On 24 September, 2006 I finished my first endurance event at the Walt Disney World Olympic [distance] Triathlon. I was 37. The only running I had done in the 25 years between junior high track and then was what was required in gym class, errands and chasing after my kids. I had gained weight with each of my three pregnancies. I was terribly out of shape. I’ve said many times that on a fitness scale of 1-10 I was a minus-2. For real.
Earlier in 2006 I had donated a kidney, and recovery was going very well. I was feeling pretty good but knew I needed to get back into shape. I also knew I needed some accountability to reach any kind of actual goal. A flyer had come in the mail– and it must be providence that kept me from throwing it out immediately — that offered help with training and completing a race: marathon, half marathon or triathlon. Being a little ADD the idea of running for 26+ miles seemed incredibly boring and I didn’t have any interest in it. Boy, how times and attitudes have changed!
Mother’s Day Weekend, 2006, was the official start of my training with Team in Training. Without the help of my coaches, Kendra and Susan, who is still a dear friend, I would not have been able to finish. Without the fundraising aspect of being a Team in Training participant I wouldn’t have had the accountability I wanted and needed to stick it out to the end.
That blistering hot day in central Florida, when temperatures passed 90 degrees F I crossed the finish line in 3 hours 23 minutes 53 seconds (3:23:53) — a full 35 minutes ahead of my own predicted finish time. I cried like a child, and I became an athlete.
Little did I know where the race that day would eventually take me.