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Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Child Within

This coming Sunday I will be competing in the Chisago Lakes 1/2 Ironman distance triathlon.  In preparing for this event, I have asked myself the following question:

"Why do I race?"  After all, I can swim, bike and run without having to actually race...don't I?!?!?!?!

The answer:
I grew up swimming in Lake Okoboji nearly every day (during the summer months of course...Iowa winters aren't really conducive to outdoor swimming) and LOVE the freedom swimming provides!!  There is a lot of time to be in one's own head when swimming, but this is when I can focus on my swim stroke, mental training and improving my swim times when I have speed work thrown in the workout.

I began riding a bicycle when I was a kid and though I ride much differently now than I did when I was younger, I still LOVE the feeling of the "open road" and the wind blowing in my face.  I love the opportunity to get to ride with other people and push myself to new levels.  I also enjoy those solitary moments when I get to visualize a race where I am on the top of my game and having the time of my life!!

I started running shortly after I learned to walk.  I have to admit that I haven't always been a long distance runner...this has developed as I have gotten older, and with age has come the realization of just how much I LOVE to run!!  I love the social aspect when I run with a group and at times I love the solitude and opportunity to be in my own head when I am on a solo run.

Triathlon encompasses all of the activities...swimming, cycling and running...all of which I learned to do as a child.  Activities I loved then and continue to love now.  Racing triathlon provides me with a reason to go out the door and train, an opportunity to combine the activities that I LOVE into one event and the opportunity to problem solve as each unique race provides me with new and different challenges.

So despite the challenges that the upcoming Chisago Lakes 1/2 Ironman distance triathlon will provide this Sunday, I am VERY EXCITED to get another opportunity to combine the activities that I LOVE into a RACE!!  I am racing for the child that I still have inside me!!

"Somewhere behind the athlete you've become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked for her."

Mia Hamm

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