"That's the last one."
4 words that I didn't expect to, or want to hear.
So ---- on Sunday I had The Triathlon. I capitalise that phrase because it's been that long in the planning, I can't believe it finally happened. I first decided to do a tri about 3 years ago. 3 years and many failed training plans and procrastination later, I finally set this as my Mini Milestone for Week 8 of this round- that means I had to do it! Marking it as my MM and stating this in my blog makes it official, you know! ;) No backing out now.
|Top of Kokoda dance|
At the bottom of the hill we had breakfast, and I joined in for a short while before I had to drive to the coast for Event #2.
|The Tutu's & Tiara's Relay for Life team with Mish :)|
|Mish signing my shirt!|
I calmed myself down, reminded myself of what it's like to be in a pool (!) and started swimming.
|I had the pool to myself|
I made it though, jumped out and ran to my bike, reassuring myself that I would make up some time in the cycling and running legs. I got dressed and started cycling. A quick background of my cycling: I jumped on my bike for a Mini Milestone last round. As a once off thing. The time before that, I had a bit of an experience. If you want the long version, you can read it here: Coming 7000th The short version though is that I did the Brisbane to Gold Coast 100km Cycle Challenge. I was the very last to enter the finish banner and I had a police escort and entourage for a lot of the way, as well as police loudspeakers announcing to the crowd that I was the last rider. In Queensland's biggest cycling event. I was horrified at the time and it shot my confidence to pieces. It's been two years since and Sunday's tri was really the first time I'd made my way back onto my bike properly.
"Shut up mind."
I eventually finished the 3rd lap and I was reassuring myself that I was now 2/3 of the way through and I would be fine with the running. I racked my bike and joined everyone on the running track. It was only 2km but I was tired and struggling mentally so I didn't run the whole way: I jogged and walked on and off.
I was nearing the end of my first lap and as I passed a few girls I heard them tell one of the officials that there were only a couple of people behind them. I quickly processed this and realised what it meant. These girls entering the running track were from the event after me. I was only finishing my first lap and had one more to go. The event after me only had to do one lap and they had already started it. I ran around the running 'turn' to start my second leg. I saw officials on walkie talkies turning their heads away to speak each time they saw me. I wasn't being paranoid, I am certain they were talking about me - ever since the cycling I had seen them do this and I am sure I was a marker for the last competitor. I didn't ask anyone if I was last, I learnt that mistake last time. And besides, I already knew. I didn't need confirmation. Instead, the enormity of this started to sink in.
Let me put it out there that I was not upset about 'coming last'. I was one of the last to start my event, I was at the back of the pack of each of the 3 legs and I wasn't trained up well etc. etc. Besides, it doesn't matter of the order - it's a matter of actually starting it, and hopefully finishing it. But what got me was that it was happening again. I felt so mortified 2 years ago on the Bris-GC ride - and now 2 years later, here I was again??
|I am not used to frequenting super sports centres!|
I turned my music up quite loud (who cares, I had a running field to myself!) ;) and Gym Class Heroes "The Fighter" played. All through the day I listened to my songs of the moment - Fighter, Try, Hall of Fame and Battle Scars. I didn't know if I could do it. I needed help so I scrambled onto my iPhone and wrote that I was struggling on the FB 30+ crew page. I needed some support badly and this crew is amazing and I knew that I could get it. Sure enough I got some beautiful messages come through to say to keep on going. I was mentally trying to gear myself up for the end of the race - I was now so far behind everyone else I was expecting to be a bit of a spectacle and that was panicking me to no end. Thank you 30+ crew. xo
I finished on the field and tried to run a bit more but just couldn't. I went past a few officials closer to the main event - all of the officials were very supportive and encouraging through the whole day- the Pinkie Tri has a great crew. But as I went past the last few, I heard those dreaded 4 words. I already knew this but hearing them said out loud just shot me down.
"That's the last one."
Oh my gosh. It was true. I entered the main field and saw the finish banner. This is where I got the grit of my life. I was mortified, so embarrassed and just wanting someone to hold my hand. No-one was around because I was the only one still running (!) so I had to do this myself. I couldn't believe I had left my sunglasses at Kokoda in the morning. Of all the days. I could have done with them.
I'd had members of my 12WBT JFDI team including beautiful L and my friend A call out words of support up till now and this had spurred me along. But now I was all by myself and I knew all I had to do was to get to that banner. I had to block out everything. My friends mum got this shot of me. She actually captured literally the moment that I dug my fingernails into my hands, blocked out the world and held my head higher than I ever have before. Every eye was on me and I was absolutely willing the MC not to announce that I was last. I don't think he did - I just heard him talk about my tutu. Thank you. I had been walking but ran down the last bit to that banner, managed to put my hands up in the air and ran through.
I managed to get given my medal, drink some water, take some photos, walk up to the grand stand and sit down before I broke down. Poor A and A's mum had no idea what could be so wrong. I could barely explain it... "I.....came....last....." wahhhhh. I was beside myself. I could hardly get that out let alone explain that it was because it happened again and how deeply embarrassed I was.
I broke down again before I started my car, pulled myself together and started to drive home. I only made it out of the carpark and onto the street before I had to pull over again. Far out -- this really, really got to me. I eventually made it home :)
To be honest, since then, I haven't really had a big enlightening proud moment or anything. There's only one thing that I keep thinking of. Yes, I achieved my goal, I started it, I finished it, I got a medal (!) and as my lovely K said, I can now call myself a triathlete. ;)
But what I realised is that I held my head high. I gritted my teeth, dug my finger nails in, blocked out the rest of the world and kept going. This is so hard to do but sometimes, we have to. My friends have been amazing as well. And this was just on Sunday. Don't even ask me what happened on Monday.
When you have the wind knocked out of you, grit your teeth, clench your fists and keep going.
And above all else, keep your head held high. xx
|Mish with the Kokoda challengers <3|
|For my awesome 30+'ers: 'I got a medal!'|