Last Saturday, I had the privilege of watching my youngest daughter compete in her first official triathlon. To say she actually trained for this event wouldn't be true. She continued her daily workouts, biked along the trails here at home, but other than swimming the course route a couple of times, she was only familiar with the rest of the course because I drove her through it. She and my husband held their 2nd personal triathlon in July on the Cape, and even though the bike and swim portions were longer during their personal competition (take a look back here and here), it doesn't compare with the challenging hills she faced during the Monadnock Challenge. But, boy can that girl fly on a bike!
It was the ladies turn after the men started things off. I kayaked the route with her and she could manage the .4 mile swim in 15 minutes. During the day of the race, she veered off course to add almost a minute and a half to that time.
Now it was time for the 15.8 mile bike ride up some of the toughest hills around here. I can remember driving the route with her thinking this was going to be rough. We caught up with her when she was more than half way done and finished with a 65:37 having never biked it before. AND she was on a mountain bike, not a racing bike.
Although she ran cross country in middle school. She is not a competitive runner. She runs to clear her head and condition her body. There were times this past year that when I was heading to bed she was heading downstairs to run on the treadmill. Even after playing lacrosse—game or practice—she ran. We caught up with her a mile into the 5K (3.1 miles) and she was hitting a wall. The only thing she might like better than running on her treadmill is running on her treadmill with her iPod. This race didn't allow her that luxury. Let the mind games begin.
She went into this race just to see if she could do it. But as she passed last year's winner (in her division) on her bike, you could see this was becoming more than just a let's-see-if-I-can-do-this sorta thing. My girl finished with the official race time of 02:02:33 coming in second in her division. Well, it fueled her fire. Next year she's planning on actually training.
She is the reason I keep up with my own fitness routine. If we're out for a ride, I ask her to push me faster. When she's taking me through her routine of 1,000 sit-ups in our basement gym, I don't complain. She inspires me in so many ways.
First or last, she's always a winner to me.