bike23As a kid, I HATED running. That once-a-month timed mile in elementary school PE? Pure torture. I have always been klutzy and managed to dislocate my knee at junior high dance. The following year I had knee surgery, and figured—aside from swimming—sports just weren’t in the cards for me. Phew.
Then in college, I noticed a strange phenomenon. People, like, went for runs. For leisure. What? That was not for me. But the one day I thought, what the heck? So, I went for a run. I nearly yacked my lungs out after 5 minutes. But, I ran again the next day. And the next. I ran one mile. Then two. After 3 months of running I ran 6 miles!
I did a couple 5ks and 10ks. I never really had a game plan when I went for a run—no goal time, just…go for a run.
Then one day I made a super impulsive decision—I signed up for a marathon!
And it scared the crap out of me.
For 6 months I trained with an awesome group and raised money for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. In 2002, I completed the Honolulu Marathon in 6 hours and 42 minutes. And vowed to NEVER do another marathon.
A few years later I started getting into half marathons. It was fun to see my times improve with each race. I decided it was time for another Marathon. I trained HARD in the winter. I logged 11 mile treadmill runs while watching America’s Next Top Model. I finished the Eugene Marathon in 4 hours and 59 minutes. Almost two hours faster than Honolulu!
And, again, I vowed to NEVER do one again.
After that race, I got a road bike and signed up for a triathlon. It didn’t occur to me to train for this event—I knew how to swim, bike, and run…isn’t that enough.
That race was a hot mess…but I was hooked instantly on triathlons. Now, 8 years later I have done sprint triathlons, Olympic and even a few half-ironmans on the way. I have jumped off a boat from Alcatraz and swam to San Francisco. I dislocated my knee again. I started a career in the non-profit sector. I worked hard in physical therapy to get back on track. I have had days where running is the worst thing in the world. I have had days where I almost burst out crying because I was climbing a big hill on a bike and it was torture. But I keep doing it. I even completed another marathon. I keep signing up for events, trying to push myself, learn from my self-perceived failures and celebrate with my tribe of amazing women our accomplishments. I still struggle with self doubt, comparing myself with the fast people…but I still run, bike, and swim and one day had the courage to call myself an athlete.
Oh, and I have a great, awesome, supportive hubby and we are obsessed with out two cats.

And, I probably watch too much Bravo.

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