Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Project 365 - Mission Bay TRIATHLON... YES, Big Girls Can ROCK IT!...and Hansen's Surf Shop...

Nothing tastes better than Mimosas after a triathlon...
Friend Dave and me (with Sea World behind us) after the race.
Let's jump right into it, shall we!?  I have been struggling with my weight for many years... which is why I joined the YMCA Weight Loss Challenge 1 1/2 years ago... and why I have been training with my coach and doing Boot Camp and training for different athletic events for the past two years... I am a big girl.  Not only did my size bother me (every day), but the fact that I struggled when playing with Anna... doing household chores... or just getting through my day... 

The transition area... yeah... pretty scary...
HOWEVER, that doesn't mean that I can't do the same things the small gals can... I wear a bigger size... and I will be a bit slower... but I can still ROCK it better and faster than most... and I am dang proud of that!!!  In the past 2 years, I have completed in 2 triathlons and cycled in a 50 mile ride and a metric century. 

REALLY... You want to see ME in a XXL MEN'S WETSUIT?... I don't think so!
I'm about to share the events of October 3rd, the Mission Bay Triathlon and something that my son said bothered me.  I was looking at the event results and noted that if I had entered the "Athena" category (the big gals) that I could have made the podium.  Chris said, "Would you really want to stand up there and win an award for being a fast, fat girl?"  My answer,... "I AM a big girl and I just kicked the tar out of many of the small gals AND the men!  Why WOULDN'T I want to stand up there and receive an award for that!? 

The warm up... OF COURSE, you have to warm up before the swim... and I was feeling GREAT!
God makes us all differently and gives us different challenges.  I have two able legs and a strong heart... I might be thick in the middle, but that just makes me work harder!  Do you know why I train so hard and race?  BECAUSE... I... CAN!

Now... onto the triathlon...

The swim... yes, it was as crazy and scary as I figured my first open water swim would be..  That's me coming up for air right in the center.. you know... the one that looks like everyone else... :-)
The kids in the family on the left of the photo were asking about the different shoes... the dad was telling them that "some people change into cycling shoes, but that just takes extra time..." just as I pull RIGHT IN FRONT of them and start clicking in my cycle shoes.  All they could do was smile and cheer! ;-)  By the way, look at that guy in front of me... I beat him... ;-)

This photo was taken as I started the run... and about 15 seconds before I started cramping... I (stupidly) drank 1/2 water bottle in transition and had double cramps through my whole run... I had to WALK (speed walk) the whole thing... DARN IT!
My girlfriend, Heather... this was her finish and I think an iconic photo of the emotions that you feel when you accomplish something as AWESOME as your first race!  Pain... struggling to breathe... and the HOLY COW, I DID IT!!!  You are a ROCK STAR, Heather!  Congratulations!!!

It was a GREAT event... although I totally blew it on the run, I KICKED BUTT on the swim and TOTALLY CRANKED IT on the bike! I am already training for the next triathlon in Pasadena... in 5 months... and my coach wants me to train for my first Olympic Distance Triathlon in June of 2011... BIG GALS, HERE WE COME!!!

HANSON'S SURF SHOP... A little side story... I rented my wetsuit from Hansen's Surf Shop... an amazing store in Encinitas. It was hard to find a wetsuit that would fit me, but they had one for me. I was a bit uncomfortable picking up this LARGE wetsuit, but several of the store employees asked me what I was doing and I told them my triathlon story. The AWESOME part of the story is when I returned the wetsuit. They recognized me as "the triathlete" and wanted to know how I did. I told them about the race and a bit about myself, how I was inspired to start racing and about Jeff, who with chemo damaged feet was jealous of my triathlon and will be racing with me in Pasadena. 
OK, so I had to walk (speed walk) the whole 5K... but I was NOT going to come to the finish line like a wimp... and I SURELY WAS NOT going to let ANYONE in the finish stretch pass me up... Mr. No Shirt... DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT... you CAN'T catch me!... I finished first!

This skinny, beautiful and fit gal turned to me and said, "You are such an inspiration! I have been wanting to try a triathlon, but have been too afraid to try it. You are AWESOME and I am going to train to do it!!!" And she made me promise to tell her how I do in Pasadena.  I left the store, called Jeff and started sobbing.... happy tears. I doesn't matter what you look like, how much you weigh, or how fast you are, ANYONE can Triathlon!!! What is stopping you!?

Make it a WOOOOO HOOOOO kinda week!!! 


Christie Bryant said...

Oh my goodness girl! What an amazing story and triumph! You ARE such an inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing your story. Congratulations on how far you've come and how fit you are! You're fabulous!

with Trisha Ladouceur said...

WOW!!!!!! Good for you and you truly are an inspiration! I too have had to learn to EMBRACE my "Lumps and Bumps" and am so happy to see that you can accomplish ANYTHING you set your mind too, regardless of your size!


scrappinlil said...

Wow!! You are an inspiration....That is such a fantastic story. I read the whole thing and just kept thinking to myself...this girl rocks. If she can do it , I can do it...Of course I am no good at swimming but I would do the running part. Good luck in your next race...Watch out Pasedena!TFS

Sharla said...

Awesome job Tracey, you are an inspiration! I don't swim (AT ALL, I fear the water) but did do a 1/2 marathon last March. It's amazing what we can do if we just believe!