The person I am today is definitely not the person I was 3 years ago, not even the person I was 9 months ago, nor the person I was 6 months ago. The changes make me happy. They make me excited.
Back in November 2014 I took my first swim lesson. I was only going to learn how to swim so I could use swimming as a cross training tool during my next marathon season. I truly had no intentions of ever doing a triathlon, even though I LOVE biking and running. Swimming back and forth, back and forth in a pool seemed so boring to me. (Side note: I did find swimming very, very boring for a good 2 years.)
Slowly I dragged myself to the pool 1-2 days/ week for the next 4 months. I dreaded every swim. I never looked forward to swimming. I would have rather been running or biking. Then in March 2015 I was injured once again from running too much, too quickly and my spring marathon goals were left high and dry. Being how I always work better under some pressure and am Type A goal oriented I decided to sign up for a sprint triathlon. I was scared to death. If I survived the open water swim in Lake Michigan it would be a true miracle, and I knew without any doubt I would truly survive the bike and run portion of the triathlon.
On July 8, 2015 I stood on the shore of Lake Michigan about to begin my first triathlon. Happy news- I survived and was forever hooked on the triathlon. The swim was not easy in low 60-degree water with waves, but it was doable. The bike and run were a blast. I loved the challenge. I loved the competition. I loved the logistics needed to maneuver transitions. I immediately went home and signed up for my next triathlon just 2 weeks later.
I continued to swim, bike and run. Swimming was becoming ever so slightly more doable. April 2016 I decided that I was too comfortable in my training. I was ready and in need of a challenge. Something that made me a little scared. I signed up for my first Olympic triathlon. I continued to swim hard, bike often and run as my heart desired. After countless open water swims in June I felt confident and ready to compete in my first Olympic triathlon.
On race morning I stood staring at Lake Michigan and the big swells, praying that I could make the 1.5k swim to the pier. The race ended up not going as planned. None the less, within 15 minutes of finishing I was already planning my next race. What could I improve on? Where were my strengths? What were my weaknesses?
2015 race season ended up being extremely memorable. It will go down in history as the year that I discovered I loved triathlons more than I loved running races, and the year that I learned to embrace swimming.
All this to say that I am ready to take another leap in my training and racing. I am ready for a challenge that seems way too big to handle. I am ready for my first 70.3!
In just 20 weeks I will be in my wetsuit waiting for the horn to sound the start of my first 70.3. Am I slightly crazy? Sure. Am I so excited? YES!