For my 4th time doing a Team in Training event I went back to what I started with, and what I love...Triathlons.
The race I choose was Nations Tri, taking place in Washington, D.C. The only part I wasn't looking forward to was the swim. It was in the Potomac River. Yep, that one. But you know what?? It wasn't bad. The water was clearer than any of the lakes around here.
Race weekend was AMAZING!! And even though our little group from NC (there were 4 of us) got grouped into "the national team", with unknown coaches and staff people, we were lucky enough to have both our Coaches (Bruce and Ruth) come up on their own to cheer us on! It was pretty spectacular! Julie, Michelle and I drove up together. It made sense to do that since we would all be together anyways. Annika had her family coming with her, so she drove up on her own. We had a great time hanging out in DC and doing a little (very little) sightseeing before getting ready for the big day.
The race: Having been my first Olympic/International Distance race, I'd say it was pretty overwhelming. There were 6,000 people registered. The transition area was gi-normous. I was really lucky to have been assigned a spot on the end of the bike rack (all spots were numbered to match your bib number). Anxious butterflies happened before the swim while we were waiting to be corralled up. Once the race got going though, it went fairly smoothly. Well smoothly through the water (minus that last double turn where everyone tried to climb all over each other....ewwwww, get off me), and smoothly on the bike (except that part where it didn't look like I was going up a hill, and I thought I had a flat, so I asked the girl behind me to look and see, but apparently I was just going up a hill....ohh and the many many potholes), and smoothly on the run (except that part where the girl told me to keep going, and I explained my run/walk routine, in which she let me know it would be faster if I just ran the whole thing...thanks, I didn't train for this or anything), or at least mostly smoothly on the run. Because at about mile 3 I really had to use the potty (just tee tee). BUT, there were NO potty's anywhere. And you couldn't go in the bushes, because...well it's downtown DC, there just wasn't anywhere to go hide in a bush at. It was so bad that I ended up walking for a bit, and yelling and all the water stop people to see if they had a port-a-john near by. Finally someone told me this big circular building was a potty, and I crossed my fingers that the doors would be unlocked. And they were. Relief. However, getting back into running was hard for me. So I walked, and ran a little and walked some more. I had a great time talking to people and kept moving. My weird injuries were flaring up, but I just kept moving, and finally got to running again....in time to come across the finish line. I'm positive I could of been faster....but I wasn't, and it's okay because I finished. I hung out with the girls after, and Julie and I drove home together (Michelle was meeting one of her friends in D.C.).
It was 2009. My Mom was in recovery/remission. She seemed to be doing pretty well, despite the set backs of treatment. My mom is very drug sensitive and the high dosages of steroids and neurotoxins caused some pretty severe side effects. Mom was/is unfortunately in pain most of the time now. She can't feel her feet most of the time, and when she does they hurt (pins and needles...that don't just go away). Her arm/hand shakes uncontrollably and it's beyond frustrating. Her back has developed arthritis, in part because of the multiple fusions. In spite of all these things, Mom puts on a brave face and seems to be learning to except her new limits with a thread of happiness.
I decided I would try training for the next distance of triathlon. The international/olympic distance. This distance consists of a .9 mile swim, a 25 mile bike, and a 6.2 mile (10K) run. A little more to train for than my previous sprints, but I was determined. I decided to just be a part of the team, and I was. I had a great mentor, whose positivity was AMAZING. Julie made everything seem possible. My friend (the one who originally got me hooked on TNT) became the assistant coach for this tri group, and I got to be coached by Bruce - one of the most dedicated TNT coaches around. It was a really fun summer of training. I felt strong on my bike, and felt like my run was making slight improvements (after the never wanting to run again, after Nike...Months). Swimming still came easily and was one high spot for me as I was able to help others with their swimming during our swim times.
|swimming at Falls Lake|
|perfect race food...right??|
|We were good and wore our helmets!|
|my sweet spot in transition|
|getting ready for the race!!|
|My Buddy Jenn!!|
|Me coming out of the water!|
|Run Chrissy Run|
|we look awesome in our wetsuits and caps!!|
|Coaches and Team!!|
We trained (the four of us who did Nation's Tri) with a bigger group while in Raleigh. The other group did the Wilmington YMCA Sprint Tri. It was a fun group of people to train with. Team in Training in our area was changing, and not quick enough. I truly believe in what LLS does and how TNT helps, but I think that there are many ways to make the program more effective, and more accessible to many more people. I was lucky enough to be a part of a focus group to think out different ideas (specifically for our area). By the end of this season I was a little burnt out on TNT. I was frustrated with the current powers that be. Although I still believed in the mission, I needed a year away from the cause, and I took it.