Spudman 2014

Let me just say before hand that my goal going into this was to finish. That's it just to finish. & thank God I had set a realistic goal for myself.

It's been 3 weeks since I participated in the Spudman. A triathlon is something I have always wanted to do, I saw it as a challenge; since it's 3 separate sports wrapped into one competition. If you know the real me you know I am always down for a good challenge and something that is really going to have me competing with myself. I swam on a swim team when I was younger and had a pretty good feel for the pool and life-guarded my way through high school. I picked up biking a couple years ago, my dad and I would hop on our bikes every Saturday morning and be gone for hours exploring a long trail close to our home. And it's no secret that I love to run. From starting track & field at age 4 to competing in my 1st half marathon last summer I was completely set for the 6 mile portion of the race.

I first heard about the Spudman when I visited Burley, ID. R's hometown like 5 years ago or so. In January I finally found the ca-hones and signed up! Spring time past me by, and the end of May snuck up on me QUICK! I didn't train as much as I would have liked and I wasn't 100% confident that I would be able to perform at my very best.

Race month came and I crammed in some bike rides and long runs, never open water swims. The week of the race came and I took it easy, I ate really well, drank lots of water and mentally prepared myself for the real fears I would face.

Friday we headed up to Idaho. I picked up my packet, checked out the other participants and scoped the water. I was terrified. 4 AM Saturday morning came and it slapped me in the face. I got ready shoved a banana down and had hubby drop me off at the starting line. I remember it being so cold I almost called R back to sit in the warm car with me. Krew was at my father in laws sleeping and I didn't want him to wake up alone so I bared the cold with shorts and a jacket on. I could feel the nerves that were in the air, it started to warm up so I finally felt comfortable moving, I set out my transition things for my bike/run transition T2. I said so many prayers and talked myself down like I never have before. I had to. I didn't have a choice. I told myself for weeks leading up to it that I was either going to die or finish I had no other choices. It was finally my heat time and I had to jump in the water! It's like when you are a kid you can either ease in or jump in. I HAD to just jump in.

My wet suit kept me pretty comfortable and I could tell by the current that I was going to be ok. The swim was the part I was the most nervous for. I had never swam in open water before let alone the snake river. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening. It took me about 32 minutes to complete the swimming portion. I rushed out of the water with so much adrenaline. I couldn't wait to get on the bike it was my strongest point and I was ready to demolish my competition. Pretend that right now I am typing this in slow motion, like I am hitting the delete button after each 3rd word. That's how my bike ride felt. I had made the mistake of not taking my mountain bike that I trained on and instead chose to take my sisters road bike that I had maybe rode a handful of times. I hear it's a big rookie mistake to switch gear so close to the competition. I had planned on the bike ride taking me about an 1:05. It took me 2:10. I was so discouraged, it felt as though I was peddling in mud. Actually in mud going backwards. There were a few times when I had to reach out for encouragement from my fellow bikes, I had to confirm that I was really actually not going backwards. SO many people passed me, people who I had trained to be able to stay up. The way I had to talk myself through the 25 miles of that bike ride was so strategic and so exhausting that I am not sure if I can ever do it again. I was in the middle of no where, with no headphones, no way of letting R know that I was ok after not coming through the transition when he was planning on, and feeling like such a lame ass. In my pity party induced state of mind I looked up to see a handicapped young boy, maybe 5 or 6 in a wheelchair. He held a sign that read "Go Mom, I love you". It crushed me, I sobbed. I felt so much for that mom, she was so much stronger than me, she deserved so much credit, she was such an inspiration to me and I didn't even know her. God was on my side, he was testing me, he was testing my ability to look at the bright things in my life, the things I am so so so grateful for and the things I am more than capable of accomplishing.  I remember thinking of Krews smile at the finish line. The vision of him and Ryan cheering for me literally pushed me through those are my boys, my cheerleaders, I couldn't let them down.

I am sorry this is so long. I don't want to forget any details so I can revert back to this post next year when I come back at it again for redemption. As I was running my bike in to rack it I saw R and Krew. Ryan had this amazed look on his face, he told me I was doing great and that he was so proud of me. I wanted to collapse in his arms, I just told him that the bike ride killed me and continued on my journey. There was no sign of my parents or my sister so that was a bit disheartening. I thought to myself, if I could make it through that strenuous bike ride I could push it for the last 6 mile run I had ahead. I settled into my pace and felt comfortable being on my feet again. Anything was better then being on that damn bike. 

I ate some gels and tried to stay in my groove I only had 3 miles left. I was basically finished. The little boy who I saw earlier was on my mind the whole run, I felt his moms strength. Around mile 5 I saw my mom, her and my dad and sister drove 2.5 hours that morning to support me and to see me finish. For a second I thought to myself "they knew all along that I was going to finish this strong, or else they wouldn't have drove all the way here". Like duh Sarah of course they knew you could do it. That pushed me even more, my mom kept telling me that Krew was at the finish line and he couldn't wait to see me. I cried inside. I yearned to hold my baby but mainly to just be able to STOP moving.

I heard the crowd cheer and pushed it through the final leg of the race. I saw the time clock read 4:04. It took me 4 freaking hours to do this thing. I had planned and  hoped it would take me 3-3:30. I can't say that I didn't care because I did.

Going into this I set expectations for myself of course, I think anyone would. My main goal was to complete and finish no matter what. I did just that; despite my crappy bike ride and rookie mistake I set out to do something and I accomplished it. It felt so damn good. I was so proud of myself and I was so in tune with my mental state of mind that I knew I would be able to get through anything. Certain struggles in life are all mental. With a crazy,amazing, and pretty cool support system I had a smile on my face, warm fuzzies in my heart, sore ass legs, and a medal I wore so proudly around my neck.

After a 1 mile swim, a 25 mile bike ride, and a 6 mile run Krew was the only little tiny breathing thing I wanted to see. He hugged me so tightly.

"If you listen to your fears you will self sabotage & mask your own abilities." Get out there mamas and push yourself beyond your limit. You will be amazed at how strong you really are.

Hilary said...

Congratulations, girlie! I couldn't have done it!

Alycia Grayce (Crowley Party) said...

Girl you are a rockstar! :) LOVE YOUR GUTS!

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