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You Are Changing Lives

As we finish up prepping and packing for our Iron Girl Triathlon this weekend, I can’t help but think about each of you.  Each of you are changing lives, not just your life but the lives that surround you.  Your friends have called you crazy and secretly wished that they had the courage to try something as insane and exhilarating as this.  Your husbands and boy friends have probably been a bit jealous of the this new hobby that is taking up so much of your time, but they are also feeling more proud to be yours then you probably know!  Yes, they tell their friends and co workers that you are a triathlete!  Your children are inspired and amazed that their mother or grandmother or aunt is THAT STRONG!  Or as my niece put it, “I have a fast grandma.”  They are enamored with this thing called triathlon and if they are anything like my kids they want to do one!

You may not know it but you ARE changing lives around you.  You are changing the limits that people have put on themselves…  “If SHE can do it, so can I”!  You are changing attitudes!  You are changing habits!  You are changing health!  Thank you for having the courage to tri!  Thank you for doing something that IS really hard and believing in your self enough to even get out their and try.

We may not come in first place, we may even come in last but we are out there, swimming, biking and running!  Facing our fears and conquering them!

Alone just average, together strong as Iron!

Mandy's pre race ABC's – Adrenaline, Butterflies, and Concentration

Have you noticed you heart beating a bit faster this week?  Is your stomach housing half of the Wild Animal Parks Butterfly exhibit?  Are you having a hard time concentrating on getting things done?

ME TOO!!!

The excitement, anticipation, and nervousness really set in for me a few days before a race.  I am pretty sure that through out training I block from my mind the reality that yes, I will have to swim in a lake! The reality has set in and it’s not sitting well with me.  I feel jittery… like I was someone just scared the ninnies out of me and I received an adrenaline rush…. except it’s not going away!

My stomach is flipping and flopping and frantically filling up with beautiful butterflies.  I am finding my self just wishing for a moment of rest, a blip of forgetfulness.  I can’t concentrate.  I can ‘t focus.

Is this normal???  I think?  Are you nervous?

 

Average Tri Girl Friday Shirts

Here are our cute “Friday Shirts”.  Yep the name says it all.  Everyone will know who we are and what team we belong to!  If you didn’t order and still want one I have a few extras!  Email me at averagetrigirls at gmail dot com and I will will set one aside for you.

Iron Girl Here we COME!!!

Iron Girl Triathlon Team SHirts

We will be wearing these Friday at the expo!

My First Triathlon -Lake Las Vegas Iron Girl Part 3

My First Triathlon -Lake Las Vegas Iron Girl Part 3

The school yearbook is done, all the jerseys and shirts are on their way, Average Tri Guy has changed Chica’s bike tires and given her a good tune up, I have bought all my triathlon supplies and the last thing to do before Iron Girl 2011 is to finish my last and final part of my first triathlon experience.  If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 here they are.

So where was I?  Transition area was set up, first bike had a blown tire, rented bike I had never been on before, completed the swim, loved the rented bike till I got a flat, a good Samaritan fixed my flat, finished the bike… so here we are.

I pull into the transition area so happy that I made it!  Make my way through the sea of bikes to get to my personal space only to find that some sweet lady kindly racked her bike in my spot.  Flustered and unprepared for this situation I found an empty space at the end of a rack and took off on my run.  All I could think was how lucky I was that I didn’t have clip in pedals, I already had my running shoes on.  Looking back I learned to set my transition area up close to the front of the bikes not towards the back… this way you can access your supplies even if someone else has racked in your spot.

The run out of transition is at an uphill incline on resort pavement.  Then the road ends and you hit the dirt, hard pack golden dirt.   I ran into my sister on the way out.  She happens to be a runner.  I tried to keep up with her but shortly after we met up I was eating her dust.  I have always had issues in the running arena.  Anxiety builds inside, my heart begins to pound faster then needed and the fear of asthma haunts my mind.  The first ½ mile was great.  I was with my sister a bit, the course circled around so there were women either coming or going around you and you had the beautiful resort as a back drop.  1 mile into it I began to think I was on the moon, had I taken a wrong turn, desert surrounded me, the resort had disappeared and the people were few and far between.  I decided to run faster.  I didn’t like the feeling of being lost in the desert.  My mind was comforted to know I hadn’t taken a wrong turn, I could see people even if it was only occasionally.

Then it happened.  I can always feel it when it begins.  My airway began to constrict and in a matter of moments my air passage went from normal to almost none.  Then I realized my final and almost fatal flaw.  The one thing I needed from transition was my inhaler.  This probably exacerbated my issue because not only was I experiencing and all too familiar asthma attack, but now I was pretty sure I was having a panic attack. Here I was out in the middle of nowhere, with no one I knew, unable to breathe, 1.5 miles away from civilization!  I stopped running and slowed my pace significantly.  Nothing was helping, I couldn’t breathe, I stopped, then told my self I needed to keep going.  I needed to get back!  I tried to talk to the ladies around me.  This was making it worse.  They passed by.  Then the disappointment and discouragement set in.  I had trained so hard.  I had recruited 13 crazy ladies to do this with me and I wasn’t going to be an Iron Girl that day!  I stopped.  I started!  I tried not to cry!  Why hadn’t I remembered my inhaler???  Then I began to pray in my head and my thoughts were turned to my 4 sweet children.  Each one of them special in different ways.  I began to walk.

I started with Tevan – He needs a mother!  He needs me!  His heart is so tender and kind.  He needs my hugs and kisses and encouraging words.  He needs me to tell him as many times as it takes that he was meant for great things while down here on this earth.  He needs his mother to tell him that Heavenly Father loves him!

Tyler – What a sweet boy!  My mind flashed back to his tiny body covered in machines to keep him alive.  He was truly a miracle and the fact that we both survived that childbirth was a miracle.  We needed each other.  He needs a mother!  He needed me… to be the one to listen to all his inventions and be his greatest supporter and cheerleader.  He needs a mother who could help him learn how to be strong when someone picks on you.  He needs a mother to create crazy science experiments with!

Sarah – She is my best friend.  I have to be there for her when she goes on her first date, when she goes dress shopping for her wedding, when she sings her first solo in church.  She needs a mother to teach her how to cook and sew and create beautiful environments.  She needs her mother to be there for her when her heart breaks for the first time and when she gets her first kiss.  She needs a mother to tell her in high school that it’s not about how pretty or skinny or popular you are – it’s the beginning of her life, be all you can and want to be!

Finally Rachel – (tears streaming down my face) and 2.5 miles into it I have been walking but I am making it.)  —  I don’t even know her very well yet.  She is only 2!  Her whole life is ahead and if I die she will have no memories of me!  But I am not going to die today and in fact I am going to be an Iron Girl!  I will be able to tell her she is beautiful!  I will be able to hold her and love her when she scraps her knee!  I will be there when she kneels across the alter and is married for time and all eternity!  I will make it to her baptism and I will be there for her broken hearts and her winning baskets and her good night huggies and kisses.

I could see the finish line and transition area.

I made it!!!

My heart was filled with gratitude!  I had made it!  My children had pulled me through!  They were somewhere in the crowd.  Then I saw them as I came around the corner to the finish, they were cheering and screaming and clapping and so excited, they were so proud of their mother!  I started jogging, crossed the finish line, immediately went into transition, grabbed my inhaler gave my self three puffs.  Within a matter of minutes I was breathing again, I found my family hugged them tighter then usual.  This is why we are sent down to earth in families to help each other along the way!

We cheered as the other ladies made it in, we cried together and hugged and loved the sense of accomplishment and empowerment that we felt from doing something that we never thought we could do.  We are mothers, sisters, wives, chefs, taxi drivers, college graduates, maids, gardeners, nurses, party planners, accountants, and now we are Iron Girls!


Alone just average, together strong as Iron!

Cindy Butcher – Tri-ing with Sisters!

Name: Cindy Butcher

Age:49

Occupation:

Homemaker, wife, mother of 9 children, Cub Scout Den Leader, PTA, nothing I get paid for.

How did you get involved in triathlons?

My sister Cheryl came to visit last June after being in her first triathlon, She hiked the Y mountain with my family and got us to ride bikes while here. I was 245lbs. at the time, but I had a blast. She suggested that we do the triathlon this next year. I saw the pictures we took and I was disgusted by the way I looked. I got on a low-glycemic diet and started exercising. I was making excuses not to do the triathlon including I have asthma at that time of year. Cheryl and Conni are my sisters and they got me to sign up with them. We are going to do this together. I’ve lost over 50lbs. and I can do it. Cheryl really has inspired us to go out of our comfort zone and go for it!

Why are you tri- ing?

My sisters talked me into it, and because I felt I could if I worked at it.

What is the hardest part about training for the race?

Keeping my motivation up, especially after injuries. Making time to train, swimming is hard.

What is your favorite thing about training and racing?

That tired wornout feeling that I did it, and my figure is slowly getting smaller.

How do you fit the training into your busy schedule?

I do it in the morning after I get the kids off to school.

What are some of your race fears?

I almost drowned as a kid so that worries me a little, with my asthma I fear having an attack during the race, but the asthma has gotten better with my losing weight and exercise.

If you have done one before how do you feel during the race?

This is first time.

How do you feel at the finish line? or How do you hope you will feel at the finish line?

I hope I will feel great that I did it.

What would you say to women who are thinking about doing a triathlon for the first time?

Try it, go for it.

What inspires you?

My sisters and daughters. My husband and sons are a support, too.

Favorite Inspirational quote?

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. Helen Keller
Other Races you have done in the past? (5K’s, bike, etc) Nothing organized, I race my Cub Scouts when doing the athlete requirement.

The Greatest and Perfect Inspiration

2 – Time Iron Girl Finisher Kristy McClellan

Name:  Kristy McClellan

Age: 32

Iron Girl Finisher Kristy

Kristy and her Husband

Occupation:

Mom to 4 crazy boys

How did you get involved in triathlons?

My friend Brandy decided to tri and it sounded like fun.  The funny thing is just a few years before some other friends had asked if I wanted to do a tri with them and I totally laughed. I didn’t really know how to swim but this was the right time.

Why are you tri- ing?

I initially wanted to do it to get into shape but now I mainly do it for the “I can do anything” feeling I get.

What is the hardest part about training for the race?

Finding the time to work training into my schedule and maintain a family balance.

What is your favorite thing about training and racing?

Las Vegas Iron Girl Finisher

Kristy McClellen Iron Girl 2009 and 2010 Finisher

I get such a sense of accomplishment from doing something that I would have previously thought impossible. I like feeling strong, like I can do anything. Last year was a very trying year for our family. My third son had two brain surgeries and a myriad of other problems, training for Iron Girl helped release some of the pent up stress and it helped me to realize that I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit.

How do you fit the training into your busy schedule?

The past couple of years we would leave for the gym at about 8:30 each night. This year with my kids a little older and our family having more activities nights seemed to be busier. I signed my 4 year old up for the club that I belong to and he and I go each morning while my other three are in school.

What are some of your race fears?

That I haven’t trained hard enough, or there’s always the reoccuring dream that I will drown in the lake 😉

If you have done one before how do you feel during the race?

Such a sense of adrenaline like I can anything!

How do you feel at the finish line? or How do you hope you will feel at the finish line?

It is amazing how strong you feel, like you can take on the world.

What would you say to women who are thinking about doing a triathlon for the first time?

Just do it. Seriously, next to getting married and having my kids, my first Iron Girl was one of my favorite life experiences!!

What inspires you?

I love to watch people trying their very hardest, it doesn’t matter if they are the best athlete, people that are willing to put fear aside and give it their all.

Favorite Inspirational quote?

“Know yourself. Never forget where you came from, and reach back to help someone else come forward too.” — Alpha Alexander, co-founder of the Black Women in Sports Foundation

I have loved talking to people as I go to the different races. I have talked to new tri-athlete’s as well as very experienced ones. I love the support and friendships shared with each other, and I have found people are so willing to cheer each other on.  My first race I did on my mountain bike and it was a hard ride for me, but the encouragement by those people that whizzed past me (ha ha) was amazing. They knew what I was going through, we all have been there at one point, but their words meant so much to me and kept me going.

Other Races you have done in the past? (5K’s, bike, etc) Iron Girl 2009, Iron Girl 2010, Gerald Anderson 5K

Just had to share that my own son (he was 11) did his first triathlon last year and it is so fun to watch him tri!

***Just a side note from me (AverageTriGirl)… Kristy seriously motivated me last year when she came and participated in Iron Girl.  All through the training season she had been in and out of the hospital with her son up until a few days before the race.  She came and finished and it amazed me that with all the mental stress she was enduring she still was able to push through and complete the race!  Thanks for being so inspirational Kristy!