I created this blog as a way to process and record my experience as a seminary student. I also hope it will provide a platform for my friends and family to participate in the journey. Some of the entries are kind of long, but what can I say--I was in graduate school, they made us do that...


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I am not an athlete.

I have never been an athlete. I have never considered myself strong or fast or competitive or capable of training and training. I didn't grow up playing sports or watching sports.

But, here I am, running across the finish line of a triathlon after training and training for months. I look at this picture and say, wow! I am a triathlete. It's an amazing feeling and I must admit, I am pretty dang proud of myself.

The Danskin all women's sprint distance triathlon is an amazing event. It's the biggest single multi-sport event in the world. Each year they run a series of races all over the country. I don't know how many women compete in each location, but there were over 4,000 athletes in my race (in Pleasant Prairie, WI). It was an incredible experience to be among so many women being physical. It was the guys turn to watch and cheer and take pictures, the women were running (and swimming and biking)!

Over half the entrants (like myself) had never done a triathlon before and we rallied and cheered each other on all day. There were women of all different shapes and sizes, some with huge biceps, some with huge bellies. It didn't matter. There were cancer survivors and elderly women. When I lined up for the swim, I noticed a daughter, mother and grandmother lining up together behind me. I starting crying several times throughout the expo and race day. The spirit of the entire event was amazing and overwhelming. It was powerful.

One of the entrants in my race was a 78 year old woman. She did the swim, went out on her bike, fell off her bike and cut her face open. She went to the hospital and got stitches in her face. And then, she came back and finished the run! I got to watch her come across the finish line with her daughter who was also in the race. It was unbelievable.

There are four official lengths of triathlons:
  1. Sprint 1/2 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike, 3.1 mile run (what I did)
  2. Olympic .93 mile swim, 24.8 mile bike, 6.2 mile run
  3. Half Iron 1.5 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run
  4. Ironman 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run
I would love to work my way up to the Olympic. We'll see!

Here are my official times:

Swim 18:37
First Transition 4:10
Bike 47:20
Second Transition 2:03
Run 32:08
Final Time 1:44:19
Placed 1,377 out of 3,650 finishers.

My sister is swimming as part of a relay team in the Seattle event happening August 17th. If you're near the area, go cheer her on! It's an amazing thing to see. Go sister!

Who wants to do it with me next year??


mhb said...

You ROCK, Summer! I was just going to send you a little e-mail asking how it all went - looks like it was awesome.

... and considering that I'm wiped out from my measly 2.5 mile run this morning, I'm not sure if I could hang with you. Then again, there is a whole year to train...

Ally said...

I love the idea of the Danskin being only for women, about women. Women encouraging women, being strong together. I am so proud of you and awed that you accomplished this! xoxo