Swim. Bike. Run.

I somehow morphed into a sprint triathlete in the past four years. Last season I took off because beginning pregnancy fatigue won out during my training. During the final months of my pregnancy I would daydream about being able to really sweat again while slowly walking on the treadmill. I searched the web for a race & found Tri the Illini. A sprint triathlon, here in Champaign, that included a 300 meter swim, an 11 mile bike ride & a 5k run. The race date was May 2nd. That date seemed eons away from my due date of January 8th.

Cadence arrived on January 19th & recovering from labor & delivery was a bit more than I expected. Okay, a lot more than I expected. I was able to begin walking on the treadmill, with Cadence riding along in her baby bjorn, about five weeks after she was born. At the six week mark I went to my first spinning class. Training was slow but steady. Three weeks before the race I decided I needed to kick it into high gear & focused on the run portion. I hate the run portion. I ran a total of 14 miles that week. Phew, did I mention I hate the run portion? But my lungs were much happier. Two weeks before the race I got the flu. I did nothing.

The week before the race was a mental game. I went back & forth if I was really going to participate. I biked 12 miles. I ran 3. I didn't swim at all. I checked the weather for race day - it was supposed to be beautiful. I checked the weather for race day again - it was supposed to rain. Jarrod gave me multiple pep talks. Cadence had decided this would be a great week to start waking up in the middle of the night again. Needless to say, the night before the tri I went & picked up my packet. Picking up my packet made it official - I was going to do it. I got a free t-shirt. Who doesn't love a free t-shirt? I got excited. I got really excited! I was really going to do another triathlon AND I had only had a baby three in a half months ago!

I got to the race & came down with a crazy case of bike envy. My hybrid Gary Fisher didn't seem good enough. I had to remind myself, "I'm doing this for fun. I just had a baby." I set up shop in the transition area. I entered the pool area & waited my turn. Each participant had a chip that would be keeping track of his or her time, so we started one after another jumping in the pool & swimming six laps. The swim went really well. I got into a rhythm & before I knew it I was climbing out of the pool & running out into the brisk morning air to get onto my bike. The sun was shining.

I got onto my hybrid Gary Fisher & my bike envy got worse as people began to pass me. I had to keep reminding myself, "I'm doing this for fun. I just had a baby." And then, about half way into the bike portion I was passed by a 22 year old woman on a bike that was in worse shape than mine. Her bike was rattling. (By the way, our ages were written on the back of our calf in permanent marker. Yeah, awesome.) My competitive spirit took over, I passed her back. We went back & forth like this for about 3 or 4 miles. I finally gave in & stopped the passing game. I let her win and I was devastated. Then once again, I reminded myself, "I'm doing this for fun. I just had a baby."

The run went as well as I could have hoped for. I was able to keep the 10 minute mile pace that I wanted to AND I finally got that tour of the University of Illinois campus that I've never taken. As the finish line drew near I chanted the mantra, "Cadence Rose. Cadence Rose. Cadence Rose." You know crossing a finish line never gets old, you always feel like a winner. And, boy, that Saturday morning I was.

Interested in checking out the race results? Go here. I am the last name in the 30-34 Female category. Don't ask me why I'm in that category, I'm 29. Ah, well, "I did the race for fun. I just had a baby."


Current Books

Jarrod just finished...
Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash
by Elizabeth Royte
This book made Jarrod so anti-plastic that I opened our lunchbox on our last trip to Wisconsin to find two peanut butter & jelly sandwiches inside UNWRAPPED.

And The Crofter & the Laird
by John McPhee
A brief history on the clans of Scotland.

Jessie is currently reading...
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
by J. K. Rowling read by Jim Dale
I know I'm a bit behind, but I've been listening to all of the Harry Potter's on CD, Jim Dale rules at storytelling. Harry Potter references fill my day now.

And It Sucked and then I Cried: How I had a Baby, a Breakdown & a Much Needed Margarita
by Heather B. Armstrong.
Heather is the creator of dooce.com my favorite blog at the moment.