Iron Women for a Day

My friend Ann’s husband, Alex , dreamed that our femme athletic trio was all decked out in garbage bags for our big duathlon down at the beach. 

A dream that you are competing in an athletic event wearing a garbage bag is the foreshadowing of a garbage run in your future. 

I say this because it is true.   I felt like a pile of egg shells, coffee grounds, used paper towels and kitty litter at the end of the Finish Strong duathlon in Wilmington, NC last week.  

It was a rainy cold miserable stinker of a day.

We finished the darn thing though,  not necessarily strong, but wringing wet.  

Ann, Jeannette and I woke up for the big event on a cold gray day at the beach.  A local saying goes “a rainy day at the beach is better than a nice day at the office.” 

That is so wrong. 

The event was a 5K run/12.2 mile cycle/1.5 mile run on a flat, fast, out-and-back course. Now that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? 

Try it wearing four layers of shirts and jackets, tights, long pants, two pairs of socks, a headband, and rubber gloves under regular gloves. 

When it is 39 degrees and raining. 

When all four layers are wet, clear down the skin, adding about five soggy pounds to an already tired body. 

We were a three-pack of semi frozen, soggy bike-scicles. 

I finished two minutes faster than I thought I would, but that’s not saying a lot.

It was a mostly men’s event, with just 24 women participating. 

The winning man finished in just under an hour.  It took me 1:43 and change.  Out of 114 racers, I came in something like 100th 

I may have finished nearly dead, but at least not dead last.  

Jeannette said it was the hardest thing she’s ever done. Ann ran two thirds of it without the gloves she had to remove to get her bike shoes on. 

Our backs were exfoliated by sand and road dirt that was caked up under our shirts, blown there in the wind, rain and passing cars speeding by.  Our ponytails were wet and stringy.  We were cold, wet, and filthy but triumphant. 

OK so this may not have been an ironman event, but we felt like iron women that day.            

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