Though it’s been a few weeks since the Philly Tri has passed, I still find myself thinking about the race, the athletes and how much I love both. The Philly Tri (TriRock Philly) is a perennial favorite of mine. It’s my home course and it supports Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – enough said.
The awesome part about this race, is that I have MANY different athletes that compete. I have individually coached athletes, I have WAVES team members, and I have athletes who swim train with me. I feel connected to more racers here, than any other race. I have helped athletes achieve their goal of racing here more than anywhere else. Yes, this race has become more about me the coach than me the athlete.
I want to talk a little about some of the athletes who were there this year. First, I had an amazing team of WAVES for the Sprint race and Olympic distance races. I could not possibly feel any more proud to see these amazing women, wearing their WAVES kits taking on what turned out to be a duathlon!
I want to also give a HUGE virtual high five to my amazing women athletes who worked so hard this winter to swim train and prepare for the Philly Tri. While it’s disappointing that the swim portion got cancelled, I have no doubt that these women would have CRUSHED the swim. Watching their dedication and commitment to training and witnessing their progress was one of the highlights of my winter/spring leading to the race. I am always honored by athletes who trust me with their training.
Finally, I just want to mention how much I love the power of competing. I don’t care if you are competing for an age group podium, an overall win, for a new PR or to prove you can complete the race. There is something magical that happens when we are out there, giving it our all, pushing our limits. It’s like we forget who we are and what we are ‘supposed’ to do, or ‘supposed’ to be. We become athletes with a single goal of completing the race as best we can.
For the duration of my race, I’m not a Mom. I’m not a wife. I’m hardly even a coach. I’m in the moment — asking myself constantly ‘what do I have to give’. When I can I push, where do I hold back. When do I fuel or hydrate. Can I pass this cyclist? Do I stay with this runner? I have no idea what I look like (until race photos are published) because I don’t care what I look like. Do I look feminine? Is my hair crazy? Is my tri suit just right? These are the things that I notice when I’m done – when I magically transform back into a woman, a mom, a wife, a coach, a sister, a friend. And I am so happy to leave those thoughts for even the briefest period of time when I am an athlete.
And I see this in the people on the course – every time. It’s what gives me goose bumps and compels me to continue the work that I do. For all of you out there, embracing and showcasing your inner athlete, I salute you.