The Road to My First Triathlon and Beyond

author : acbadger
comments : 1

I too was a beginner triathlete...and in many ways, I still am! 6 years ago, I was an overweight woman who considered herself relatively fit until I was told I should start running by a former boyfriend of mine. Well, "what was so hard about that?" I thought to myself. "I teach 5 aerobics classes a week, and I power walk already...so why not! I'll start running on Monday!" Well, that's all it took to get the WICKED ball rolling.

I laced up my running sneakers (which were more like cross trainers, heavy and not REALLY made for the running I intended on doing) and out the door I went. I huffed and puffed up the road and didn't make it one mile when I had to stop and walk! What was this about?? I exercised ALL of the time!! I should be able to run at least one mile without gasping for air like I had been held underwater for several minutes against my will!!! I was in shock! I started running again. And by running I mean dragging one foot ahead of the other, no flight phase present in any stride I took. Basically...I was walking, like the monster walks you see in the horror movies!! Had I had longer arms dragging hairy knuckles along the asphalt...I could have been cast AS the nightmare on Main Street!! I finally made it home and now I was mad!! I was so mad at myself that I couldn't run even one mile without stopping, that I was going to learn how to run!! I was going to run right and I was going to run well!!! That was it!!

So, off I went, running 3 or 4 days a week. Walking some, running more, walking less, running more! It was amazing. I started to run 2, then 3 then 4 miles without  stopping. Now I was going to set another goal. I was going to run the Labor Day 5-mile road race in Bangor Maine!! I was going to do a 5 mile race and I was going to run it well!! I ran! I trained! I started losing weight AND inches!! I was thrilled. I got a friend of mine at the gym to start running with me...now it was FUN! We ran! We talked! We laughed and we ended up running 6 to 7 miles when we went out together! How did this happen?? Oh, I didn't care...I was having a blast and feeling
GREAT!!!

So, now I was running almost every day. It was closing in on race day and a friend of mine called me. She is an OUTSTANDING athlete. She had run one or two marathons and asked if I wanted to run the Chicago Marathon with her, October 2000. I thought she had lost her marbles!! What was wrong with her?? Didn't she know I just started running?? I couldn't even run a mile without stopping just a few months ago. However, it was another challenge...another goal I could set for myself. So, I asked her to send me her training program and I would do it and consider running the marathon. Well, after running a 16 miler I thought "what am I doing??" Did I go insane and people forgot to tell me?? I couldn't do a marathon! Then I thought to myself...if I tell myself I can't do it, then I can't do it! I am a stronger person then that! I'm running it! I'm doing it! I AM going to run a marathon. That afternoon I went home and registered! Chicago here I come!!

I did the training! I did the 20-mile run! I bought my plane tickets! I booked my hotel room. I was there. It was the weekend of the marathon. I had survived all the training! I had survived the flight to Chicago. I had a blast at the Expo. I had my carbo loaded dinner. I was ready to rock 'n' roll!

Race day...nerves and all, I was on the starting line with almost 30,000 people. I really wanted to run the marathon in under 4 hours. Another CRAZY goal I had set for myself!! But I was going to try! The starting signal went off and we basically walked another half mile just to get to the starting line! Now I was running. Feeling good. Proud I was there! Happy I didn't wimp out and tell myself I couldn't do it! The pride lasts longer than the pain. I kept telling myself that after I passed EVERY mile marker!!

Four hours and two minutes later, I crossed the finish line. I was crying! I was exhausted! I was sore! I was PROUD!!!! Only a year ago, I my goal was to run a 5 mile race...and now I had completed a race five times as long!! Now, I wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Oh no, my goal setting days were not over yet. Boston Mass, here I come with a vengeance!!!

Two marathons later, I qualified for Boston. Disney Marathon 2003 I ran in 3:37 minutes!! Now what were my goals going to be?? Ah ha!! I would pursue and new sport! But one where I could still run, because running was my life! I loved running!! Triathlons! That's it! I will compete in triathlons!


Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons (with one on the way) later, I am looking to compete in a Half Ironman May, 2006! I still have A LOT to learn. I still have many goals to set for myself and pursue...but it just goes to show you, that once you tell yourself you can and want to do something...you CAN and WILL do it! I'm just an average woman with a wonderfully supportive husband and a 3-year old son that means the world to me. I have a family who has been there for me when I had to train and needed a baby-sitter...and I owe so much to them as well!!

Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification so I could help others attain their goals! I started a running group for children for the Bangor Police Athletic League in Bangor Maine and I began a "Run for Your Life" wellness running program for adults at the gym where I used to train! Learning how to swim/bike/run safely, is FAR more important than learning how to do them all quickly! That comes with time. I love what I do! I love to see people succeed! I love to help people do what they have set out to do...and then take them to the next level if they so choose.

Keep running! Stay strong and be healthy!! See you at the Disney Triathlon, Sept 25, 2005!!
 

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date: October 2, 2005

Author


acbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

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avataracbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

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