By Emily Kulkus
On Sunday I will compete in my first triathlon in three years. And for the first time, I’m more excited about it than I am nervous. I’ve been training for the Iron Girl for several months. (And by training I mean squeezing in three modest workouts a week -- in between work shifts, nap times and meal times.) I’m not in my best shape but I’m in good enough shape to know that I will enjoy all of the swim, most of the bike and more of the run than I normally do, which is all I can ask for these days.
On Sunday though, I’m going to try out the full Gillie Girl Triathlon for the first time. (I did the swim leg in the relay once before.) I figured it’s an awesome opportunity to get my tri legs back under me and gain some confidence before Iron Girl in August. And the more I think about the event, the more excited I get. Here is this well-run, well-organized race, less than 15 minutes from my house, with hundreds of other local, inspiring women. It doesn’t get much better than that!
I’ve been eager to do another triathlon for some time. To motivate myself last year, I’d signed up for Iron Girl 2016 when I was about 39 weeks pregnant with my son. When he was born that January, however, I had major complications that required additional surgery and months of additional rest and healing time. The Iron Girl folks were kind enough to let me defer my registration for a year. Still itching to be involved though, I volunteered at that race and was lucky enough to give out medals at the finish line. It was an inspiring and emotional experience. I got huge hugs from dozens of total strangers and several women sobbed in my arms after I wished them congratulations. I had a blast giving out medals but felt a strong pull to race again. Come Sunday, I’ll be back in the water, back on my bike and willing my legs through another 5K. For many years that combination of activities was intimidating and scary. This year though I can’t wait to cross not only the finish line but the starting line, too.
Hope to see you there!
Emily Kulkus is marketing coordinator at Fleet Feet Sports, Syracuse. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.