|Elaine, Donna, Edward, and me before the Seize The Road Bike Rally.|
The summer of 2010 I started running with the Marathon/Half Marathon training group USA Fit Shreveport. I found myself in a miserable place in life where I didn't like what I saw in the mirror, and I quit getting on the scale at 260 lbs. I was encouraged by a friend of mine to join the group, not to run a marathon or half marathon, but to get active and meet people; and I cannot thank her enough to this day, that bit of encouragement changed my life!!
Over the course of 3 years, I ran dozens of half marathons and one full marathon, lost over 80 lbs, and met some of the BEST friends any person could ask for; I've found this group of athletes are more than friends; they’re more like my extended family.
Elaine started running via a treadmill class, indoors!! Talked into running her first 5k the night before the race, she agreed. After that race she never got back on another treadmill again. She started running with USA Fit Shreveport in 2009 and finished her first half in 2010.
Elaine, along with a few other running friends transitioned to Triathlons in 2012. They all encouraged me to get a bike and join them, but remembering the last time I was on a bike (260+lbs); it wasn't comfortable needless to say, so I always declined but would go cheer them on at races and take pictures.
I got a road bike and put aerobars on it. It was the end of the triathlon season so I didn't get a lot of “saddle time”, however, Elaine and I spent more and more time together getting to know each other. In February 2014 we signed up for “Frost Yer Fanny” duathlon, my first multi-sport race. I was so excited and nervous at the same time but at the end of the day I was planning the next race.
70.3?? Nooooo, we did 71.96, just check my Garmin, and I still wouldn't trade the experience for the world!!
RIVER ROUX RACE REPORT
My swim was AWESOME!! I love the wetsuit!! Garmin says 39:52, which I’m proud of but I fumbled with my watch until I got out of the water, walking up the ramp and across the rocks (ouch!!) to the changing tent, I may have added a minute or so to that time.
The changing tents WITH heaters, THANK YOU River Roux!! We were able to get out of all of our wet clothes, dry off, and warm up slightly before layering up and hitting the bike. I can’t say enough how thankful I was for the changing tents, even if my T1 time was 13 MINUTES!! (Don’t judge me, those heaters were NICE, and getting compression clothes on wet ain't easy!! We should have a clinic that teaches the buddy system on this event!!)
I heard the bike route was scenic and beautiful…I just saw the 3 feet or so of road in front of me most of the way, but HEY it was rural and let me just say New Roads DOESN'T have new roads, they’re OLD ROADS, but in reality, nothing worse than we ride on around here, we’re just use to the potholes and know where they are…LOL!
|Soxy Feet Ambassador!|
Eating ON the bike is something I have not perfected, and with thick gloves it’s even harder. That PB&J sandwich and I fought for a few minutes before I prevailed and was able to consume said PB&J. The second one must have seen the battle because it jumped out of my pocket on the bumpy roads of New Roads, using my snot rag as a parachute; I was more disappointed that I lost the snot rag than the sandwich.
The route was a little more challenging than I expected with about 1,400 ft of climbing, and with the winds I was able to hold a comfortable 16.5 mph pace on the bike. I probably could have pushed harder but I kept thinking about the run afterward so I held back a little.
T2 was awesome, after dismount they took your bike and handed you the bag you packed with your run equipment. I took a few minutes to get out of all the layers I had on for the bike and get my feet use to being walked on and hit the run. (Galen, I cannot say enough…he took the time to drive down, stay the night, get up at the crack of dawn and brave the cold to be our Sherpa, personal aid station, and photographer; we LOVE him!!)
The run course was a 4 mile loop X3, with a half mile or so leg from the Mill where T2 and the finish line was, it was nice “knowing” where the finish was. So often you have no idea where the finish is and I spend the last half mile or so wondering when I’ll ever get there. As soon as I saw Galen at mile 1, he assured me that Elaine made it out of the water, which was reassuring; we both tend to be nervous about the swim. The great thing about the loops of the run course, I got to see her; multiple times!! Every time we passed each other we were able to exchanged a kiss and encourage each other that we had what it takes to finish this accomplishment.
Elaine, I love you, SO very much, and I can’t thank YOU enough for talking me into getting a bike and getting involved in multi-sport events. It’s not the events themselves but the people you get to do this with!!
For all of the friends who were there, participating or spectating, and all those of you cheering us on and supporting us with messages of encouragement, THANK YOU!! We are blessed to have such a large number of people that rally behind us in this crazy adventure.
NOW, it’s time to take a holiday break, AND START PLANNING THE NEXT ONE!!