I was looking through old pictures on Facebook and realized I never blogged about this race.
This race was important to me because it was the only triathlon I was able to do in all of 2013. Tri season usually starts in May but I had spent most of the few months before planning for an epic vacation to Peru. I was in desperate need of a break and wanted one that would take me off the grid, far far away from startup land, and one that would re-inspire my sense of awe and wonder. The week before I left, I also did the Alcatraz swim (from Alcatraz island to the Presidio), which was AMAZING and epic but draining in its own way – quick weekend in San Fran to visit my brother, swim, and fly back. The next weekend I left for Peru.
The trip was magnificent (details in another post!) but came with one unplanned aspect – I got very sick. Most of the two-week trip was spent trekking through the Andes mountains, 8 hours a day, and camping at night in freezing temperatures. I got sick the day before we left but figured it was just something I ate and I could fight it off. But I was sick the entire trek. By the time we got back to Cusco, I ended up in the hospital. What was supposed to be a rejuvenating, soul-searching vision-quest became one of the worst vacations of my life (and also one of the best but I didn’t realize that until about a year later).
I got back to Boulder in need of another vacation, but I’d just taken two weeks off the grid (almost) so the only thing to do was suck it up and plow forward. I came back to a mountain of work for a number of reasons and worked every weekend for the rest of the summer into Fall. I still look back on that year and wonder why I don’t remember having a summer. I spent part of it in subzero temperatures in a tent and the rest of it holed up behind my computer. It was not much of a life. I spent the next six months feeling exhausted, overworked, stressed, and neglected.
I have lots of things that make me happy in my life and I consider myself lucky that I even have some sense of what brings me joy. Running races is close to the top. Its hard to explain. At a basic level, I love moving my body. I love everything that comes with hard exercise – the sweat, the grit, the badass way I feel each time I say f***-you to pain. I like breathing hard, having muscles, beating the heat/cold/wind/hill or whatever nature wants to throw my way. So to not feel like doing anything physical for months was a weird feeling. I was a big, fat NO to everything – I said no to movies, hikes, happy hours, dinners, dancing, and even walks. I was a no-show for everything that wasn’t work.
As September approached, I realized my tri days were numbered for the year. How could I go the entire year without one race? So I signed up for the Boulder Sunset Tri – a gorgeous race at the Boulder Reservoir that bookends the summer. Yes! I can still do this! I am still in control of my journey and circumstances will not get the best of me. Though the entire race felt like I was slogging through quicksand, I was back in the game. I felt alive and relieved that the universe wasn’t somehow punishing me. Funny how the more you want something, the more the universe will test your commitment to having it.