Truth be told, up until the very last day before the triathlon, there was a part of me that was looking for a reason not to do it. But I think you probably got that impression from my last post.
This apparently didn’t seem to deter God. He just decided to start (or really, continue) paving the way for me to not only get to the starting line, but get all the way to the finish with flying colors. But, I am getting ahead of myself.
After finding out on Monday that we had lost our baby, I tried a brief run on Wednesday and came away discouraged by how tired I was. We left for Coeur d’Alene on Thursday. I had not yet actually miscarried.
On Friday morning, after going for a short bike ride (in which I felt pretty good, which was progress), I started the miscarriage process. When I felt sure this was what happening, there was a sense of relief. At least I didn’t have to wonder anymore about when it would happen.
God was very gracious to me in that it was not too painful and it did not last too long. I spent some of the time by myself talking to God and some of it with Jason. I had time to cry and be a mess and it was okay. I was really thankful for that.
Shortly afterward, our midwife, Cindie called me to check in. I told her what was going on and she gave me the freedom to go ahead with the race, if I continued to feel okay.
After all this, I still had no excuse. And I was still waiting for one.
I felt surprisingly fine the rest of the day. I got all my gear organized and set my alarm for 4:30am, as if I was racing.
I woke up on Saturday morning and I felt like myself. I hadn’t felt that for over a month. Not the pregnant me or the miscarrying me or the crazy emotional me. Just me. I wasn’t nervous. And it felt like racing was the natural thing to do that day. There was no question in my mind.
Praise God He did not have to drag me to the starting line. I was going willingly, wholeheartedly. What a miracle heart change is.
When we got to Independence Point we found parking easily and made our way to the transition area with all the other athletes. Now I was starting to get excited.
Here we are before the race, during set-up.
[I realize now that in this picture I look very tired and wrinkly and Jason looks rested, but I promise I felt really good that day.]
When it was time, Jason got his wetsuit on and went out to the beach to wait with his group. I warmed up by running around the park until he began swimming, then I got ready. He told me when he thought he’d be out of the water and where to wait for him to tag-off.
He was right on time. Through a bit of heaving he told me he loved me, gave me a kiss goodbye, and off I went on my bike.
And here begins the even more amazing part. But again, I am getting ahead of myself.
I spent the first third of the ride getting warmed-up and comfortable on my bike. My body needed that, but my heart didn’t. From the moment I zoomed out of transition area, I felt like the communication lines between God & I were wide open. That is not something I experience so deeply very often.
I felt encouraged and hopeful. I thought about all the people I knew who had been praying for me or were praying for me that day. I thought about how I had gotten to this point. I thought about all the other people out there on the road, doing what I was doing. I prayed for Luke and Sharon, a few cross country buddies from high school who were also racing, a few miles ahead of me.
But I also still wondered how the upcoming hills were going to go. There are many of them on the second third of the course. When I got to the first one I thought about what Ryan Hughes told Jason a few weeks ago when he asked him for cycling advice. He said “Man, you just gotta attack those hills.”
And so that’s what I did–I zipped right up it. I attacked it. I was really doing this.
Then I zipped up the next hill. And the next one. And the next!
What the heck was going on?! There was no exhaustion, no wall, no defeat. Instead, I felt like a million bucks!
Jason met me at the top of the biggest hill. It was the place I had imagined myself walking, defeated. I got so excited I yelled “THAT’S MY HUSBAND! I FEEL GREAT!” He had told me previously that he didn’t think he would be able to get the car to that location because of all the other cyclists on the narrow country road. But he did it.
Here I am when I saw him that first time.
Then I saw Mom & Ian cheering for me. And then Erin & Miranda. I hit all the rest of the hills, came in and made my transition successfully, and was off running.
It was pretty hot by that point, but halfway through the run there was a nice breeze off the lake. Jason met me at numerous points along the way, and Erin & Miranda were there, too.
I had thought it would take me about an hour to complete the run portion, but now I wondered if I could run it faster than that. I remember thinking often “You can push yourself harder than this.” I felt like my legs were moving quicker than they had in weeks.
The last 800 meters or so I really tried to pick up the pace and scoot in to the finish. My cheer squad was there 100 meters before I crossed the line. I was well under an hour–55:49.
Here are the final results for our team–Team Tired (I find it kinda ironic we named ourselves that when we signed up months ago).
And here’s a video Jason put together of the footage he took.
So, you can see, I did it!
Or rather, God did it. But I think that’s pretty obvious by now 🙂 And it was more fun, encouraging, healing, and faith-building than I had hoped it would be.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us through the last month and for the kind comments, emails, phone calls, and prayers. We really appreciate it.
Check out the rest of the photos.