Monday, September 10, 2012

The Triathlon Post I Wasn't Planning On Posting

I wasn't planning on talking much (or at all) about my triathlon over the weekend. But someone requested a visual. :)

Plus, one of the pictures I posted to Facebook got lost or something. I don't know. I can rarely find my own wall over there, so consider the source. :)

So, here's what happened. My friend hatched a plan to compete in an all women's title nine triathlon. I agreed to go along. We trained. We trained more, sometimes with other lovely ladies. Then we all went on vacations during the summer. Tried to keep up with the training. We got very nervous. Didn't sleep at all the night before.

Then we did the darn thing. :)

And it was AWESOME. I think I caught a triathlon bug. Can't wait for the next one.

Here's what I learned:

1. Don't go it alone.

Being held accountable for your workouts (or writing) is how this stuff gets done. Maybe you are good at holding yourself accountable, but I am not.

The lovely ladies who kept me honest with training
I thought it was hilarious to take a picture under the RUN OUT sign. Pre-race humor is known to be a little bizarre. Which brings us to:

2. Keep it light.

We got into the water, moments before the starting gun, and realized that the water was warmer than the air. I joked, "Someone's been peeing, people!" Again, not crazy witty, but the levity and laughter helped with the last minute jitters. (I love meeting writers in person and laughing over how difficult this career can be. NESCBWI here we come!)

3. A cheer is an awesome thing.

It was an all women's race, and camaraderie was big. Lots of cheering between the athletes on the course. Which kept spirits high. (Have you cheered on another writer today? Cheesy, I know. But seriously, have you?)

4. Sometimes you have to put on your game face and get the job done. But you can't do it without support.

My game face.
What you don't see in this picture is that my three kids are jumping up and down, raring to give me a high five. My eldest child ran with me on portions of the run, and my youngest almost knocked me over in her exuberance to see me right before the finish line. Their enthusiasm spurred me to go faster.  My husband yelled louder than anyone else. :) And my mom traveled miles and miles to see my race. (Have you said thanks recently to your writing supports?)

5. If you don't take the risk, you don't get the reward.

My friend Kyla with me after the race. 
Competing in a triathlon was a big risk--something I had never done before. It takes tremendous work. No excuses. Training was mandatory. Just as we tell writers to put butt in chair, my friends and I clocked lots of miles on the roads, in the pool, and out in the lake. We took it one mile at a time--sometimes we took it one step or stroke at a time. And not only did we finish, but we finished well.

6. Take yourself seriously enough to do it right. 

I give Kyla all the credit for this gem. Once she roped me into signing up for the triathlon, she then asked a trainer to add a new class at the local Y to help us train. (A shout-out to the awesome trainer, Amelia!) Having a trainer upped our game, gave us confidence and new skills, and got us to the next level in our ability to compete. (If you can find a mentor for your writing, someone who is ahead of you, in terms of skills, then it is much easier to bring yourself to that next level.) 

7. Learn. Do it again. 

Already, I want to do the whole thing again. I want to train harder. I want to try harder. I want to use what I know to do even better than I did in my first one. 

And isn't that what it is all about?


  1. wow Wow *WOW*

    I have amazing respect for triathletes (I used to cheer a former boyfriend on from the sidelines)!

    *high five*

  2. I saw your pictures on FB. What an incredible thing to accomplish! you rock! What a great feeling it must've been to cross the finish line. And such great parallels to writing! :)

  3. This was awesome! My goodness I feel like a lazy bum... :-)

  4. Congratulations, Heather! You did great--you look so good in those pictures. It's amazing even though you're tired and sweaty the success you feel really comes shining through.
    Good job!

  5. Awesome that you did it. Especially on no sleep the night before.

  6. Wow! That is amazing, Heather!!!!

    Way to go!

  7. I'm not sure why you weren't planning on posting about this. It's a major accomplishment for anyone -- and it's inspiring as heck to boot!

    Being able to train with friends must have made all the difference. Having your family there to see you run and give you all sorts of love and support was surely priceless.

    You're proving when you set your mind to something, you can do anything. What a great example for your loyal fanbase and your kids!

    -- Tom