22 September 2008


A lot of people hear about tris (esp about HIM and IMs) and ask why? ... why, on Earth, would anyone willingly put in 8, 10, 15, 18 hours a week, give up a social life, work out before and after work, long bike on Saturday, long run on Sunday, sore muscles, tired bodies, always hungry, life on hold --- to race for 7-16 hours at a time?

It's personal to each athlete, I think, so I can only answer why I do it:

the sense of accomplishment, meeting goals, having deadlines, following through a training program, doing what you set out to do, even when it isn't pretty and it isn't easy.

the high after a hard workout, mcdonalds after a hard workout, audiobooks on a long run, the views on a beautiful bike ride, streching out during an easy swim, discovering something new in my city -- ducklings, the trapeze school, Fifi the kinetic scupture race poodle, a 100 year old building that I've just now noticed. running in the rain, running in the snow. all workouts, even when they suck and are hard and boring because I did them and that is what matters.

race numbers, race metals, race tshirts. the sense of community, the kindness of strangers willing to lend a Body Glide or give a GU or advice.

spectators, who make you feel like you are a world class athlete, even when you are shuffling along at a snails pace. high fives from little kids. volunteers, who tell you that 'you look great' even though you don't, and wake up at 6:00 a.m. to pass out electrolyte pills and water to tired athletes --- sans pay. the volunteers who asked me my name at the bottom of a big climb and chanted TRI-CIA! TRI-CIA! while I struggled up the hill.

crossing the finish line.

I do it because I have to do it, because I could not and would not stop for any amount of money, because it's like being a wife, a daughter, a friend, an attorney: it's part of who I am.

the soreness fades and amazingly so do the memories of how painful it was, how badly you wanted to stop and the only thing you can think about after a race is

what's next?


  1. Well said, the 'what's next' is always the worse after achieving a big piece just like you did. I felt like that after both my marathons!

  2. You are such an inspiration!!! :-) I am still trying to figure this blog out... sorry I just saw your message on it. I just started on this to meet more people who run marathons and to learn more. You are amazing! *blush*

  3. way to dig deep and see the reasons why its so much of a hoot to be a triathlete...

    great piece trishie

  4. Hope you have recovered well Trish from your fantastic Savageman Half IM plus had a great weekend :-)


  5. Nice post. I do it for the McDonalds...