Well, the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon is almost here, and I’m filled with fear and gratitude. I’d like to focus on the gratitude part, because, let’s face it, the fear isn’t doing me any good. So, I thought I’d write this post and send some shout-outs to all the people who have helped me get through the training for this race… I don’t necessarily feel ready for it, but I do feel encouraged by so many people, and that makes me want to go out there and do this lottery slot some justice!
So, the first shout out, as usual, is to my husband — for getting me out to ride some tough hills and hill repeats, and helping me get my bike geared up and in shape for this ride. He also did open water swims with me and pushed me to do a hard 50-mile bike/8-mile run brick workout when I would have stopped way sooner on my own. He just completed the Mountains of Misery double metric century ride and I am super proud of him. He is so strong!
Also to our friend Arthur — who got me out for some more hill repeats and took Craig and me on some of the steepest rides we did all spring. If you want to ride with someone who knows some good routes (inside and out!), Arthur is your man. Because of him, I can proudly say that I did well over 26,000 feet of climbing in our various rides, and thanks to him – I knew what the grade was on many of the climbs. He is the master of mountain riding!
To my sister Michelle — who surprised me by announcing that she and her husband are coming out to San Francisco to see the race! It’s so very nice of them, and I know it’s not an inexpensive trip! She also listens to me kvetch about everything and gives me tons of support through phone calls, texts, and emails. I have two wonderful sisters, and I feel very blessed. (My other sister Renee also came to see me do my first half Ironman in Augusta, and it was so great to have her and other family members there!)
To Emily — one of the few people I know who has done this race — thanks for giving me lots of great advice, getting me to keep trying Bikram yoga, and generally being the type of triathlete I always want to be… enthusiastic, charged up, fearless… she just owns it.
To Rhonda — another friend in our triathlon club who is so nice to just check in on me every once in a while to see how my training is going. She is a rocket on the bike and a damn good runner also. I’m just glad she’s not doing this race with me, because I wouldn’t be able to keep up with her! 🙂
To Alison — a super nice elite triathlete who helped me master the flip turn in the pool and also gave me some great tips on my stroke. I really think I’ve gotten a wee bit faster by following her advice. (I don’t know how much that will help in the San Francisco Bay, but it can’t hurt!) I think she should be a coach!
To Crystal — my best friend, who came to Arizona for the Ironman and also will be in San Francisco around the time of the race. It looks like her travels won’t quite put her there in time to see it. But we hope to see her the next day. She always has my back and always reminds me how special life is. She has seen me at my worst and still loves me. You’re the best, Crystal!
To Terese — a friend of ours from the gym who has become one of our favorite people. She also came to Arizona and saw us do the Ironman. She has a great sense of humor and a very caring heart. And God bless her for listening to me babble on about my insecurities at the pool when we both should have been getting more laps in. I don’t have a picture of her, but here’s a picture of her arm 🙂
To Patrick — a fellow kidney donor who started reading my blog before he donated to his brother. He lives in the Bay area, so we hope to meet him while we are there. It’s so nice to know that someone else has gotten something out of this blog!
And of course, to my parents: my Mom and Stepdad, Gary, and my Dad and his sweetheart, Nancy. They have been so nice to support me and always ask how my training is going. I know they also probably think I’m a little bit crazy 😉
On June 1, when I am standing on the ferry-boat trying to convince myself to jump in the freezing cold waters of the San Francisco Bay, I plan to think of all these people and many others and appreciate every word of encouragement and moment of time they have given toward supporting this crazy hobby of mine. It means so much!
As an organ donor, you become familiar with the slogan “donate life”, but you also know that life is to be lived! Let’s do this!
Great to stumble on your blog; really enjoyed reading about your preparations for Escape from Alcatraz. How did it go? I’m sure your post-event posting is imminent.
Thanks for promoting organ donation both through your personal example and through your blog. I am the recipient of two living-related kidney transplants: first from my brother in 1984 and then from my wife in 2005. I am certain I would not be here but for their generosity.
I too participated in the 2014 Escape triathlon, just one of many accomplishments that would not have been possible without my kidney donors. As the bike leg on a relay team, I had it easy compared with you. Nonetheless, I was very happy that my preparations led to a new personal best of 57:16 on the bike course that I rode for the seventh year in a row.
Keep up the good work. Best of luck accomplishing your next goal!
Randy – Thanks for your comment on my blog! And congrats on the PB for the Alcatraz bike course; that is an impressive time for a tough course! What a wonderful story you have! I hope to post a follow-up on the race soon. It was not as tough as I thought it would be, but still an amazing experience! Cheers,