for as I watched for him to come in on the bike!

As soon as I passed off to Aaron, I fell down.  My legs really were rubber and my feet just wanted to curl up into balls.  Thank Goodness for Adam who was there and helped me get the cramps out of my feet.  Oh yeah, My time in the water?  25:10.  I beat my last years time while swimming further!  I think that is pretty sweet!

As soon as Aaron was off on the bike...I collapsed...

As soon as Aaron was off on the bike...I collapsed...

Aaron coming in on the bike!

Aaron coming in on the bike!

Aaron took off on his 15 mile ride and did amazing.  He finished in 49:25.  So glad to have him on my team!

When he came back, Marissa was free to take off on her run. She was able to finish her piece in approximately 27 minutes.  (I forgot to time her and there was no split timing!)

Aaron coming in on the bike!

Aaron coming in on the bike!

Marissa-finishing strong!

Marissa-finishing strong!

All in all, our team finished in 1:42:25.  We came in # 42 of 62.  So we weren’t last!

Ann came in #32 of 62 and her final time was 1:34:42

Coach finished #49 of 73 and his final time was 1:29:08.

I can’t find Todd and Holly’s team time!

All in all though…great job everyone.

Now I must keep swimming and pick up my running a bit.  August 29th the plan is still to do one more triathlon.  It is the same one I did last year.  But this time I am going to do 2 legs.  I will swim 500 meters.  Angela will then bike and we will run it together!  This one I want to do in 20 minutes for the swim and  I do NOT want to be escorted in.  Those are my goals.

All the crazy triathletes...ok at least the ones I know...

All the crazy triathletes...ok at least the ones I know...


I am!

I started out with a blog post that talked of who I am despite the body or shell that holds me. For some odd reason, I sent it on to a couple of people as a preview and got some really good feedback. The feedback I heard was that if I separate me from my body, the story is incomplete. Some might make judgements when they see my body that I am lazy, tired, uneducated, bitter, angry, lonely, sad, or unworthy. Oh how wrong those judgments would be. They are incomplete. While I have been those things at times and probably will experience those things again in my lifetime, it is not the whole picture. I am more than just my body, but my body does tell part of the story of me.

I started out my other post talking about an image I had of me, during filming, doing a standing climb on a spin bike in my sports bra and tight shorts, in front of 4 men and actually finding the image beautiful. Yet, I still continued to separate myself from it and make it not me. Fascinating friends, fascinating. Because my thoughts about the girl in the photo were and still are….beautiful, powerful, strong, courageous, amazing, inspiring, happy, focused, determined, well loved…fascinating how I separated myself from that and only associated myself with the negative judgments one might make about a fat girl. I was encouraged to sit with owning my body as me for a bit. What an amazing experience to sit with that for a bit, imagining that photo and slowly but surely coming to grips with it being me, not some random photo of some other girl, but me. In spite of the fact that my body does not look the way I want it to look (yet), it is still me. The me now…as I am…

I have been reminded my body does reflect part of my story. My past story, past decisions that were made for me and by me, past hurts and betrayals, and even past joys. AND it reflects my current decisions, my healing and the work yet to be done. What you see is not always what you get. What you see..is just the starting point to inquire and learn more.

With that said…


I am ….
both a little girl and a grown woman.
longing to be known and loved.
deserving to be known and loved.
known and loved.

I am…
beautiful and gracious
forgiving and compassionate
motivated and determined
more than merely surviving.

I am …
powerful and strong
a wounded survivor
with a grateful heart
and an indomitable spirit.

I am …
an Aunt and a Sister
A daughter and a friend
a future wife and mother
A woman created for relationship.

I am …
a runner and a spinner
a swimmer and a biker
an athlete, no, a triathlete
breaking free.

I am…ME!

But there is more…oh so much more

I have…
dreams waiting to happen
stories ready to be told
truths worth sharing
Love ready to be given.

I have…
a world of unknown
set before me now
One step at a time
a choice to make.

I have…
Christ before me
leading the way
Friends beside me
making sure I don’t stray

I have…
hope for today and tomorrow too
Peace within me
Mercy raining down on me
Grace sustaining me.

I have…
working hands and feet
propelling me on each day
Victory is within my reach
more healing to be had.

I could swim 500 meters and I will swim 500 more….

Me, My personal Lifeguard and chasecar, and then there is my friend!
Here begins the dragging out of the water….
and up the hill….
to meet Aaron…..
and there he goes…..Go Aaron GO!!

One year ago, I signed on board with a few friends to compete in a Triathlon, relay style, Labor Day Weekend of 2008. I was to do the swim portion, Aaron would bike 20K, and Ann would then run 5K. Of course back then, I got many warnings that one could DIE swimming in a triathlon. Little did the giver of those warnings know, but that just makes me want to do it more. Tell me I cannot do something and I will prove I can!

So I began the road of swim lessons and many hours spent at the Y trying to make sure I could actually swim 500 meters straight. Well the weekend arrived last week and my team, complete with cheerleaders (Yay Adam, Leann, Mom, Laurie and Larry), and Jen’s team showed up at the triathlon, ready to go. Then I saw the lake, and the buoys, and how far away they were from each other. Then the announcer told us where I had to swim around, thank GOD is wasn’t ALL the buoys I saw out there!! I wasn’t saying much. I looked pretty calm. Aaron, Ann, Jen, and all the rest asked how I was doing. My standard answer was “I’m good!” However, my internal answer was…^%@!@&&*@&%&. The more I talk about how nervous I am, the worse it gets. So it is much better for me to put my game face on than be honest. Now that it is over….I was very nervous. But in reality, I was more nervous about making it up the hill after swimming than I was about the swim. I mean come on…it is sooo NOT FAIR to make people get out of the water and run up a hill on rubber legs in their swimsuits. But who says that Triathlons were meant to be fair!

In the end, I swam the distance, with my own personal lifeguard puttering along next to me. He says he is the chase car in a marathon. His job was to swim with the last person in the water. So I guess you now know how quickly I swam…not quick! My first 10 minutes were rough. But that is how it always is…I wanted to quit to say the least. But how does one quit in a Lake. At the pool, you grab a wall and hang on. In a lake your choices are limited. Turn around, swim on, or get hauled out. Getting hauled out was not an option for me because the ONLY way I would allow that was if I was dead…and frankly I wasn’t up for dying. Turning around was not an option either because when I wanted to quit it was equally far to turn around and swim back as it was to keep going and finish. Not to mention the fear of failure and the shame that would go along with it.

As I approached the finish, I see a man in the water just beyond the finish line. I hear cheering…yes I have fans 🙂 Then I notice the man in the water is a friend of mine who had already finished his swim…He came back for me. TO cheer me in, and to conquer the hill with me. I was not alone. Talk about no man being left behind. I felt very very loved. Together we made it up the hill and I was able to get my electronic chip that keeps track of our times passed off to Aaron so he could go off on the bike. Then and only then, was I finally able to breathe…and begin to wonder will I even recognize Aaron when he comes in on the bike. What was he wearing? What color is his helmet? Is he wearing sun glasses or not? How will I know to cheer like crazy when he comes in? SO I went and changed then stood near his siblings. Because I was for SURE that they of all people would recognize him…and when they cheered, I would cheer.

He did great, despite a mechanical failure on the bike. His seat dropped when he sat on it, so he rode a bike that was not fitted right for him and with a seat that was wobbling. Despite all that, he still spent less time on the bike than Virg. Yes it is a small victory and probably the only competitive victory for our team of the day, but a victory nonetheless.

He came in, and yes I recognized him…and Ann took off to finish strong on the running.

All in all, we decided we wanted to do it again next year, but the longer version. So next year, I add 500 meters on and will swim a total of 1000 meters. I am so glad they want me back on their team again:-)

And on a side note: I am beginning to see a theme in my fears. My fears have nothing to do with the event itself, but with what I might look like doing the event(valid-see photos), or how others might perceive it(not valid, they want me back), or the not being able to do it(not valid, I did it!).
Click the link to see our results if you care to see them. 🙂