On Saturday night I went to church with my son, Jake. Matt was already at a friend's house for the evening and Jake was spending the night with another family. I was dropping him off after church. The music was great- very inspiring. As the announcements were being made, I was flipping through my bulletin, catching up on the news of the church. Then I saw it- a verse at the bottom of the page called "What's Happening". The verse said...
|Message in the bulletin|
What?? I KNOW you can do anything and no one can stop You. Just what I needed to hear going into Sunday's triathlon especially the swim portion. I read it a few times, closed my bulletin- started to focus on the sermon but I just kept flipping back to reread the verse. Never before have I seen a verse in the bulletin. To verify this I found 2 older bulletins in my bible- yep, no verse. I wanted to grab the girl's bulletin next to me and look to see if she had the verse as well. It felt like a message from God- don't worry, You Got It!
The next morning after not much sleep, we left the house at 5 am to pick up my friend Susie. We arrived at Honeymoon Island with plenty of time to check into transition. I wrote Job 42:2 and Philippians 4:13 on hands as reminders of God's presence.
|Found on Missional Women Facebook page|
After getting set up in transition, we headed to the beach to check out the water conditions. It was low tide- a very low tide- so low that athletes were able to stand in the deepest part of the course. It seemed to be chest high on even the smallest people- I am short at 5'2". So this would not be a challenging swim at all- I don't think you could even call it a swim. Oh, well- it would be a nice way to ease myself back into open water swimming, right?
My wave was wave 5, Glenn was wave 6 and Susie was wave 7. I told Glenn to catch up to me and I could just grab on and ride in with him. My husband is a strong swimmer- he thinks it is funny how stressed I get about the swim.
So my wave went off at about 7:50 am and it was an interesting swim. I walked to the first buoy and decide to swim across the course then walk out of the water. Because of the swallow conditions, it became much easier to swim a little then dolphin dive then swim a little more. By doing this I was passing a lot of swimmers. I continued to dolphin my way to shore, standing up to run only when it made sense. The run from water to transition was a little long but on nice hard sand.
I left the transition area with my bike to ride a 12 mile course. The course was two 6 mile loops so when I entered the course the elite athletes were starting their 2nd loop. It was a little dicey at times with people passing quickly on my left. I was able to get a good pace going and began feeling confident to pass people as well. I stuck with a group of women for the first loop and was able to increase my pace, leaving them behind during the 2nd loop. Glenn passed me during the second loop which I figured would eventually happen. I was very happy with my biking- I didn't get passed as much by other women as I have in the past. I don't have a pedometer on my bike yet so I wasn't able to know my average pace.
With the bike portion over, I racked my bike and laced up my running shoes. I left transition feeling like I had enough left to run a good pace. After finding my running legs, I settled into a decent pace- spotting other women in my age range (in triathlons they mark the back of your leg with your age)- I set out to pass as much as I could. I kept looking for Glenn because I knew he was somewhere ahead of me. Unfortunately the course wasn't marked so I wasn't sure when to pick up my pace- at the last water station I decided to pick it up. I crossed the finish line, completing the last time I race in my thirties (I am turning 40 this July). After crossing the line, Glenn comes up behind me and taps me on the shoulder. He was behind me the whole time- even though he finished the bike ahead of me- I left transition before he did. We joke about how he takes a long time in transition- at his St Anthony's Race, he took 5 minutes in transition from bike to run because he was looking for his gum. After finishing the tri, we went to cheer on other competitors and look for Susie.
|Glenn (finish time)- 1:07, Jenny (finish time)- 1:10|
So can I get over my love/hate relationship with triathlons?
- I LOVE the opportunity to challenge myself to work hard at 3 different sports but be disciplined enough to compete well at each one.
- I LOVE the run and bike- I think I could tolerate the swim with more training and less anxiety.
- I LIKE the atmosphere of the triathlons- you see all types of people who are challenging themselves to complete a race that requires discipline and technique.
- My husband told me to stop my complaining and suck it up.
|Susie and I are ready to our next tri!|
But as Pastor Matthew reminded me on Saturday night that "for physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for ALL things, holding promises for both the present life and the life to come" (1 Timothy 4:7-9) So though God has blessed me with the body to run, bike and swim (slowly), I need to remember that the most important way to spend my time is on my spiritual training. This training leads to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control which can be beneficial to those around me.