The last feet of the race stretch in front of me. From somewhere deep inside my heart I find the will to sprint across the timing mat, hit the button on my watch, catch my breath and get that dang medal (which I’ll probably just dump on the kitchen counter and forget about!). The first wave of feelings usually include elation (I am the best-est version of myself ever!), satisfaction (I’m so happy that I trained for this race!) and maybe even amazement (I can’t believe I’m not sitting on a couch somewhere!) that you actually did the thing that you had been training for.
And then the race photos are released.
And suddenly I’m flooded with all the negatives: “when did I get so old looking?”, “will I ever look like a triathlete on my bike?” and “were my feet even off of the ground at all in that run?”
Now that I have completed almost 5 years of triathlon I have moved my race goals from time & performance based to purely emotional based goals. I want to finish satisfied and proud. And then I want to hold onto those feelings and laugh at these race photos.