Where is My Mojo

My path to “considering” tri training

In Run, Triathlons on April 14, 2011 at 5:12 PM

2010. A friend from Venezuela was counting down the days for the 2010 Chicago Marathon registration on his Facebook wall. I didn’t understand where all his excitement came from. I’ve always been the type that thought there were only three good reasons for me to run: 1) If someone was chasing to kill me. 2) If I was chasing someone to kill him/her. 3) If I was caught up in fire, which is a huge mistake because, aren’t you supposed to throw yourself in the ground and roll over your body? Nevertheless, I was not a couch potato. At least not in my younger years. I was always playing some kind of sports… basketball, softball, volleyball on a social level… you know, on the beach or something. Even dancing flamenco. There was a period where I did nothing at all. Then came 2000 and I couldn’t see my hip bones anymore, so I started running like Forrest Gump, and paying much more attention to my nutrition. I lost so much weight I was able to fit a size 2 in a Banana Republic pair of pants… I’m sure they number their sizes smaller so people who shop there feel much better about themselves, because I was ONLY a size 2 there, everywhere else I was a 4. But I digress…

After running my heart out, I also did like Forrest Gump… “I’m tired. I wanna go home now.” and started exploring the bizarre but highly addictive world of Bikram Yoga… yoga done at 100 degree F room temperature. What made me want to go back to each class is really beyond my comprehension. But I never dwelled into it, I just did it, and I did for 8 months until I moved from Dallas to Miami in 2002.

It took me a while before I could reinitiate my yoga practice. I tried Bikram, but wasn’t crazy about the instructors here, until a friend from work introduced me to Prana Yoga, a beautiful yoga center located in the Gables. I started learning about sun salutations, downward facing dogs, cobras, pigeons, and many more asanas, including headstand which I had never even thought regular people could do. I remember the first time I saw the other yogis in my class do this asana… I just sat there staring at them in awe, and could only imagine myself doing it… and I learned, and I did it.

In 2003 things changed again in my life, and I abandoned my practice all together… from four times a week at least, to nothing at all. So, by the time my friend’s marathon countdown began early 2010, I questioned myself if I should do it as well, would I be able to, would I have the will power to. I chatted with him and his wife, and started training on my own. Not an easy task, but was surprised by my own strong will to be consistent. I trained following my friends’ training schedule and we would compare notes via Facebook and Garmin Connect. Side bar here, my friends at work bought me a Garmin Forerunner watch for my birthday which “came” with a boyfriend, but that’s another story which I might or might not tell you. As I started adding miles to my Saturday runs, my right knee started to feel the impact of the concrete streets on which I was training. By July I was out of commission and started therapy. My high hopes for a rapid recovery were shattered the first day of therapy. It was made cleared to me I was not going to be able to catch up with my training in time for the race, and that really left me with a huge emptiness inside my body. I was not going to be able to make it to Chicago with my friends…

October 12th came, and one of my friends from work who also ran Chicago came back, and told her st

ories about the race. I was excited but filled with nostalgia of what could’ve been but never was. She mentioned registering for the ING Half Marathon in January and I said “13.1 miles? Easier! I can do that!”… by that time my knee had significantly improved and I was playing with the idea of stopping therapy. I registered and updated my Facebook status telling the whole world (yes, just my list of friends) what I had just done. One of my friends replied that she too was training for it and that I should sign up with her training group.

I signed up with Andy Clark, Alien Endurance, and made new friends while training like crazy. On Saturday long runs, one of us would always asked this question when we started our run… “Please remind me, why are we doing this?” and of course the plethora of answers was unimaginable. We made it through, together and strong, until a month before the race when the cumulated mileage took a toll again on my right knee. Following my coach’s advise, I stay put. There was nothing else to do other than rest until the day of the event. I was not not going to run. I had gone that far, I had to race.

The excitement during the week before the race was incredible. We were all hyped up and couldn’t wait for the day to pick up our packets, go to the expo and carb up with pasta for the race. By that time I was already on my second term dating The Garmin Dude… yes, he’s part of the story I haven’t told you yet. I was beyond excitement the morning of the race. I just couldn’t wait to start running with the Dude alongside and my running buddies all dispersed among the huge crowd. It was an incredible feeling. I guess you have to be a runner, an athlete or someone who prepared so hard for an event, to understand (or not) all the sensations that rush through you in just one second. I ran 8 miles, and the rest I had to walk compliments of my knee, but I finished the race. I did run, in deep pain I must add, through the finish line because there was NO way on Earth I would walk it… not after all I had walked.

While I had a feeling of accomplishment, I was not overly excited with my achievement. Why? Because I was in good shape to run that race at a great pace and to endure it to the end… but my knee caved in. It gave up on me and that was frustrating.

And so the post-race blues started hitting on me. So much hype and then it’s over. Race day came, race day went. It’s like Christmas… You decorate your house, you make preparations to spend time with your family, you go shopping, you… and then it’s over! How can you not feel empty? Wondering, so… now what? Same thing here. Now what? I did the half, what’s next?

Luckily… or not, Andy had been telling us he was designing a tri-program which would start a couple of weeks after the ING. I wasn’t really interested in going all the way, I just wanted another race so I could survive the rush I had in my body… but my running buddies were all up for it. Peer pressure they call it, especially from one of my friends who constantly told me “If we do it, you do it”. And so, I signed up… without knowing how to swim, not even liking to get into the water… not having biked in years, and never on a road bike and never on the streets. The only thing I had on me was that I could run… with an injured knee.

I still don’t know what got into me to sign up. But all I can tell you is that so far this is very addictive and you just want to roll with it.

More to come, especially on my first tri event which was a DISASTER, but I felt like a total winner.

Picture below by Jesús Aranguren – I’m in it with The Garmin Dude!

I'm in the picture with The Garmin Dude

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  1. You just brought so many memories back, training for the ING was amazing and meeting you was even better. I am glad we are in this together….. :O) What did we get ourselves into? LOL

  2. Training for the ING was the best. I still feel nostalgia for all our Saturday morning runs. I really miss them. And let me remind you I’m in this because of YOU!! LOL

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