Saturday my coach asked me if he knew I was doing the race today. I said, “remember when I texted you about it and told you I was going to wear the gopro camera?” He nodded and responded that yes now he did. But this exchange was after a great 56.5 mile ride in the hilly Feleciana Parishes. I wonder had he remembered if I would have gotten to taper a bit, but really no biggie–it’s not like this race was about time. This race was all about getting to finally cross a finish line!
Rocketchix is where it all started for me (I’m sure I have talked about the beginning of this journey before…if I haven’t, feel free to ask) so it was very fitting for Rocketchix to be my second first. Now I may be a bit biased because I do sit on the board of the non profit that puts on the race and I am on the race committee, but it’s an AMAZING RACE! We purposely put on a race with as few barriers as possible to participation so we have a road and fat tire division, we put on swim clinics, we host bike rides, we have three free training plans and more. Once upon a time, I needed that type of support. This year I need a different kind of support.
After a short delay due to some lightening and rain, which the race staff handled so well, the first person got in the pool and the race was on. I seeded myself at the front of the 3:30 wave partially because I knew things would get congested and partially because no one else would take the card when they handed them out. Worked out great because I was one of the first 15 people in the pool and ended up with a top 10 swim time 🙂
Remember how I told my coach I was going to wear the gopro camera, well this is where I put it on. So get excited about a video soon to come! The footage of the bike course turned out awesome, but nothing recorded on the run course 😦 nonetheless, good stuff to come!
I still take my time with the transition, because I am not confident about running in my bike shoes and balance can be an issue. So I walked to the start line hopped on my bike and off I went–yay! It was awesome to see all my friends on the bike course, felt like my own personal cheerleading squad, but I know they cheer for everyone. The ride thru campus was slow and bumpy, but once on River Road I settled in against the wind. Before I knew it (I remember when I thought it was so far away in my first couple races) I was at the turnaround where I saw my coach and then headed back in with the wind at my back–yay!
While it was all about the finish line, I actually got to run there and oh was it amazing. I decided I would run 3 minutes and walk 1 minute. If I need longer walk breaks later that would be fine. I am so used to being in the back of the back, that it was crazy to be out on the run course early. Of course it got crowded pretty fast as there were some fast runners out there. The turnaround was filled with cute smiles and lots of cheering from a Girls on the Run team–I was tempted to just stay and hangout with all the pink and glitter! But I turned back around and headed back in, still keeping my 3/1 regime. Loved the out and back course, because all along the way I got to see familiar beautiful faces.
Turns out persistence pays off as I actually set a PR for a Rocketchix run course bone tumor surgery and all! Being among my very first triathlons at the start of this whole triathlete thing, I really wasn’t doing a whole lot of running back then.
Crossing the finish line for the second first time is quite a different feeling. It’s a familiar feeling but strangely different as well. So much more responsibility to finish this time but no expectation on how or when–freeing and motivating all the same!
Of course I could not have done it without all those on Team Koko: My RKF family who roped me into this healthy lifestyle thing in the first place and keep pushing me to set bigger goals for myself, my FJR coach PF and teammates who help me figure out how to accomplish those goals, my fav PTs and staff at BRPT-Lake who have managed to make my knee work again, the docs at Emory who’s handiwork is why I can put one foot in front of the other every day, my friends at The Bicycle Shop who keep me and my Specialized Transition in tip top shape and looking good in my sweet tri top, the great people at Skratch Labs who help keep me hydrated while training and racing, my cheering squad on social media near and far…you seriously are amazing and I could not have done it without YOU ALL!!!
Next stop on the Koko Comeback Tour: Happys 5000!