Coming off of a winner’s high after taking 3rd place in my age group at my first Olympic distance triathlon on Sunday, I was put back in my place last night at the final San Diego Tri Club Aquathon. This monthly summer evening race is informal and consists of a 1,000 meter ocean swim with a 3 mile beach run afterward. It’s a mass swim start and you are swimming and running alongside (well not alongside since they are usually way ahead) very serious triathletes, including some pros! Of course there are plenty of beginners and normal age groupers like myself, but competing against men of all ages rather than just women 25-29 really puts my abilities into perspective. I usually feel pretty confident after having a good swim, but I get annihilated on the run. I can’t even count the number of people who pass me.
Needless to say, each time I finish an Aquathon I’m reminded that I am not as fast I want to be. I don’t get too upset about the pros and super fast men beating me, but I don’t like being passed by so many girls on the run. Since I’ve only been really running long distance for a year and a half or so, I know I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. I just use it as motivation to work harder. I’ve come SO far since I started competing but I know I have a long way to go. I ran my first half marathon 2 1/2 years ago in 2:13 and my last race in 1:52. I ran my first 5k in 29 minutes yet I ran the 5k at the end of the Solana Beach triathlon last month in 23. Imagine where I’ll be a year from now – or five!
I know that I signed up for an Ironman very soon after entering the sport of triathlon (most people wait 2-3 years), but I think that in the end, finishing an Ironman has a lot less to do with your natural ability or tenure in the sport and a lot more to do with your drive to succeed. If you put a plan in place and you work at it and never give up, you will can do (practically) anything. My favorite Ironman YouTube video, “Till I Collapse” epitomizes this philosophy and I’d like to share it with you here. You may watch this video and wonder why I want to put myself through this pain. Or you might watch it and want to do one yourself. If you’re in the second group like me, you just may consider joining me in my Ironman training!
Never give up!