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I thought I could so I did

I have a story to tell. It's a little long tho, so bear with me. It's ok if you don't tho cuz this is really for me. But I like to share, so here it goes... 

Also be aware that this story is gonna skip a lot and jump back and forth and seem very disjointed. But I promise it's all related. 

This is the story of my triathlon that I just finished today. Holy hannah, I did a Traithlon. Don't worry, it wasn't an ironman. HA! Just a little sprint (5k run, 12 mile bike and 1/4 mile swim.) But it was an accomplishment nonetheless. 

(This was started the day I did this but my baby and life got in the way so I'm finishing a little later. The story might also be a little disjointed and I might repeat stuff cuz of the time it took me to write it but it's too long to go back and edit the whole thing. Oh well! :D)

I'm not surprised that I could do it but I kinda am. I'm also a little embarrassed to say that since I when Justin and I got married I really was in pretty good shape. I didn't work out a ton but I didn't really have to. I was a gymnast when I was little and then I played a year on my high school lacrosse team. I'm not really sure how I got overweight but I'll blame it on trying new recipes to please my handsome hubby. That doesn't mean I'm blaming him, cuz if anything, he's been my biggest champion to stay in shape. The point it that there isn't really a reason. It just kinda happened over the years. 

So a few months ago I was at open gym with my little nephews and there's a big foam block pit to play in. Everyone was jumping in and I actually love foam pits cuz I can do all kinda of fun tricks into them. (remember that I was a gymnast when I was little...) We  used to go rent out a gymn for the night and invite all our friends and do fun stuff for the night. A very popular birthday party!! Anyway, at this gym there happens to be a little platform for the coach to sit on next to a high bar where students can practice different tricks and I was dared to do a flip off the platform. Easy enough. So I did and then I sat in the pit for almost 15 minutes cuz I couldn't get out!!! The blocks had locked me in and I wasn't strong enough to wedge myself out. My sister did it right after me and used a rope to pull herself out and I simply couldn't do it. It was terribly embarrassing and all I could think about was how sad I was. The main reason why I've regretted getting out of shape is that I want to me a fun mom who plays with her kids and here I was faced with the reality that I couldn't get out of the pit. Everyone else was out and playing and I was stuck...

A couple days later I did what I always do and broke down crying about how unhappy I am with my body and then I made a resolution to do something about it. It's sad cuz my bachelor's degree is in Sports Medicine so I actually know quite a bit about nutrition and exercise prescription, I've just never been able to wrap my brain around finishing a plan that I started. So this time I made a resolution to join a crossfit gym. hahahaha. I don't really have a problem with crossfit but I also don't super love it cuz for a long while it was just trendy and people were getting hurt doing it and I'm not a fan of trendy stuff. But it's come a long way since it got popular and it seemed like a good idea cuz then I'd have the community.  That's one thing crossfit seems to be good at is supporting each other even if you're not on the same level. So... did I join a crossfit gym.. Nope! Not sure why... Prolly for the same reason I'm overweight now. If anyone can tell me what that is.. please let me know. 

So... we're gonna jump around a little.... A few years ago we moved into our house in Orem and met these super great people that live across the street. Casey and Ryanne Robles and their now 4 kids. At the time they only had 2 but that was 4 years ago! 

This is them before baby Elliot was born last week!!! ha

I admit I prejudged them a little. They drove a Honda Element with a LOTAJA sticker on the back. For those of you that don't know, LOTAJA is a bike race from LOgan TO JAckson WY. Get it..? ha. Anyway, that's a LONG ways so we knew from the start they were at least bikers. Come to find out, Casey is a crazy triathlete and even an Ironman. Then we learn that he not only does ironman's and other crazy races, he actually wins them sometimes. 

Anyway, we became pretty good friends. Ryanne and I got to be really good friends and our proximity made it easy to stay friends. They would be out on their front lawn playing and I'd go over and chat her ear off. We also borrowed a lot of flour and eggs and cheese and random stuff from each other over the years. haha. 

The summer that Ty was born, Casey did a crazy thing with his friend. One of the people he does his triathlons with is James Lawrence, aka, the Iron Cowboy. The story is long ish but if you want to read about him, read this.

Basically he set out to do a full Ironman in every one of 50 states in just 50 days. So that's a full ironman every day for a month and half while traveling all over the country. CRAZY! There were a LOT of skeptics and I was prolly the biggest one. I didn't think he could do it at all. 

Anyway, Casey was one of his "Wingmen." He went to drive the van and make food and be a support along the way. Sometimes he'd just take care of logistics and other times they were riding/running/swimming along side him to keep him going. 

They did all kinds of crazy stuff from really embarassing outfits... 

... to tandem bikes... 

... to kayaking on the car alongside him... 

Basically whatever it took. 

I admit that at first, the only reason I was following this craziness was cuz of my weirdo friend Casey that was being so silly (you have no idea...). I'd read the posts and show Justin the pictures but he's not on fb so he didn't get super into it other than to be supportive when Ryanne was around and to root for him too. But by the end I found totally rooting for James to finish too and thought it was pretty awesome what he was doing. I would have been there at the last race which was in Utah but I had Ty on the 14th and that was the 25th. So I was still recovering from my c-section. I regret it now cuz I prolly coulda made it happen but I didn't. Bummer. 

Casey and Ryanne at the finale event at Thanksgiving Point. Aren't they cute?! LOVE THEM!

So... fast forward a couple months and Casey and Ryanne decide to move! Those jerks! I was so sad. Justin of course helped them move and the people that helped were basically Justin and the bishop and their TRI friends, including James. I kept teasing that I was just gonna show up one morning at one of their little parties or come pretend to help move so I could meet James but I never did. Justin met him, but not me. They ended up selling their house super fast, way faster than they had anticipated and they weren't quite ready. So they moved into a temporary apartment. Which basically meant that they had to move again. So again Justin got to hang out with James and I have still never met him. This was all so so silly but it became a sort of joke cuz I was the "fan" and I still hadn't met him when everyone else had. And I wasn't even really a fan! It just got blown way out of proportion. 

So... Somewhere in all this, Justin decides to run a marathon and has been training for a while. (since november ish) and Casey invited him to run on the super fancy treadmill that James has in his training space while the rest of the crew did a long bike. It was Justin's first really long run and Casey is awesome at supporting people so Justin went. He ran on the side while the other folks biked and he kinda listened to their convo. Towards the end, Casey mentioned me and talked about how it had become a silly joke that I hadn't met him but was a fan and James' super cute wife Sunny suggested that they give me an Iron Cowboy t-shirt (like the one Ryanne is wearing in the last pic). So James signed one and Justin brought it home. I was SO excited! haha. I love t-shirts and had been eyeing this one for a long time (not sure why I didn't just buy one?!) Justin came home from his run that morning and said he had a present for me and I guessed that it was a signed Iron Cowboy t-shirt. haha. Ya' know how when someone tells you they got you a present and to guess you always say something silly like "a pony!" or "A million dollars!" cuz there's no way that's what it is and it's just a silly guess? Well that's what my "signed Iron Cowboy t-shirt" guess was. Just silly cuz I didn't think that would ever happen. And then he pulled it out and showed me. hahahaha. I prolly can't adequately explain how excited I was about this t-shirt. Maybe the pic I sent to Casey to say thanks gives you a clue... 

It's not the greatest pic of me but I didn't care. haha

So.. next part of the story is that we got invited the next day to come to a Tri peeps breakfast that they were having. Their excuse for inviting us was that it was to say thank you for all the help they had all done with the remodel of their house. (Justin was over there like 5 times till super late helping with dry wall and popcorn ceilings and all kinda of crazy.) I turned down the invite initially cuz it was gonna be all their tri friends and I knew none of them (Except the chiropractor that helped with the 505050 cuz I happened to work for him a few years back.) But I was gonna be the only person there that wasn't in like the best shape of their life. Except Ryanne who was 8 months prego. She gets a pass. (But lets be honest, she was still more in shape than I was!) 

K, so we got invited and they kept insisting we come, so we decided to do it. I got a text from Casey that said "If you're not wearing the shirt, don't come." I responded with "Sorry, It's already framed and hung up next to our Michael Jordan Jersey." hahaha. All this to perpetuate the joke. But really I've just set myself up for an intense humiliation and potentially very awkward meeting. So Monday comes (it was some kind of holiday that I don't remember..) and we show up for breakfast. I started to feel like a silly star struck teenager. So pathetic! I just tried to remember that it wasn't a big deal and to just have fun with it. Turns out it really wasn't a huge deal. We got there, we were introduced to some of the other people we hadn't met and Casey introduced me to James. He told me he'd read all the texts we'd sent back and forth to him and I'm sure my face was all kinds of red but we played it off and it was no big deal. He's a perfectly normal and nice guy. Ryanne said he's not super talkative with people he doesn't know, and that was true but neither am I! 

Anyway.. we enjoyed our breakfast and had a great time talking to all their Tri friends. But this was the moment I can point to that really inspired me to do this tri. I was sitting down looking at all the other people in the room and every one of them had done at least one triathlon and some of them were literally world class athletes. And what about me? I had done nothing. Or at least I hadn't done anything in a really long time. Sure, I had a baby. And I'm the last person on the planet to downplay how hard that is. But it had been 6 months and I certainly couldn't blame it on him anymore. Not to mention the 7 years I'd been married before baby came. What was my excuse for that? I really didn't have one. 

So right then and there I decided I could do it. I went home and googled "Sprint Triathlon Utah 2016." Sure enough there were several and one right in Orem. It was a 5k run, 12 mile bike and 350 meter swim all right around where I live. It was 7 weeks away which was a little short but I didn't want to push it out too far. I knew I could train for this. I searched pinterest for a beginner triathlon training program and printed out a little calendar. I colored it all pretty and put it next to my bed. 

I actually took this pic after it was over. It was a matter of pride for me to cross off the days, especially when I had done a good workout that day. I'm also really proud to say that I didn't miss a single day of workouts. I sometimes switched my day off but I always did it the next day. I texted Ryanne and told her about my plan. She said she was excited and was happy to support me. She said I'd have to do another one after her baby was born so we could do it together! 

So I started working out but realized I should probably ask for Ry and Casey's advice about it. When I told them about my program Casey said "Don't do that. Let me write something for you." WOOHOO! haha. There's nothing really wrong with the program I had but whatever Casey was gonna give me would be better than what I had! We went over and sat down to talk about this and the first thing Casey asked me was about my goals. What did I want to accomplish? I told him since this was my first one, my goal was to finish. However, there is just a little competitiveness in me so I told him I'd rather not finish last! We also talked about how comfortable I was with each of the events and how long I wanted to spend working out every day. So Casey said he'd write something up and e-mail it to me!

This is basically what I got for 6 weeks in a row. I'd call him at the end of every week and we'd talk about how it went and how I was feeling and then I'd get a new email on Monday morning. They got progressively longer and harder every week and some workouts I loved and some I didn't. But only cuz some were harder than I wanted to do but they always felt good. 

My dad was a swimmer in high school and he and my mom have continued to swim through out their marriage. Like I said before, I had tried but hadn't ever been able to figure out the whole breathing thing while you swim. Sounds super pathetic. Mostly cuz it is! I asked my dad to give me a swim lesson like I was 7 years old. I have the greatest dad in the world and of course he said yes! it was in that little lesson that I learned that the only reason I couldn't do the "breathing thing" was cuz I wasn't putting my head down at all so all the air bubbles I was breathing out under water were coming up in my face and freaking me out. hahaha. (insert embarrassed face emoticon here!) Turns out that after I figured that out swimming wasn't the worst thing anymore. I still get a little bored cuz I'm a super fan of listening to music while I workout which is a lot more difficult under water. I know you can get underwater headphones, and I even bought some waterproof Bluetooth headphones but I didn't read the fine print and they're only really sweat-proof and Bluetooth up to 10m. OOPS! Oh well. Everyone keeps telling me it's good for me to be alone with my thoughts and while they're prolly right, working out is not the time I want to do that! Still need to find a solution to this problem.  ... rambling over ... 

Running was my least favorite but by the end I genuinely didn't hate it! I've never been a runner and never really understood people that talk about a runner's high. I'm pretty sure they're all talkin about a different kind of high if you know what I mean. The only other time I've tried to run a 5k was for a charity event for a friend and I walked the whole thing. It was pretty pathetic. I'm not sure what made me do it this time but I think the workouts made it ok. Casey gave me a lot of timed splits workouts that were my favorite. I'm good at doing anything for 1 minute, or 30 seconds. Now I can run a 5k without stopping. This is a crazy thing. I never thought I'd be able to say that. It takes me a LONG time but I can do it. So now I'm just gonna work on getting faster!

The biking I wasn't super afraid of. I got hit by a car while on my bike when I was about 11 and have a pretty bad scar on the back of my leg from a mountain biking fall when I was 13, so I haven't done a ton of biking in my life. haha. Justin is a huge biker though so he eventually convinced me to try again a couple years ago and I haven't totally hated it. ha. I borrowed my sister-in-law's bike and did a good 17 mile bike ride without totally dying so I felt like I could do 12. :) Little did I know there was a big huge hill in the middle of the race course! (insert scared emoticon here!) The advice I got was to just keep spinning and not get off my bike so that's what I did during training. It was hard!! 

I have to say a HUGE thank you to my family really quick too. They surprised me with a brand new bike for my birthday!!!!!!

It's a Trek Neko S and It's beautiful and perfect. It's a hybrid bike so I can do both road and mountain biking. It can't do crazy mountain stuff but I don't ever want to, so it's perfect! The first couple times I trained for this tri I used my hubby's bike that is a fancy Trek Mountain bike and while it's perfect for him it was just too big for me! My first ride on this was just heavenly. The seat fit perfect and it is the perfect length so the only thing that hurt was my legs! :) 

Ok.. enough lead up. Race day finally came!! LOTS of emotions. Some nervous, some not sure what the heck I was doing. I slept well the night before (Thank you baby TY!) and was able to get up and get ready with just enough time to do everything I needed to. I decided to bike over to the race to get a little mini warm up and also so I wouldn't have to deal with my car and getting the bike in and out and stuff. It's literally 1/2 mile away from my house so it was no big deal. :) 

Me and my bike all ready to go! Omg... So nervous right here!

So I biked over in the cold and set up in the transition area! This part made me super nervous cuz I had no idea what it meant. Lucky for me Casey came over a couple before and talked to me through the whole thing. I really never would have made it with out him!

My spot! :) Isn't my bike amazing! haha. THANKS AGAIN FAMILY!!!!!!!!

My amazing sister decided to do the Tri with me and it made it super fun. She is the greatest! Her goals were a little different than mine cuz she's a real runner but it didn't matter. Just having someone there with me made it a lot easier and way more fun. 

This is us right before the ran start. Do we look nervous?? haha. 

The gun went off and Kristi took off much faster than me and I kinda just jogged. I said before that I'm a little competitive but this race was all about finishing, not the time. So I just did my thing! Lots of people passed me but I did my best to just keep going. 

For those of you in Orem.. the race started at the Rec Center and went East on 150 S. It was short but then we went South on 400 W all the way down to 800 S. This section was all flat and not super hard. The beginning is always the easiest for me. (Although I'm told my last mile should be my best. I'm not there yet!) Then we turned west and went down the hill to 800 W and then turned UP the hill! This part was the worst!! BUT it was all made a lot easier and more awesome when I saw Casey and Ryanne on the side of the road! Ha. They live just inside the little loop and had their car parked and waiting for me to come by. Silly me tho.. They got out of their car on the street side and were cheering and I run on the other side of the car?! So I didn't even give them a high five or anything! It's all I could think about for the next little bit of the run till I got to the top of the hill and there they were again! haha. This time I wasn't gonna miss it. I gave them all high fives as I ran passed them. It was so great to have a little cheering section. haha. I wish I could have had a picture of them! 

We got to the top and then went East again on 150 and back to the rec center and then around the park to get the last 1/2 mile in. And there they were again! This time Justin was there to take pics and I got a glimpse of the crew. 

Even all the kids were there! They were seriously so great. I'm pretty sure the words I said to them was "The hard part's almost over!" haha. I went around the park and through the big blow up sign and into transition!!

This is blurry cuz it's a screen shot from a video. Sorry! Notice how almost all the bikes are now gone. hahaha. Oh well! I was just shy of a PR on the 5K. My time was 39:30. That's terrible! But good for me, so I'm over it. 

Now I'm off on the bike!

This part was hard too cuz of another HILL! haha. We went out onto center street, turned right on 400 W, down to 800 S again (Just like the run) but this time went all the way down to the freeway feeder road which I think is technically 1200 W once it gets to center street but it takes some weird turns so I don't really know what it's called. Regardless of it's name, it's deceivingly uphill and a little harder than I wanted it to be! haha. The downhill part was super fun but you had to pay for it going back up Center! It took around 20 minutes to do the whole 4 mile look but that little hill section took 5 minutes all on its own! It was obviously hard but I stuck to my training and didn't get off my bike the whole time. It's prolly mean to say but it felt good to pass a few people that were walking. :D

I got to see Justin and Ty on the course too! They were just outside the school on center street and it was awesome to get to see them! Justin has been amazing throughout this whole thing and I never could have done it without him!

After three laps I remember saying to myself that I couldn't believe I had done it. I knew the swim was gonna be easy and I kept saying just finish this ride and you've done it. I get back to the transition area and strip down to my swimsuit and run to the pool! I jumped in and started swimming. It was normal but pretty slow. I was always pretty slow but never this tired! haha. But I just kept swimming! 

This might be the best picture of me ever. hahaha. Finally at the end and getting out!

And I crossed the finish line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This pic of perfectly timed cuz it says the exact seconds that my official time was. (Not a super great pic of me but I love that my hands are in the air. I was SO proud!!!!)

This little certificate thing proves two things... 1 is that I wasn't last! haha. My overall placement was 88 of 104. WOOHOO!! haha. And of course, that I finished. I'm actually really proud of myself and have signed up for another tri! haha. This time my goal is to beat my time from this tri. And that's how I'll keep going. I didn't push myself super hard and probably could have done better but I didn't know how it was gonna go, so I just went. This next time will be different. I'm gonna be so dead after it's over that I have nothing left and hopefully I can continue to do that. 

Thank you again to my awesome family for supporting me the whole way and helping me get a bike! 

Thank you a MILLION times over to Ryanne for supporting me the whole time and to Casey for writing all my workouts and pushing me to do better and better. 

And the most thank you to my amazing hubby and baby Ty who inspired me to do this in the first place and to keep doing what I have to do to be the best version of me. I LOVE YOU!

See you on the course!!! 


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