Training with Warriors

Yesterday I trained with these warriors. Don’t let their smiles fool you. They are fiercely focused, they like speed and they are determined to WIN.

This training session was not exactly planned. The day had gotten away from me and by the time they got home, I still had to train. So, we set out to do a loop or two around the neighborhood. They on their bikes and me on foot. My youngest is a consistent training partner and it is usually delightful to run as he rides. But, add another kid in the mix, specifically an older brother, and the little guy gets fire in his heart and a primal desire to pummel the competition. So, my leisurely run turned into a race with warriors. With only 3 days until my big race. WAIT! only 3 days! I need a moment to let that sink in….okay- with only 3 days until my big race, I guess The Powers That Be knew I needed a little fire in my heart as well.  I am not exactly known for my speed, so seeing these two race as if their lives depended on it, was exactly the spark I needed to enter this competition on sunday with some added zeal and focus.

As I slither into my wet suit on Sunday and prepare to do my first open water swim with a ton of other people, I will be thinking of Dan Schultz who should have celebrated his 39th birthday yesterday. I will be thinking about how he too was a warrior through his battle with cancer and how so many individuals and families face this same battle day in and day out. As I swim, bike and run (oh my!) I will be borrowing both Dan’s determination and the fierce focus of my warrior racing children.

My rocking road crew!

I completed my first triathlon yesterday with the most awesome road crew around.

My Dad drove me to the race and with his cool demeanor, stuck by me the whole time till I got in the water. It felt like old-times- when I was a kid swimming in an event. I was so excited to start swimming, that I took off fast. I wanted to show my Dad I was still a superstar!

I decided to do this tri as a practice for a tri I am doing May 19th to honor my friend Dan Schultz. I have made the May 19th tri so public, that I thought it might be a good idea to get one under my belt before I do it for “real”. I am so glad I did this as a practice as I learned so much. For starters, maybe I shouldn’t try to be such a hot- shot (this is relative) in the water. There is probably no need to impress my Dad at this point. I am pretty sure he thinks I am great and the winner of the entire triathlon despite any official race results. Second thing I learned was to pick up the speed in transitions. I think I can do better than 4:38 minutes. I also learned that I am VERY thirsty when I swim and bike and run. I need to hydrate more efficiently before, during and after the race. I also learned that speeding down hills freaks me out and the wind is very loud. Going uphill is extremely quiet and difficult- especially when I haven’t figured out the gears and I am on the toughest one. OUCH- my quads were cooked and I was only 3 miles into the ride. I learned a lot yesterday and all of it will be helpful May 19th when I race at Black Bear to honor Dan.

So, on Sunday, May 19th, I will race in honor of Dan with a little more experience under my biking shorts. My awesome road crew will be dis-baned as they all have stuff to do that doesn’t include following me around. We will continue to raise money up until race day in honor of Dan for the awesome organization For Pete’s Sake. If you are interested in contributing, please click here

Team Verge…..Tri it with a Smile

Many years ago, almost a life time ago, I was a competitive swimmer. I only mention this because I am clinging onto the hope that my body, mind and spirit will have some sort of “memory” of this and be able to kick in to gear and move through water without sinking to the bottom. I am doing my first triathlon on May 19th. I have registered and everything. By everything, I mean I am two weeks into training, I have told people that I am doing this, and I even bought a seriously ugly tri suit that makes me look like a short bald man. Oh, I also retrofitted my (taller) husbands racing bike to fit me. Well, it sort-of fits me.

I was inspired to do a triathlon last spring after watching my friend Dan fight a courageous battle against cancer. After almost 2 years of fighting this disease, Dan passed away in June 2012. I became friends with Dan and his AMAZING wife Sue after we realized we shared a babysitter. Truth be told, the child whisperer known as Katie Fitton was their babysitter. We were merely borrowing Katie from time to time. Like everyone who knows Dan and Sue, we became fast friends. When Dan was diagnosed with cancer, we had so much hope that he would survive it, but that was not God’s plan. Dan fought such a courageous battle with Sue, his four beautiful children and his extended family at his side. They demonstrated such grace and guts throughout Dan’s journey. They were and continue to be a major inspiration in my life.

Soon after Dan passed away I had an idea that I would honor him by doing a triathlon. I mentioned this to Sue one day as I was riding around our neighborhood on my beach cruiser (more on this later). I came home, told my husband and then thought HOLY SH&%.

As time went by, my desire to honor Dan was clear and a desire to show my children that anything is possible emerged. However, I couldn’t figure out how to JUST DO IT. I heard about CNN Fit Nation and Dr. Sanjay Gupta selecting a group of people to help them train for a triathlon. I submitted a video and crossed my fingers. I was hoping I would be selected because then I would be accountable. I never got selected. Soon after, I heard that my friend and fellow yoga instructor Carlyn was training for a tri in May.  One thing led to another and TEAM VERGE emerged. Along with five other yogis,  I will be doing the Black Bear Tri on May 19th. OMG! We all have our own reasons and inspirations for embarking on this journey. My intention for this triathlon is to honor the way Dan Schultz lived his life to the fullest and to hopefully inspire my children. Dan lived his life to the fullest and has inspired me to do the same. Dan did everything with a smile, that’s why I am calling it TEAM VERGE….Tri it with a smile.

From time to time I will update this blog about how my training is going. What I have learned from only two short weeks of training is that I am really hungry after I swim and I am not a very good runner. Actually, I have always know I was not a good runner, now I am faced with it again and again and again.

I will be offering a couple of donation based yoga classes before May 19th to raise money and awareness to be donated in Dan’s honor. The cause is TBD. Stay tuned!