Monday, September 18, 2006

Sandman Race Background

Flash back to 4 summers ago. I had just done my first triathlon. I'd fallen in love with the sport. As a reward for my first race, Mr. Preschool and I bought a bike. I really nice bike, (OK, not really, really nice) but we spend way more than I'd have ever thought I would spend on a bike. I had found my place in this sport and it had changed my life. And man, did it change my life! I trained and trained. I registered for a little race down in Virginia Beach, called Sandman. And I went to the eye doctor and got contacts for the first time since college, so I would be able to "sight" on the ocean swim, and see where to get out of the water and how to get to transition. I guess I don't need to mention here that I can't see at all without a prescription lenses.

Our old team, Triathlonmoms, drove down to Virginia Beach with our swim coach, Matt Kredich, and we practiced that ocean swim. It felt really great, I felt confident, but afterwords, when I stoped by the public restrooms on the way back up from the swim I realized something was wrong. My eyes were so dry. I had stopped wearing contacts because of the dryness and the pain. And now my eye was so dry that the lense was adhered to the lense on my iris.

This is the sort of thing that throws my life out of whack. My neuroticism seeps in and I feel like my life is spining out of control. These were the feelings that had slipped away as I began to train. The part of my life that went away (for the most part) when I found triathlons, and hell no I didn't want it back.

"Too many variables...
worry..... new town.
Someone else driving the car in a strange city...
Is Daisyhead Maisy Okay? What is she doing?....
Is she missing me.....
I can't get this damn thing out of my eye, It's stuck.....has that ever happened to you?
....... I don't know any doctors in Virginia Beach.....
What if I can't get it out?
If I drive back to Richmond and see the doctor, will they know what to do?
...This is going to be Okay, RIGHT?"

And so with this story, it is not so much the end result of me having to basically tear the thing out of my eye back at the doctor's office with the doctor just sort of looking at me in disbelief that is important. It is that I left my comfort zone. I though I was doing great. Something went wrong and it could have been anything.... a flat tire, a rip current, a jelly fish sting, or a stupid contact...but I couldn't handle it. I was too far gone.

When the situation was resolved and I had calmed down, I looked forward to the Sandman as the true test. The time that I could prove to myself that under pressure, on raceday I could make it all come together, contacts or not. That I could face my demons and overcome them. And whether I got a flat tire, forgot my shoes, or got a shark bite for that matter, I would overcome it. I would complete my race and maintain controll of my demons.

So, a few weeks later when the hurricane swept through Virginia Beach causing flooding, downed trees, power outages and more mayhem, the Sandman was postponed. And although I seriously considered it, I couldn't miss my cousin Scott's wedding, on the day Sandman was rescheduled for. I hadn't seen Scott in 20 years, and I needed to see him.
The next year I was pregnant with Grayfish.
And then the next year, Mr. Preschool had committed to an artshow the same day.

Flash forward to this year. I signed up for IronGirl, and decided this was the year to prove to myself that I could conquer the Sandman despite there being only 3 weeks between the two races.

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