2 1/2 years ago I did my very first sprint triathlon and loved it. My goal was to do more and to get better every time....it was going to be my new "thing"....and then I got injured. I couldn't ride my bike from the injury as my hip would lock up while riding. It was horrible. I went to PT and we worked on my hip flexors, but it never would heal.
Then last May my body shut down on me. I had overworked some small muscles because the big muscles weren't firing....so at that point I was in rehab mode just to be able to workout again, much less do another triathlon. I stayed positive, but always in the back of my mind I was super bummed and fearful that I wouldn't do them again.
In the fall, I started to feel a little better and was finally starting to workout again. Each day was hit or miss, but I was bound and determined to get my life back. Last year in December, I think, one our our awesome challengers and high school friend -Meredith - said she wanted to do a "Moms Triathlon" - I jumped in with no questions asked to support, and do it with her. I figured I'd have time to train and figure it all out, even if I just walked the entire thing. I NEEDED this and was super excited. She then pulled an entire GROUP of people to jump in too, one other challenger (Katie), and another high school friend (Sarah). We were a TEAM!!!
Then in January/February of this year my back went haywire on me and I ended up having to get an MRI. The pain in my back and in my hips were unbearable. I found out that I have a hip labrum tear that is not fixable and a bulging disk that was causing a lot of the pain. I was told that I probably should never run again and that my life was going to have to change dramatically. To say I was devastated is an understatement. I had just started running and loved doing it. It was something my husband and I did together, and after 35 years of HATING running, I was enjoying it.
I went into PT deflated, but determined to beat this. After talking to Brandon from Endurance Rehab in Mesa, AZ, I left feeling hopeful. He said that with PT, and working on making me stronger in my glutes and core he didn't see why I wouldn't be able to do the triathlon. We only had a couple months to prepare, but he said it would be a great test to see how my body was handling things.
I wasn't able to train for this too much in the "traditional" sense of doing runs, swims, and bikes, but thankfully the PT that I did twice a week for about 2 hours at a time, plus Beachbody workouts, and yoga, helped prepare me for everything. I only got in 3-4 swims, 2 bike rides, and 2 runs....I knew individually I could do everything and I figured that I'd be able to do the entire thing if I just pushed hard. I wasn't going to be fast... but I knew I could at least do it.
I went into the race nervous, and not sure what to expect. I didn't know if my body would hold out, but I was excited to try. I felt strong and felt like this could be a good option in the future, if I stuck with small triathlons.
In my mind, I was doing this for Meredith, as support for her - so I thought.....but truly, her asking me to do this, was supporting me in my own journey and helping me to push myself in ways I wasn't sure I could. I think we all felt that way truly!
In all, 2 of my challengers from my challenge groups, and one other high school friend joined me for the race, and doing it together was worth it all. I didn't care about winning...I did it because we all pushed each other and believed in each other.
The power of friendships and accountability are powerful things... they push you to go outside of your comfort zone and do things you didn't think you would. I am so proud of these ladies and myself. Katie, who had NEVER done a triathlon before got a 1:22, which was amazing!!! I ended up with a 1:34, which I was so proud of considering everything that was against me. I felt amazing after the race and know my body can do more.
My amazing family was there to support me, and it mean so much because Triathlons are my daughters thing... since she was 5 she's done multiple triathlons, and she helped give me tips, she cheered hard, and I was so grateful that my family was there to cheer me on.
Meredith, the one who started this whole thing... did something that she never thought she would do and was I am so proud of her. She had her son join her on the final stretch of the run, and we all cheered so hard for her. She keeps saying she's not sure if she'll do another one, but I already have one planned for us to do.... and she's gonna love it!!! It's an addiction and it sticks!!!
I am so thankful for the people in my life that push me to be better. Who believe in me and support me. This community of amazing women in my life is amazing. Next year... i'm thinking we need to get ALL of my challengers to join us in this adventure. It's such a great way to prove to yourself that ANYTHING is possible if you put your mind to it!
Thank you Meredith, for pushing us all to do this... what an amazing weekend!