Racing Through 2017

Where is time going, y’all?  What a busy year it has been!  Here at RRE we’ve had such a fabulous year working with the best of families on the most joyous weddings and events.  Outside of work, our team has been pretty busy too.  So much so, I realized the last time I shared a personal update was a few months ago.  Oops!  I promise we’re not all work, all the time around here!

This past August marked one year since my first triathlon.  It all began with a little too much to drink and feeling a bit conned into it all (full story here).  I couldn't be happier that I stumbled into this athletic world because honestly, I've never felt better and I’m officially addicted in the best way possible. 

In May, at the height of our wedding season after battling a nasty upper respiratory infection, I completed my second triathlon 36N; it wasn’t pretty but it left me hungry for more. So in July, I braved my first open water race at Lake Hickory after training with the most delightful group of strong athletes; I even ended up placing 3rd in my age group. On August 20th, I did the race that started it all- Ramblin' Rose and beat my first race time by 12 minutes! 

Triathlon Finish

What’s even better is this time I had Kristin by my side and it was a blast!  We trained together for 6 weeks and celebrated at the finish line with mimosas.  I am so proud of her for rocking the course like a champ!

Making time to train isn't easy, especially when we're on the road and traveling for destination wedding work.  Now my suitcase is never without running shoes, no matter how quick the trip.  I used to constantly find myself feeling guilty for leaving the office right at 5:30pm to make a group bike or run, missing dinner at home, or coming into work later in the morning because my swim went long or I was waiting for the sun to rise.  I finally stepped backed and told those feelings of guilt to take a hike.  The best thing I can do for myself, for my family, and for our team is to stay healthy and strong.  So I learned to schedule my workouts with the same regime that I schedule meetings and conference calls.  Taking the leap and getting started was the scariest part, but once I got going, the early morning alarm clocks started feeling natural (yes, I promise 4:30am isn’t that bad!)

I think there is a stigma around adult sports that keeps many away.  I know that was definitely the case for me for way too long.  I assumed it would be like high school gym class all over again. I didn't want to set foot in a bike or running store because I didn't think I looked like an athlete and because I didn't think I was the expert I thought I needed to be.  I told myself a bunch of things like….

They're all a bunch of mean girls and jocks.

I'm going to be the only fat girl there.

They are all going to make fun of me, and I'm going to feel like an idiot.

Wow, I couldn't have been more wrong!  Let me repeat, I couldn’t have been more wrong!  I braved the threshold of Fleet Feet Sports and Ken’s Bike Shop.  I was (and still continue to be) greeted by warm smiling faces of people genuinely happy to welcome me, patient to teach me, and thrilled to have me as a member of their community.  I have now done three training programs with Fleet Feet & Ken’s and have never once met a mean girl, felt like an idiot, or thought someone was making fun of me.  I have been the last one in my group to finish a workout, but instead of being met with snickers, there are high fives and “great jobs!” 

I decided my bucket list now includes completing a ½ Ironman triathlon; that’s 70.3 miles and many total hours of racing. I already started training and have my eyes set on a beautiful beachfront course in Wilmington, NC next October. The 2018 date has not yet been announced yet, so it’s a bit tough to plan with our events schedule. But if things work out and I feel ready, the course is a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my journey and in the meantime, I can promise there will be plenty of races between now and then!

Betsy