70.3 Miles? Are you nuts?

This morning, the girls and I drove up to Lake Stevens to watch Kris and some of our friends do the Lake Stevens 70.3 Triathlon.  That’s a Half Ironman for the uninitiated.  For the initiated, it’s the culmination of months of multi-sport training, involving early morning swim workouts, long weekend bike rides, and a variety of running workouts too.

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The selfish guy in me always breathes a sigh of relief after one of these events, because it sometimes means I gain some additional training time that I’ve lost in the weeks leading up to it.  But then a moment like the one I spent with my daughter while putting her to bed last night happens.

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We conspired to surprise Kris on the course, hatching our plot last night.  We’d leave by nine, and watch her come in from the bike ride (56 miles), and set off on the run (13.1 miles).  Kayla said to me : "Dad, I’d like to do an Ironman someday".  I can imagine some kids say that, but have no idea what really goes into it.  Our girls do, because they see Kris training.  They see us supporting each other’s goals, and balancing family and personal needs.  So when Kayla shows an interest, it makes me feel very good.

You athletes reading this should also recognize the positive impact you’re having on the folks around you – particularly children.  Taking on big challenges and seeing them through good days and bad is such an important life lesson to impart.  It’s also important to take pride in making your best effort, knowing that the journey (not the time results) is the real reward.

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If our kids stopped to think about it, I’d guess it’s not first on their list to wait on the side of a road for an hour to watch their mom fly by on her bike.  But when Kris came by, and gave us a big smile and wave, all of the fidgeting and waiting was forgotten.  The promise of a lunch consisting of grapes and popsicles helped too.

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We always tell the girls they can do anything.  It helps to have a mom who believes she (and they) really can.

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This wasn’t Kris’ fastest half-iron.  But as she’s been working through some injuries, it was a pretty meaningful one.  She felt her swim time was a bit off her best, and wasn’t sure why.  She was pleased with her run time, especially as her long run had only been 8 miles (kids – don’t try that at home!).  The bike leg was tough for her – tired legs.  I think she felt good about getting out there and challenging herself with the distances again.  Naturally, the girls and I are very proud of her, whatever her time was.  You can check out the official race results if you’re interested.

It was great to see some friends on the course as well.  I got pictures of some of them : they’re available in a smugmug album dedicated to the event.  Big shout-outs to Kurt, Anne, Amy, Bob, Meg, Rebecca, and Shawn !

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