So pleased to report that my 11 year old daughter did her first triathlon this past week in Bintan Indonesia. Google it - great pictures from a stunning location. I should have done it too, had I not broken the tip off one of the bones in my foot 5 weeks prior to the event, but I still wanted to support my daughter through the experience. . . and WHAT an experience! There were about 1000 participants for the Sprint distance, Olympic Distance, Youth and kids distances.
The swim was out into a bay which was full of colorful little tropical fish, which you could see anytime there wasn't a race going on, the poor things. The bike leg was remarkable in that when you got to the mount line there was NO run up to the hill. You started on a steep steep hill. Many many walked their bikes to the top of the first hill (or ran them up, if they were fired up), including my daughter. She reports that in amonst the screaming fans she spotted an official and she contemplated telling them that she didn't want to go on. I wasn't there...I was hobbling around on my foot trying to take photos as fast as I could. When I asked her why she didn't just quit she said that she didn't want to get a DNF (did not finish).
That was pretty remarkable. We live in flat flat flat Cambodia so training for hills more involves riding in heavy gear, but that just isn't the same. She was shocked how hard it was with no experience to get up the hills of this very hilly course. The run was the same. everything seemed up hill, and she walked much of it. Lots of kids (lots of participants!) did. One of the adults came in so far behind everyone else that the volunteers were starting to clean up the finish line. It was darkish and that gal received the hardiest of hardy applause for not giving up. She got her money's worth - her goal? Get across the finish line.
Lots of limpers and bleeders crossed that line. Mums and dads swooped up babies to cross the finish line with them. Everyone was cheered and got a "finisher" medal. It was spectacular.
I remember after the men all set out on the course, the ladies were in the starting area and the announcer said "4 minutes to start." I welled up in tears. My heart was so set on doing this first triathlon, but I pulled myself together to support my training pal and get pictures of her.
Home now. Bags all unpacked. My daughter's bib number out being framed and I've searched the region for our next opportunity for a shared tri experience. I went swimming my first day back and have begun training in earnest. I got my shoe on for the first time in almost 6 weeks and did 20 minutes of Spinning@ just to start lubricating the ol' bike joints.
If you haven't figured it out yet, ask your questions. An "event" is the way to go for setting goals. Those weight loss goals are so vague. Goals to adhere to a self promise of exercise routine are admirable, but don't really cut it for some. If, though, you lay down your money for an event and know the distances and times involved, you aim and you won't quit.
Don't underestimate the role of a solid measurable goal, like an event in public, to get you to your target....!