Monday, September 9, 2013

Cloud Nine and Beyond....

Well, seems Cloud Nine took a bit of coming down from. The drinks had cocktail umbrellas, they played a lot of Wham! and there was a 24 hour crèche. I hooted and tooted up there for days after Montauk, basking in the glory of my achievement, discovering new lines of Ben and Jerry’s and keeping abreast of news with the Kardashian/West baby.

Even my first run post-tri was soft, fudgy and rose-tinted. I cycled too and swam. But something was missing. My feet were slow, mind wandering. Before my race, I’d feared I’d get the blues after I’d packed so much into the training – emotionally and physically. But that wasn’t the case at all. I was properly pumped, firing on all cylinders. The trouble was I had all this triathlon left in me and nowhere to let it come out.

In hindsight I should’ve signed up for more gigs but the Montauk one was nestled nicely in the middle of the summer – handily giving me ample time to train for it while then leaving me with a big fat British holiday just two weeks after the end of it. British holidays, and Scottish ones in particular, mean a lot of fish and chips, curries, lattes and wine. Scheduling was all out – as it should be while on holiday. I managed a cheeky 10k road race with my sister across Edinburgh’s Forth Road Bridge and back, plus a few more runs besides but the holiday was firmly about making merry with friends and family. The bathroom scales now paying tribute to that merriment and I wouldn’t change a minute - or an ounce – of it.

Back in the US, I headed to the pool early this past Sunday morning – the first weekend we were back. It was beautiful out as I drove – clean blue sky, feathered clouds, dappled sunshine. I clocked a police car with flashing lights then spotted a sign with a mile marker. Next a fine physical specimen of a man came flying round the corner on his bike all taut muscle, glistened skin and clenched jaw. I saw the black numbers on his arm – the tri code. There was another came after him, and another. I was in the midst of a triathlon. I remembered this was the tri known as Mighty Hamptons – an Olympic distance event (pretty dang long).

Giddy with tri excitement, I stuck my arm out the car window and whooped. Then felt a little foolish but doubt the racers could hear I was listening to a Jason Donovan track on the stereo.

I passed the beach where they had been swimming and transitioning, slowing down to see the tribes of tri people emerging from the gates, faces fierce, determined, their bikes dazzling in the sunlight. Music pumped, blue and red lights swivelled atop police cars as officers directed traffic. It was awesome.

These were my people. I wanted in on that. I felt the itch for another race – but I would have to wait until next year.

And so I have decided that not only will I try again in 2014 but I will do it harder  My plan is to do this Olympic distance event next June, and not just to satisfy urges to compete in an event with the word ‘Mighty’ in it...
Swim – 1 mile
Bike – 22 miles
Run – 6.2 miles

Whether or not my game face or, indeed, my tri-suit seat can stand up to the rigours of this will remain to be seen. But I am up for it and last I talked to my husband, he was too. In efforts to find me my own bike, he even takes triathlon magazines into the loo with him so I know he’s taking me seriously.

I was warned this tri business could become addictive and I understand it now. It’s not just the sense of achievement when you finish the triathlon itself – as it is at the end of a 5 or 10k road race - but indeed, when you complete each part of it. Somehow that buoyed and energised me enough to attack the parts of my 2013 tri. I hope it will in 2014 too.

Forth Road Bridge 10k. See, Scottish holiday wasn't all cakes and lattes. But mostly it was...

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