Once again it is clear to me why I have chosen triathlon as my hobby. It is the closest I will get to giving birth again. We have 5 beautiful children and our family is complete but I miss a lot of the aspects of pregnancy and birth. Thankfully I am finding fulfillment and similarities in triathlon training and racing and while it is an expensive sport it at least I won’t have to send Dori (bike) to college.
The day of my first half Ironman was challenging, overwhelming and a true euphoric high. Having family and great friends congratulate me at the finish and tell me how amazing I was after working very hard for 8 long hours brought back memories of my births. Like a natural birth an endurance sport is mostly mental. You can do what you think you can do and just when you think you are done your body surprises you. In the middle of it you find humor in odd places, tears come easily and everyone is your friend. When people start yelling you are almost done you don’t really believe it until you see it for yourself. The afterglow is a haze, the pain is there but so is the smile and relief of a job well done.
You sleep hard and heavy and when you wake up you feel the previous day in parts you didn’t know you had. You have to remind yourself that yes, you really did it and a little piece isn’t sure until you hold something tangible, proof. The next day you don’t sleep nearly as well and when you wake you find more parts you didn’t know you had now ache and cry out. Then the hunger hits, hard! If you don’t get food somebody is going to get hurt. And not just some food but a LOT of food and you want food you wouldn’t normally eat. Everything fried with a frozen beverage on the side. This goes on for days and it’s OK because you deserve it! There is no guilt, you only hope it will stop before you grow out of all your clothes.
As the days grow less people mention the amazing accomplishment and it feels a little less special but you know you have achieved something few people do and you look forward to doing it again. It’s a new high you start to chase. Good thing it takes so long and is so damn hard or I’d be chasing this high every day.
Time to train…..