Back in December, when I purchased my winter running gear at Fleet Feet Syracuse, the staff member talked about how he biked and that the gear I selected often kept him warm on the coldest of days. During the conversation I mentioned I ran, but my husband rode, he interrupted me to tell me about a duathlon at Watkins Glen.
“The Fly By Night race. It’s a great event. You run and then he can bike the track.”
I think I may have mentioned that to Rob as something we should do together. It was an event we could both do, and have fun, and get away for a bit. We were facing some pretty big challenges as a family and this was a bright spot…a ridiculous bright spot… among the challenges.
The winter raged on. The challenge we faced (which I won’t get into here) was still there. But this duathlon was something to look forward to. It wasn’t an easy decision but we lined up baby-sitters, and we laced up to face this challenge. I ran 1.7 miles three times, Rob rode 10.1 miles twice.
Getting on the grounds to pick up our packets the competitors were nothing short of fierce with their zero-percent body fat and ripped shoulders… I felt like a giant marshmallow melting in the 87 degree heat.
But we were all racers looking to do our best at the famed track.
I can’t speak for Rob’s ride but the run was quite a challenge. You start off on the track through the grandstand, then veer off into the infield, through a tunnel and over a pedestrian bridge, back to pit row. The run was mostly uphill and into the wind.
I immediately could not breathe because of the headwinds.
My legs were on fire by the time I hit the pedestrian bridge which was the steepest thing I had ever encountered.
But I breezed through the finish (it was a slight downhill)…and by my second and third runs, I had gotten a feel for the course and knew what I had to work on, and where I could cheat a little…
The feeling that I had when I had crossed the finish line was unbelievable. I did it — WE DID IT.
We did it together. We worked through the night’s physical challenges…
As a team.
While I didn’t place or win a medal the one feeling I will always carry with me is seeing the gigantic smile on Rob’s face when I finished (although he was probably pretty happy my third run concluded the duathlon) and the feeling I had when we embraced at the finish. It was all encompassing as months of frustration seemed to escape…at least for one day.
Stick with me kiddo… we can do this.
We got this.