Most of us have that one race that will always stand out in our minds. For some it’s the fastest one or the longest one. For me, my most memorable race was my first triathlon in 2006. The Iron Girl Triathlon.
My Most Memorable Race
Back in 2006, before IPhones or Facebook, I completed my first triathlon. The Iron Girl in Columbia, Maryland. The name just sounds bad ass doesn’t it? I sure felt pretty bad ass that day too. Here’s why.
I was never a runner and in fact, hated running and was more of a step aerobics and gym girl. On a ski trip in 2004 I tore both my ACL and my MCL in a serious accident. With a 3 and 6 year old it was pretty devastating. I began my rehab and continued to build back my strength with a personal trainer for almost a year. We focused on strength training and I started to love the results.
In the summer of 2006, I read an article in Shape Magazine “12 weeks to your first Tri”. Well, I really had no idea what that entailed. I ripped out the article and brought it into my trainer. “Let’s do this” I said. What did I just sign up for? I had not ridden a bike in years and well there was that running part…
Let the training begin
I will never forget my first “run” on the track and could barely make it around one lap without needing to stop. Wow running was so hard! That summer, we slowly worked up to running 3 miles. Knowing nothing about bikes, I purchased a heavy hybrid bike and began pedaling around. Swimming laps was a lot harder than I remembered.
Fast forward a few weeks and I was in full blown training mode and most likely, in the best shape of my life. Not too many women were doing triathlons at that time and I did not know anyone to talk to about what to wear or what to eat.
There were about 300 women at the inaugural Iron Girl triathlon in 2006. I lined up with my age group and got ready to jump into that lake. Holy smokes! It was petrifying swimming in a dark lake. I swam as fast as I could just to get out. Onto to the bike it was! I am actually doing this thing, This was a hilly and technical course like nothing I had ever ridden on.
I had a rough transition to the run but I was in my zone and I was going to do this thing. The hills were relentless but I knew the finish line was in sight. Hearing the roar of the spectators at finish, propelled me through.”You are an Iron Girl” and I was. I was so amazed that I actually did this thing and broke out in tears when saw my husband and kids
Iron Girl will always have a special place in my heart as my most memorable race. I went on to fall in love with running and triathlons completing this race 7 more times. Sadly, it’s not around anymore but I am excited to get back to triathlons this summer. If only I could get that 36 year old body back too!
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