Monday, May 19, 2014

Ethan's First Triathlon


In between my triathlon in August and my foot surgery in September, I KNEW I wanted to compete in the South Davis Tri in May.  That gave me eight months to fully recover, rebuild flexibility and strength in the foot (and atrophied leg muscles as a result of being rather stationary) and train.  I knew it would be tough coming back from that, but I made it a goal.

My foot healed and I got back to running.  Then swimming, then cycling, and by February I was feeling pretty good about things.  However, I didn't want to do this race alone, because there is something to be said for having a partner with you through the entire race.  Not just at the start line and the finish line, but someone running along side of you, suffering with you, and enduring it.  But as much as I pestered practically everyone I knew, no one wanted to do the race.  I can't say I blame them because it's kind of scary and it's a huge commitment.

One day in early March, I had an idea.  What if I could get Ethan to do the race with me?  Yes, my barely ten year old son.  What if?  So I talked to him about it, and it scared him to death.  And then I remembered that this particular race had a novice level, so I suggested that and he said "Hmmm, I'll think about it."

I pestered him for the better part of a month.  One evening I even bribed him with a DQ Blizzard to just drive around the course with me.  He agreed, and when he saw how "easy" the novive course was, he agreed to start running with me.  So we started running together, and I was blown away by that kid's drive.  We went out one day in April and bought him a very good pair of running shoes, and after that he started begging me every night to take him running.  The rest is history!

Shortly after I told her Ethan was doing the tri and that we were doing the novice level, my good friend Audrey said that she and Samuel (her ten year old and Ethan's good friend) would like to do it too!  I was super excited, to say the least!  Audrey felt pretty intimidated by it, but I kept assuring her that it would be SO AWESOME and that she would have a great time!

My real fear was the weather, because May in Utah is very unpredictable.  One day it will be 80 degrees and sunny, and by that weekend it will be in the 40s and raining or even snowing.  Unfortunately, the forecast for this particular Saturday showed the latter.  No biggie, we would make it through!!  On Friday night our families gathered at Audrey's for a carb loading party, which is kind of the best part of any race!  Takes me back to my swim team days!

5:15 came mighty early the next day, after being up til almost midnight getting everything ready for TWO racers, plus everything set to go for a day of soccer games.  Oh yeah, soccer life didn't stop just because we were doing a triathlon that morning!  Saturday May 10th took a lot of coordination, from getting bikes to the venue, to getting everyone to games on time later that day.  We all met up at the Rec Center and Audrey was pretty nervous, but I kept telling her not to be.  It was going to be incredible, and such a cool thing to share with our boys!  We got all checked in, got numbered up, got our camp set up at transition, found Jay (who was also doing the race) and then headed into the Nadatorium to wait and wait and wait for the waves of swimmers to go.  Because we were doing the novice, we had to wait for everyone else to go first.  The waves took an hour and fifteen minutes.  The longer we sat in the bleachers, the more butterflies grew in our tummies. 

The race was completely amazing, albeit pretty darn cold.  It was super windy when we ran out of the Nadatorium to transition, but adrenaline carried us through so it didn't feel "quite" as cold.  We got rained on quite a bit during the bike.  That leg made me very nervous because I rode ahead of Ethan and had to trust him to not get hurt and to look out for cars.  Even though police and volunteers try to keep you safe, you still have to be on constant alert. 

We saw Enos on the bike leg taking pictures, and then we saw Cody on the running leg taking pictures.  I'll tell you what, even though it was by no means a difficult race for me and even though I was a little disappointed that I wasn't doing the difficult level that I had originally set out to do, there is nothing better than crossing the finish line holding the hand of your son.  It.  Was.  Thrilling.  I brought that boy into this world, and he did a triathlon with me as my equal.  When it was all over (or maybe it was the next day after he wasn't so tired from doing a triathlon in the morning and then playing soccer that afternoon) he said that he couldn't wait to do another triathlon.  I am so excited to take him down this road.  He wore his tri shirt to school that Monday and got to tell his class about the race.  Not many people can say they did their first triathlon when they were only ten years old.

Ethan, Hailey, and Lauren are doing a kid triathlon next month on June 7th.  I can definitely see this becoming a family activity for the long run!  Who knows-  Maybe I'll do the IronMan with my kids one day. 



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