Well, this is it…The Grand Finale of my 2007 Triathlon Racing Season. I must say from the depths of my humble being that it has been a good one for me. For the last few years, I’d finally become comfortable with the thought of myself as “a runner.” For so long, I was even afraid to use that label as it meant that I was good, strong or fast. It was a label reserved for someone who related their entire identity to the sport of running. It wasn’t until I joined Gilbert’s Gazelles Training Group that I realized that running IS my identity in many respects. When I’m stressed, I run. When I wake up, I run. When I want to see friends, we run. I also realized along the way that, damn it, I am good, strong AND fast. Of course, there are always people who are faster and more dedicated. Hell, a guy that runs a 2:05 marathon isn’t even fast enough to win these days! I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve finally become comfortable in the skin of being “a runner” and then I had to go muddy up the waters and try to fancy myself as a “triathlete.”
Who do I think I am? First a runner and now a triathlete?? I started triathlons in 2002 simply as “the next thing” and was very happy hanging in the middle of the pack. I had no intention of being hooked and honestly can’t believe I’ve kept up after some of my race experiences with bonks and flats. And yet, somehow I’ve raised the bar. I stepped up my training and discipline a notch (or ten) and have had one heck of a triathlon season… Top Ten finishes in my age group in all of my tris this year including two #1’s and a couple of #2’s. (And most of my friends can attest that a few of these races were done with slight hangovers or lack of sleep–all this while getting married, honeymooning and adjusting to a new home. ) I don’t say any of this because I’m arrogant or overly confident. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Sometimes I actually have to write out my own accomplishments to realize the progress I made really did in fact happen.
This Saturday’s Longhorn Half-Ironman Triathlon will cap off a triathlon season filled with accomplishment and progress. I’m astonished at the competitive athlete I’ve become and CANNOT WAIT to dig into my Ironman Training which officially kicks off at the beginning of November. For a while, I didn’t think I was going to race this one, but I’ve decided just the opposite. On Sunday, there will be little pieces of Carrie all over that course. (Figuratively, I hope)
Now, that I’m comfortable being called “a runner,” am I ready for the label of being called “a triathlete” without feeling like a poser? You bet I am and I’ll prove it on Sunday.