I wanted to get into triathlons because I wanted to have more of a goal than just "lose weight." I wanted to be fit, I wanted an excuse to be active, to get a new bike, to wear fun spandex. Most importantly, I knew the hubs and I wanted to start a family soon and I wanted to get into something that I would crave while I was growing a person. Don't get me wrong, that desire is REALLY strong - I've already started perusing the 2011 tri circuit, trying to pick at least one to do next year. I'm thinking a Dallas race. In the mean time, I also am getting really excited about other running and biking races along the way. I've signed up for the Dallas MS150 and fully intend on doing a whole mess of 5ks. I'm going to take it slow, I'm going to listen to my body, but WOW am I excited to get back out there :)
On an unexpected note, things I learned from my triathlons have helped me get ready for this crazy race called labor. Did you know there are three stages of labor? Early, Active, and...er...I forgot the 3rd stage, but I like to call it "gooey." (the part where you push out the placenta. eck.) I can't help it - I associate each with the stages of a triathlon. There's even a "transition" stage in labor! It's really helped me put things into perspective. Like in early labor, the same as in swimming, the goal is to relax, enjoy, and do some work, but be sure to conserve your energy for the next two phases. I'm planning to give birth at a birthing center, where I get to eat and drink the whole time, so we've got a bag packed for the two of us that looks a lot like a tri snack bag: lots of coconut waters and energy bars.
Something else that triathlons helped me frame up mentally is how much the encouragement of others can help you get through each of these stages. More importantly, the influence of my hubs. I remember during the horrendous, brutal last leg of the Austin (olympic distance) Triathlon. K followed me around the track on foot and when I was sobbing and shivering he was right there, fetching me water and saying things like, "This is the strongest you have ever been," and, "I am so proud of you."
I'll let you know how it actually goes, and I am definitely ready to get back out there...January 1st it's so on.