Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hope She Didn’t Drown ‘Cause She Was Cool

I so love starting out the day inspired.

Don't get me wrong. It wasn’t like I jumped out of bed feeling that way. In fact, when I got up at 5:30 a.m., pushed “start” on the coffee maker and prepared to hit the road for an open water swim in Boulder, I tiredly tried to count just how many early mornings I have put in since starting my half ironman training. Probably over 80 in the past three months.

Training has been incredible, but for someone like me who loves lazy mornings with the Denver Post and a cinnamon roll as big as my head, this has been a different sort of summer. That said, I’m the type who needs to get it done first thing, or it ain’t gonna happen. Mornings are best for a lot of things (TWSS).

Back to what inspired me. The inspiration I’m talking about came in the form of a 61 year old woman with a Southern accent. As we arrived at the reservoir, she was putting on her wetsuit. She came over and asked for a friendly hand in zipping up the back while I put on my wetsuit, Xenia from Xterra.

rez

I tried to ignore how Xenia grabbed for my Body Glide and spilled a tampon on the ground. So embarrassing in front of my new friend!

tamponground

bodyglide

Ken commented I should use the tampon just for extra buoyancy.

Finally I stopped the shenanigans by just putting her on:

bethwetsuit

My 61 year old friend told me she was doing her first half ironman in California this weekend, Barb’s Race, a women’s only HIM put on by Vineman. She said today was her third open water swim and that the first one she did was last week. She had a panic attack and had to be rescued by a kayaker. She said her second time went better and was we entered the water, she said, “And today I’m not scared at all.”

As we prepared to start swimming, I looked her in the eye and straight from my gut and heart I said, “I am so impressed by you.” It’s all I could say. To have the guts to do this race at her age is nothing short of amazing to me. At the age of 61 she believed she could do something that 99% of people her age think is outrageous and out of reach.

As we started swimming I lost my friend (I hope she didn’t drown, I was kind of self focused), but I will think about her for a long time. Especially when the going gets tough in my race. If she can do it, I can do it. If she can do it, we all can do it.

Anything inspire you today?

SUAR

46 comments:

  1. Farting in the pool yesterday inspired me :) My suit stayed inflated for an entire lap in the pool!!! (crap, that was yesterday... Focus Matt)

    Actually got 2ft from a deer twice. It was pretty cool.

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  2. After last year's 4th of July 5k, I spotted two sisters in their 70s at the coffee shop, still wearing their race bibs. One was about to hit the 75 mark and was looking forward to it because she'd have the age group all to herself the following year and be guaranteed a medal. That's what I want to be when I grow up.

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  3. Love this!! Always loving the cat suit. ;)

    My morning inspired by......
    The letter "D". An email from dRog about IMLP.
    Awesome.

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  4. This inspires me every day!
    Ed Whitlock (born March 6, 1931) is a long-distance runner, and the first person over 70 years old to run a marathon in less than three hours with a time of 2:59:10 in 2003.

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  5. Loved it. I'm borrowing this story for my inspiration.

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  6. That is freaking awesome. :) LOVE it!

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  7. Wow, great story. Im inspired by this story, as I sit whining about speed work and sore hamstring.

    Suck it up cupcake and workout - that's what I just told myself.

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  8. Great post!

    Sometimes inspiration can come from seeing someone else behaving in a way to reminds me to NOT act like that. This morning my inspiration was like that.

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  9. Reading your story of your new friend has inspired me today :).

    I have this gal here in my area, she is over 80 years old and she is always out there competing in all the races. I see her swimming, playing tennis, running. She is super active and an inspiration to me and many others. I told her the other day when I saw her "you are my inspiration and I look for you at every single one of my races and when I see you, I get all happy knowing you are there too." It made her smile :)

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  10. I have a friend who has been bitten by the fitness bug. She always take a body pump class and walks on the treadmill next to me while I run. Yesterday when I wasnt there she actually started to run during commercials!!! She was doing it again today as well and said shes going to keep it up. Shes inspiring me today

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  11. FYI … tampons are not effective as buoyancy-enhancers. They ABSORB and get heavy and SINK. That sucker would've dragged you down for sure.

    I hope to have as much feist as your new friend when I'm 61…which is too far off :P

    How did Xenia do once she got focused? Are you two loving each other in the water working as much as you are goofing off on land?

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  12. Google sister Madonna Buder. Be prepared to be impressed.

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  13. Beth, this brought tears to my eyes and I am not a crier. WOW. I've been having age identity issues the last few weeks and this was just what I needed to hear. Thank you for sharing this.

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  14. I absolutely LOVE hearing about women who are "past their prime" exceeding everyone's expectations and proving that the body is an amazing machine at all ages, if you want it to be! I want to be that woman, participating in triathlons in my 60's and beyond. I wasted the first half of my life not realizing the true benefits of fitness, and will spend the last half of my life running (and more) because the rewards have been endless!! :)

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  15. Whoa! Refuel with Choco milk as a sponsor? I am sure I knew about this but I can't recall why I can't recall....maybe I'm not drinking enough chocolate milk.

    What inspired me today is the response to my post. I am loving the feedback and back and forth not just on my blog but on my Twitter account and on my Facebook page.

    People actually do care about the obesity problem and maybe just maybe we can start a movement.

    And that 61 yr old lady will always inspire me b/c I want to do this until the day I die even if that day is on the course.

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  16. Here's a story from the NYT about another 61 year old women swimmer that might inspire you

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/health/nutrition/19swim.html?pagewanted=all

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  17. My neighbor..she is 79 and walks. She is hoping to do the Denver R n' R this year. She in fact took first place in her age group at the Cherry Creek Sneak 5k 48 minutes...amazing woman!

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  18. that is awesome. there is a local runner here, he has to be in his 70's, he's had a stroke so his left arm doesn't move and he's hunched over to the side. he does a lot of races, and everytime i see him i am blown away inspired.

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  19. Ok - this has gotten me inspired to get out to Union and try my wetsuit for the first time! I've never liked being in open water - I like pool's - but I agree - if she can do it so can I. And it will ok. Right?

    JessicaH

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  20. What a great story! I remember last year during the boulder 70.3 run portion, I passed a 70ish women who was running. It was so hot out and everyone looked defeated, but she had a smile on her face. It was awesome! I passed her and told her that she was amazing and a total inspiration! She honestly helped me get through the rest of the run!

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  21. I loved this. Hope she rocks that 70.3.

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  22. I have the exact same tri top!!! LOL.. Yes I will be wearing it because its the only one I have!

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  23. Tri Living we will be twins. Love that.

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  24. jsyk, i love your well-define/toned arms!!!!...and that's what inspires me.

    mary

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  25. 99.9995% of her peers. My kind of athlete.

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  26. Great post and loved your inspiration.

    I was running Monday and met a man , 70 years old, that was out running 4 miles. We talked while we jogged on the path, he told me about his favorite Marathons. I was so impressed about this fit, older gentleman, out running in the Colorado heat.

    BTW, I am 59 training for my first marathon! Seniors Rock!!!!!

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  27. I love that your wetsuit is "Xenia", that's my hometown in Ohio but most people have never heard of it.

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  28. I love to hear stories like that! That is truly amazing!

    Thanks for sharing - that lady is a rock star in my book!

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  29. Love seeing these older ladies getting it done out there. Just awesome.

    I was inspired by myself today, how's that? Did a spin class for the first time in ages w/ no foot pain. Yahoo!

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  30. That gave me goosebumps...in a good way!

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  31. What an incredible story! I just read this to my mom because every time I ask her if she will run my upcoming half marathon with me she tells me she is too old (mind you, she is only 51). now she has no excuses!

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  32. omg, Beth, that's my mom you met!!!! I have been following your blog for about a year and a half and never commented but I had to this time!

    I did the full Vineman last year and my mom came and cheered me on and a couple months later decided to sign up for Barb's race. We're racing "together" this year. I'm so proud :)

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  33. Kat - no way, no way~~ that is such small world stuff. I love your mom. She is courageous and amazing and you must be so proud. Say hi and good luck to her for me.

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  34. A nice lady named Eldrith inspires me. Last year at 69 years old she finished the Headlands 100 mile ultra in the Marin County Headlands north of San Francisco.

    On August 6, Eldrith who is now 70 will be running the race again. I was working last year, (I'm a local cop) and was fortunate to see this lovely lady at the aide station at about 80 miles into the race. She had a smile on her face that has stuck with me. I will be working again and hope to see her this year.

    I am 52 and have been dealing with injuries for quiet a while. Eldrith inspires me to forge on to accomplish my goal of running an ultra.

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  35. what a great story and SO inspiring!

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  36. The beautiful sunny weather inspired me on my run today. Love it how both the big and little things can provide inspiration. And...I got a new shirt in the mail today – inspiration for tomorrow’s run for sure!! I’ll get some photos of the SUAR shirt running in New Zealand. Steph

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  37. What a nice little story - I actually got some goosebumps when I read that you told her you are impressed by her. Those little words can go a long way.

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  38. Reminds of of Diana Nayd, the 61 year old woman who is going to attempt to swim from Cuba to Miami any day now.

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  39. In June I was in Phx for a few weeks and getting up and running 3-5 miles early everyday (it was before marathon training, I was just keeping it low and easy). It was SO hot even at 530am 3-5 was about as far as I could stand to go and carry enough water. One morning I ran into a 70+ lady I had seen out many days and was just about to lament about the heat and she happily chirped that she was mid-point of her 9 miler that day. I had just told myself 3 would be ok. I sucked it up and did 6 in her honor. She was so cool.

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  40. My grandmother is 96 and lives in Iowa. She and her girlfriends (who range in age from about 75-90) go to the high school track every morning to walk a out a 1/2 mile. Maybe not much to us, but at 96?? The only days she skips are Mondays (when she hits the casino) and when temps dip below zero.

    -julia

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  41. That's amazing! I hope I can still be that active at that age!

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  42. What a great story - it is inspiring me. I am 51 and have always thought about doing a tri, but I keep thinking I can't do it. Hmmm, maybe I'll do my first at age 60.

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