Monday, August 11, 2003


This is what I did this past Sunday: what you need to know is I am talking about the NYC Triathlon--which became a two sport-no swim in the bacteria-infested Hudson Duathlon thanks to the rain. And that I was doing it to raise money for the Leukemia Society. (For which I am still accepting donations.)


Forgive the teen term, but: it was awesome. I am awesome. My husband is now calling me "Your Awesomeness."

It was hot (82 degrees). It was muggy (intermittent rain). 1700 participants. It was New York, which means there was jostling and good cheer and much checking out of ages and booties and equipment stuff.

The triathlon was turned into a DuAthlon, meaning: 5K run/24.8 bike/10K run. My doctor said not to push it, so I decided, I'd do the 5K leg, but not the 10K final portion...because I like my feet and don't want to spent the rest of my life at the orthopedist.

So: I speedwalked the 5K with another Team in Training member, a cool woman from the East Village named Mary. We were last and second to last, and got much applause for our Team shirts.

Then, more awesomeness: an empty New York City highway, bordering the Hudson River. Many nice cops. Many nice clappers. The muggiest weather I have EVER biked in. Ooops. I forgot to bring my Balance Bars. Oops. They said there was water on the course but...there wasn't!

Again, I was in the back of the back of a pack, following a woman I know only as "Ms. 142." She was magical and patient and big-hipped just like me and I knew she was my age because we all had our ages written on our left calves. (Race number goes on your left bicep.)

Parts of the Henry Hudson are very urban--I shouted out a hello to a woman in gorgeous African cloth walking two pit bulls at the park by the road. "I love pit bulls!" I said. "Good luck!" she said.

And parts of the Henry Hudson, especially by the Cloisters area, are--primeval. Rocks and trees and dead silence.

I remained at the back of the back. Because the route doubles back, and I was wearing my shirt, I got many, many, "Go Team"'s (for Team in Training), from fellow Team in Training members as people passed me on the way back--and from a very very cute British guy. "You're doing a wonderful thing for a wonderful cause!"

Then, the turnaround. I had the road all to myself for...10 miles! I thanked every cop I saw, blew a kiss to one, and one cop even said, "Say Hi to Jimmy! He's in the next car." I crossed over the majestic Hudson, and needed no EZPass. I walked two big bad hills. Somewhere around mile 18, I got a second wind. I realized I was biking about TWICE as fast as I had 3 years ago for the MS ride around Manhattan. I gave thanks for all my swimming conditioning, for my life coach who had urged me into this, for coffee, for Balance Bars, for my husband who put up with my bursting into tears when they cancelled the swim portion.

And for Ms. 142 and Mary--who I met again in the transition area where the bikes are. I cheered them home. We were cheered home by many sleeker faster athletes, who told us how great we were.

Yes, I was tempted by the 10k. But my heel was hurting just a smidge, and I plan to keep this body in working order until I'm 100. So I drank some water, ate my Balance bars, and took a ferry across my beloved Hudson to home.


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