This was a tough race but one that left me with a lot of valuable lessons, both in the sport of swimming but also in the sport of life. I’m super thankful to be part of such a great community that encourages these lifestyle shenanigans. The Dwight Crum Pier to Pier race is a 2-mile swim that starts at the Hermosa Pier and ends at the Manhattan Pier. It’s a great family and community event that dates back several decades. This was my second time participating.
For all of my hours spent in training, I forget that I’m still pretty fresh when it comes to actual racing. Yesterday I finally raced my first 10K.
For anyone who followed my Tahoe saga, you can imagine how crazy this whole weekend was for me. In 2014 I spent the majority of the summer training for a race that I just wanted to get over with, and then had it cancelled moments before the start. It sucked. I signed up for some rebound races that I quickly lost interest in and bailed on. I took time off. I wrote a novel. I danced on stage with Bono. I traveled the country and took pictures during the 2016 election. I kept swimming and running when I felt like it, but let my bike collect dust. Then, for some reason I decided to get back into it and finish what I had started.
WARNING: Rambles Ahead!
I’m a couple days away from my first triathlon in just under three years. My last tri event was the Santa Barbara Triathlon way back in 2014. I came into that race overtrained and undermotivated and managed to slog through the distance. This time around, I’m much more excited, but of course, much more nervous.
Somewhere along Mile 11, an excited stranger jogged up alongside me, announcing that this was the farthest he had ever run in his life and that we were almost finished. He asked if it was also my first half marathon. I awkwardly negotiated my response.
“Yes,” I replied. “But…I also did LA Marathon…”
“What??” he called back, a judging sting of disbelief in voice. “This should be easy for you!”
“Yeah,” I said. “It should be. But it’s really not…”
A lot of people were surprised to hear that I had signed up for the half Ironman at Lake Tahoe this year, and assumed that it was a last minute decision. I had actually signed up in April shortly after the 70.3 race was announced, but I didn’t tell anyone, save for a select inner circle of need to know personnel. I like to think that I kept it under wraps because I tend to be a fairly quiet and private person, preferring not to draw attention to myself. But the deeper truth is one that I’m ashamed to admit — I didn’t think I could do it.
When I was little and wanted to quit something, my mother would say, “There will be things you won’t want to do at West Point, but you’ll still have to do them.”
Even though I ultimately chose not to follow in my father’s footsteps and attend the US Military Academy at West Point, the lesson was still learned—that life would present obstacles that, while unappealing, I would have to find ways to persevere through.
I did it. I survived. Earlier today I had the chance to complete my first Olympic Distance Triathlon — a great accomplishment working up from my very first sprint just 3 months ago at the beginning of the summer. For those who don’t know, the traditional Olympic (also known as International) Distance consists of approximately 1-mile Swim, 25-mile Bike and 6-mile Run. It was a grueling and arduous process but as always I learned a lot about life and about myself.
Today was the day. After the training and dreaming and waiting it finally happened — I raced my first triathlon!
This weekend I had the joy of participating in the 9th Annual Redondo Beach Triathlon. The race features a competitive Sprint division for both newbies and established athletes, along with a non-competitive Mini Sprint for friends and families. I heard about the race about three weeks ago, and signed up for the Mini, wanting to focus solely on getting down the basics of racing before worrying about competition. But with a just over one week left before race day, I decided to go all out and upgrade to the full on Sprint — a half-mile swim, 6 mile bike ride, 2 mile run.