Most people assume my name is Maureen or Monique. Neither is true. It's Melissa. When I was little I must have been a little pain in the ass. My parents always called me Molasses. As in you're slow as molasses in January. Luckily it got shorten by the time I went to school. I just can't help myself, my name is Mo because I am slow.
On Friday I began the beginning of a break up. A heart wrenching, stomach punching break up. A single girl's break up. I won't go into the details for all party's involved sakes but it's made me think about what I have accomplished.
In October I completed my first 70.3. There have been many long runs where I've composed blog entries about the race but I just couldn't get myself to write about it. It is an accomplishment that I should have been really proud of but it's taken time, almost three and a half months, to really soak in the experience and realize what an accomplishment. I'm slow.
The race was in Austin, TX which has an average temperature of 73 degrees for October 23rd. In 2011 it was a cool 88 degrees and the bike computer registered 110 in the sun! Luckily the bike and run were in direct sun and on asphalt. I swear I thought I was in hell. I feel like Texas might be it's own kind of hell regardless but this day in particular I found religion.
The cannon went off and the professionals were off. About 10 minutes later they were out. Pretty incredible to watch the real tri-ers tri-ing. An hour and a half later the gun, note no cannon, went off and so was I and 105 of my closest friends. Best swim of my life. I just concentrated on one stroke after another. The buoys were flying by and I hit the first turn buoy and then the second. I hit land and was coherent enough to immediately begin stripping. At the top of the hill were large men eagerly waiting to remove the wetsuit in one fell swoop. They must practice a lot in Texas. I didn't stick around long enough to see.
I quickly got slathered with sunscreen and was off on the bike. Only in triathlon does one get stripped and slathered within 2 minutes. My legs felt great getting on the bike and the road was much nicer to my bike than the Corolla I used to drive the course the day before. Then it hit. Mile 13. All signs pointed to hell. I should have known then to get off and start praying. The wind. I had a head wind from 13 to mile 56. In between 13 and 56 there was dehydration and craziness ensued. I had only one girl in my age group pass me on the bike. I knew we were all having fun. Great balls of fire!
My family was at the end of the bike. I squeezed out a smile for .2 seconds and thankfully they caught it on camera. The run was 13.1 miles and a 3 looper. I'm in favor of multiple run loops. It allows you to run by the crowds that many more times and suck in their energy. Only problem with this loop was the beer tents. As you ran closer you could smell the alcohol. And those lovely supporters were even closer to the course yelling and spewing their alcohol breaths all over you. Granted it was already eight hours into the race and I don't blame them but next time maybe stay a little farther from the course when cheering. Multiple ice sponges, coke, and pretzels later I finally crossed the finish line at 6 hours 51 minutes and 14 seconds. I just wanted a beer.
There are so many ways to look at a triathlon and ultimately any judgement is usually unfair. You just never know which one of you is going to show up. It is what gravitates me to the sport. One race is one race and it can never be compared fairly with another. I am really looking forward to my next 70.3. It'll have to wait until 2013 (holy shit I think I may have found a solution to my phobia of commitment).
Running Tip #297190: Trim those toe nails.
(Semi) Apology #45908: I have family that lives in Texas. I don't mean to be hatin' on y'all but you're just crazy.