Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It is still all about Oceanside... a few more stories...

I'm glad the memories of pain fade so quickly... or maybe it is just the way I like to remember the course of events.  Either way, I've been thinking about a few additional funny memories from race day that I would like to share... if you haven't already, read the previous post, "Oceanside 70.3 - Here we go... RACE REPORT!!!" for the context of these stories.

#5... My chat during the swim...  This is a story, two years in the making!  In 2013, I met an athlete during the Desert International who had crashed (bad) at the start of the bike (first time with aerobars)... here is that race story (must read to understand the rest of this story)...  I didn't see Chris at the 2014 race, but I ran into him at the 2015 race just a few weeks ago.  I was soooo excited to see Chris, since his goal, two years ago, was to get healthy and finish a 70.3 when he turned 60.  "I'm signed up to do Oceanside" he said, "but I'm injured and am going to have to pull out." Flash forward to the swim at Oceanside... I was swimming along and noticed someone swimming on their back... IT WAS CHRIS!  I stopped and excitedly started chatting with him (yes, during the race)... to check and see how he was feeling and to cheer him on.  I saw Chris again when he caught up with me toward the end of the bike... and later, when he FINISHED HIS FIRST 70.3!!!  I can't tell you how INSPIRED I've been by his journey... to meet him at the start of his journey and to be there when he accomplished his goal!  Can't wait to see what is next... :-)

#4... Military support...  I've told you the crowds were awesome, our Tri It Together team was awesome, but there was another group that was on the course that was totally AWESOME!  The bike course was mostly on Camp Pendleton property... and our service members were in force,  in uniform, and making sure the road conditions were safe for all of the riders.  I thanked them as I rode by and got choked up when, after I thanked one service member, because he saluted me.  THAT was a great memory!

#3... My bike has clothes...  oh, the things you think about when you are in the middle of a triathlon.
In T2, I racked my bike and started getting ready for the run.  A volunteer came over to me and gave me several "kind" words of support (yes, she was yelling...COME ON... HURRY UP... YOU'RE ALMOST DONE... YOU ONLY HAVE A HALF MARATHON TO RUN!) As I started thinking once again, "What the heck am I doing...?" she put a "finisher" seat cover on my bike.  I stood up a little straighter and took off on my run thinking, "I must be an serious racer now!  Even my bike has clothes!"  I giggled to myself about that for the first mile or so of the run!!!

#2... "Oh NO you di'int..." After I was carried to the top of the hill and my 2nd muscle slammed into a cramp, I asked one of the volunteers if they would get my husband, Jeff, who was at a tent just down the street.  You heard that part before.  What I didn't know until later was the kind volunteer found our tent and said an athlete had collapsed down the street and he needed "Jeff." My Mom was standing there and said, "I'm her Mom..."  He said, "I'm sorry, she asked for Jeff."  OHHHH!!!  You can't tell a Mom her daughter had collapsed on the course and that she had to stay put.  I know the volunteer was doing his job, and he was fantastic.  As I laughed out loud when I heard this story, all I kept thinking was, "Oh no you di'int!!!" 

#1... Candy from strangers...  While the volunteer was getting Jeff, a woman came up to me with a little baggie and (2) pills.  She saw what was going on, and noticed I was wearing shorts from "HERevolution," an awesome female only tri shop.  She quickly introduced herself, said she was also part of HERevolution (they have racing and ambassador teams, which I am not a part of, I just love their clothes!) and she handed me the pills and said, "Take these."  Again, the silly things you think about during a race. I've spent decades telling my kids "not to take candy from strangers" and here I am downing these pills, on the side of the road, from a stranger. :-)  Of course they were salt pills and she was very kind to help me!

Two weeks later, and I've barely taken off my Oceanside t-shirts, and am still thinking daily about that tremendous day.  Last weekend, I was chatting with my Uncle Scott about the race.  He asked, "The story of the race and your pain was amazing, but tell me, did you have any fun or find any pleasure in the race?" He made me think.  A race like this hurts. Everyone. The elite athletes hurt just as much as everyone else... they just finish up with their pain faster than the rest of us.  I had fun training with our tri group, sharing my adventures with friends, hitting my training goals, and I have found so much pleasure thinking back on that day, hearing stories from other athletes of their race day, and remembering all of the other funny/silly/quirky details of that day.  Yes, the race hurt, but doing a 70.3 is about so much more than that one day.  :-)

Is it March 2016 yet...? :-)

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