What does a World Championship Ironman and I have in common? I have never swum in open water for two miles, never ridden my bike for 101 miles and have never ran a marathon. Needless to say, I have never completed an Ironman. Frederick Van Lierde’s goal was to win his race. My goals are to go out and participate in local events and finish my race. Well, we are similar because we both believe we could accomplish our goals. That little light has to come from within and once you got it there is nothing you can’t do. We BA-lieve!
2013…… I was setting my sights on something I thought I could never do: RACE.
I didn’t want to race the people standing next to me. I wanted to race myself. I wanted to be a better version of myself. My goal was not to win or place but to cross that finish line. The reason that I never ran in races is because I thought I was too slow. I have said throughout the years, “I can’t run. I have asthma.” or “Those people running are amazing and I would never be able to do what they are doing.”
The misconception that most people think is that 5K’s are something only runners could complete. Those athletes from high school that ran track are the people they think are the only ones that are allowed to race.
There are NO rules that state: “You must run the entire 5K at an 8 minute pace or one of the judges will eliminate you from the race, rip off your race number and tell you to go home.” Come on! What people need to do is sign up for a race and start endurance training. If you are gasping for air at mile 1, get your heart rate down by jogging a little slower or walk for a couple of minutes. Then, you are at mile 2. Before you know it, you are crossing the finish line! You first have to train your mind into positive thinking. I BAlieve I can race!
In March, I completed my first 5k of the year. I went home and signed up for a 10K. I had about a month to train. Oh no! I emailed the promoter of the race that I completed a 5K at a slow pace and is there anything she could share about her race that would help me finish. I am not a fast runner and I was extremely worried that there was a time limit set at this race. This wise woman told me, “No such thing as a bad time - you beat everyone who didn’t even try that 5K - I think it’s awesome!” Kathy from Trimom Productions encourages people to step outside their comfort zone and race. As I crossed over the Jamestown Bridge 10K, I just couldn’t stop smiling. It was a sunny cold 40 degrees. Since it was windy, it was making it difficult for me to breathe with my asthma. I focused on the positive. “Hello blue skies! Hello Narragansett Bay!” HELLO
Jamestown Bridge! LOL” I think that moment in time I fell in love with racing. Usually, people are complaining how sore their legs are after a race. I can’t tell you how difficult it was for me to breathe that following week. Thank goodness for inhalers.
I was running four times a week, with the long runs on Sunday, taking spin classes and swimming. I decided that May would be the month to run my first half marathon. Again, I was blessed with another beautiful day. I broke the half marathon into “3 races in 1 day” in my mind. First, I had to complete another 10K. I knew I could do that since I just completed the Jamestown Bridge race. Then, I set my sights on mile 7. Ready-set-go! Now, I needed to complete a 5k. Yes! I was at mile 10! My last 5k of the day was about to begin. As I started to try and pick up my speed, my body felt like it was pulling a truck. I didn’t hydrate correctly and didn’t eat enough chews. I was a newbie and learned the hard way that my body did not get the carbs and water that it needed during the race. I now know what “hitting the wall” means. Instead of walking it out, I decided to keep running at a very slow pace and bring it in to the finish line.
Half Marathon… check!
I decided to stick with Trimom for my fist sprint triathlon. I registered for Oh My Goddard! , which is a Sprint and Olympic triathlon held in June. I completed the swim portion. I took off the wetsuit and started my bike ride. It was another gorgeous day but really windy. So, I thought. I remember being confused since I didn’t see the leaves on the trees moving but I heard the wind. I finished my bike portion of the race and went to the transition area. While taking off my helmet, I realized I completed my bike ride with my pink TYR ear plugs from the swim. I forgot to take out the earplugs. That explained why it sounded so windy. I was off to complete my last portion of the triathlon, when I saw my husband and my two little boys standing at the side lines. I had to go over and get a hug (I clocked four minutes for second transition time). During the trail run, my legs were a little heavy after the bike. I thought I could jump over a tree branch and didn’t. As I feel and hit the ground on my right side, a cloud of dirt went up into the air. Ah! I just wanted to lay there since it was comfortable. I opened my eyes and realized my face just missed a pile of horse manure. I said to myself, “This is the luckiest day of my life.” I got up and started to run very slowly and carefully. I stopped to hydrate. I meet my friends, husband and sons at the finish line. What A Blast!
Sprint Triathlon… check!
I finished my year with several 5k’s, one 10k, two half marathons, and two Sprint Triathlons. I am not the strongest or fastest person out there during a race. But I am doing something that I thought I never could do because of my asthma. I BAlieved in 2013!
In 2014, I will begin my year of racing by being a part of a fundraiser event for the American Lung Association ~ Fight For Air Climb in Providence on February 22nd. This is important to me since I am one in a million Americans that has asthma. There are so many people who have much worse respiratory challenges than myself. I will be climbing 22 floors and 348 steps with my Team BAlieve. No one should struggle to breathe.
I have been asked why race a 10K when I have not perfected a 5K?
Why run a half marathon when I run a slow pace?
Why participate in a tri-Athlon when I’m not a strongest swimmer or fastest person on my bike?
Why? Why? and Why?
Because the sense of accomplishment when crossing that finish line is what keeps me going.
Because if I wait till tomorrow… It might never come.
Because if I waited till I was good at something, I would never get anything done!
That is why I choose to BAlieve!