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Today, my husband, Marc, raced Virginia Duathlon in Surry, VA. He did a phenomenal job running a 5k, cycling 23 miles, and finally running a second 5k. The competition was craaaazy hard, the hills were craaaazy rolling, and the headwind was just crazy blowing at 15 mph. Well, despite all of these critical factors, Marc placed 8th overall. He cycled 23 mph and ran two great 5ks!! I’m one proud wifey!!! Also, you gotta give the dude extra credit because:

#1- There were a few elite racers in the bunch AND

#2- Marc cycled a total of 2 times this winter (outside) and maybe 10 times on his trainer. 

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I’m pretty sure (kidding, more like really sure) that I’m married to an awesome athlete!!

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So anyways, during the bike portion of the race (about an hour for him), I decided to pull out my lovely, pink journal and write a few observations from the race/reflections from my heart.

Question: Could my observations be due to (me) drinking 5 cups of coffee before the duathlon?

Answer: Yes, probably so, but hey, give me a break, I was running at 4 o’clock this morning. I needed to stay awake somehow, right?

Notes from my journal at Virginia Duathlon:

(Warning: Stream-of-consciousness in full bloom!)

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My gratitude is through the roof right now. I’m sitting on this beautiful, green grass thinking how truly blessed I am to have a husband that…

1]…loves and supports me.

2]…jumps hurdles, like gallon jugs of water to make sure he’s in the transition area to cheer me on (during my run-swim-runs). 

I’m gracious to be sitting in a warm meadow watching amazing humans hug and support each other, also taking wonderful pictures of their family members running and cycling. 

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I’m thankful it’s Sunday morning and…

1]…the sun is bright and blissful.

2]…I’m here supporting my athletic husband.

The hills seem so alive as I sit with my legs crossed and my eyes soaring pondering the many philosophies of life, in particular being a spectator. I truly love being a spectator! 

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There are so many contrasts in life, right? Like me sitting here, taking in this serene view while the athletes are cranking out some major mileage. Hmm, what a difference…

The spectator/athlete contrasts I see:

1] The athletes are huffing and puffing to the beat of their spinning spokes, while I’m relaxed, taking in every element of the race.

2] I’m a little chilly, while the athletes are sweaty, thriving in the moment, and anticipating what the finish will feel like.

3] My mind is wondering, while the athletes are focused on the course.

4] I’m sipping water, while the athletes are sipping Nuun.

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We constantly live in contrast don’t we? When one person is up…someone else is down. When one is happy, another is sad. When a person is stressed, the other is relaxed….smiling vs. frowning…in pain vs. in bliss…

We all experience waves of emotions like the many waves at a starting line. Today, I saw such variations in attitudes: At the start, some athletes were:

1] Wiggling around

2] Breathing heavy

3] Laughing

4] Talking to nobody

5] Talking to everybody

6] Standing patiently

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That’s why it’s best not to compare yourself to anyone else because we, as humans, are in a constant state of change and it’s not good, bad, or ugly, merely being human (a.k.a human existence). What one person is feeling that particular race could be different the next race.

As I’m sitting here drinking my water, I think what training/competitions mean to me. As I sink into deep thought (on this heartfelt, stunning day), I realize it means the world to me. I love being an athlete and experiencing all of the wonderful sensations that an athlete goes through. I love feeling happy one race, nervous the next, and maybe even quiet, too!! I don’t know, I’m usually pretty quiet before a race, but who knows, that could change one day (once I become more comfortable in my racing skin). 

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At the staring line, Marc is really comfortable. His body is a bit tensed in anticipation of the horn blowing, but mentally, he’s calm, cool, and collected. I SO envy that!!

HOW DO YOU ACT BEFORE A RACE/AT THE START LINE?

DO YOU LIKE BEING A SPECTATOR? 

Xoxo,

Kristin

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  1. courtruns4cupcakes

    His race sounds intense but fun! I always get really nervous and anxious before a race but once it starts all of that goes away and I start having fun! I don’t like being a spectator haha I always want to jump in and race!

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      Hey!! Yeah, I definitely get not wanting to be a spectator!! Sometimes that competitive edge comes out and I’m like I WANNA RACE, TOO but I enjoy watching him do his thing, too!! It’s fun to not be nervous for a change! 😉 I get really nervous beforehand, too!!
      Hope you had a GREAT weekend!! Thanks SO much for your comment!! XOXO!!!

      Reply

    1. Kristin

      Such a sweet comment Rob!! Thank you!! I really appreciate it and I am so happy my husband and I met each other (in the guy nonetheless)!! 🙂 We have lots of fun together!!

      Reply

  2. Pretty Little Grub

    Sounds like a great day. I do like to spectate, although preferably when it’s by choice not because I’m injured and unable to run the race. It’s a lot of fun watching others during their sport and I love knowing that my small bit of encouragement can keep them going.

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      YES, that’s so true and it’s fun to step back and experience it from a different perspective! I pick up so much that I wouldn’t pick up if I were racing!! I very much agree, too- that it’s fun to spectate ONLY if you’re not injured, otherwise, it can be quite depressing.
      AND thank you so much for your comment!!

      Reply

  3. Angie

    What a great race your husband had! I am always a nervous wreck before a race. I like spectating as well as racing. Because I mostly run half’s now I like to head back to the finish line and cheer the marathon runners in. I have so much respect for that distance. I am reminded how much I prefer the half marathon when I see how tired everyone is coming in after a full marathon.

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      Thanks!! I’m so happy for him!! 😉 XOXO!!!
      I’m very nervous, too before a race and that’s so cool that you head back to the finish line to cheer on other runners!! You’re so wonderful and I’m sure the marathoners really appreciate your support!!
      Yes, my husband has completed many marathons and he said he’s done with them. He’s tired of the training and the tired/pain when finished.
      Thanks for your comment!!! Have a great Monday!!

      Reply

  4. Cat Hiles

    Great post! I’ve never really been a spectator, since my husband and I usually run the same races, but I always appreciate everyone who comes out to cheer on runners or other athletes. It’s so nice that people take time out of their days to cheer on their friends and loved ones!
    Congrats to Marc on his incredible race! Eighth overall is really something to be proud of!

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      Thank you so much Cat!! You’re so sweet and that’s neat that you and your husband run the same races!! I love that!! Marc and I run some of the same races but I can’t bike and he can’t swim (haha), so with my run-swim-runs and Marc’s run-bike-runs, we are there to cheer each other on!! It’s pretty cool because we see a different side to racing!!
      Thanks so much for your lovely comments!! I really appreciate your kindness!!

      Reply

  5. atwinthing33

    That is a nice cervelo I would be afraid to have that on the back of my car. If someone crashed into me I would cry.. I do not have the nice zipp wheels…I am rather jealous. I have a duathlon on the 26…I am looking to do more is this a good one for next year?

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      Ha, yes, I love his bike!! It’s pretty cool to hear the zipp wheels in motion!!
      Good luck with your duathlon!! Virginia Duathlon is a great race!! It’s so beautiful, but the course is definitely challenging!! It’s a great race to do, though!! 🙂

      Reply

  6. Amy Christine

    LOVE all the pictures!!!

    I love the fact that you took advantage of your time to make these lists. It’s things you think of in the moment, then forget about later on. The fact that you wrote it down makes you appreciate those moments long after it passes!!!

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      Thank you!! I’m glad you don’t think I’m weird for it- haha!! My mind has always flowed its own way and I love writing in my journal when I have time! You’re right, too- I love looking back and appreciating these moments of reflection!! It’s pretty cool!!

      Reply

  7. 2 Cups 'N Run

    I’ve only watched one race as a spectator and it was awesome, such a different experience from participating, and so good to see “the other side” as well.
    I loved what you said about being an athlete and feeling differently things at the beginning of races, same happens to me, sometimes I’m so excited and nervous, sometimes I’m just relaxed waiting for whatever it will be. It’s not even related to how much I “care” or not about a race, it’s just how we feel sometimes, no rational explanation for me.

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      Thank you so much and very true, at anytime, our feelings can switch based on what’s going on in our lives. It’s an expression of ourselves and it’s beautiful to sit and watch so many different people showing such range of emotions. I often wonder how I look to spectators when I’m racing! 🙂
      Have a fabulous Monday!!!

      Reply

  8. piratebobcat

    Ya know, I’ve only been a spectator a handful of times. It’s too hard for me to be at a race and not be racing. But when I am I try to be as supportive as I can. I almost get blisters on my hands from clapping. And I don’t let anyone go by without some encouragement. It does feel good though later on when they find me and thank me.

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      Wow, that’s truly awesome!! You’re like THE BEST spectator ever!! I’ve seen some spectators that just stand and stare so that’s so very cool and supportive!! You deserve a round of applause!!
      *CLAP CLAP*

      Reply

  9. leescottdavis

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but as I read the post all I could think was…. ‘nice bike!’ 🙂

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      Haha, I love it!! I just told my husband that and he laughed. He’s actually taking it apart and cleaning it right now! He has a few days off of work so he’s making good use of his time!! 🙂

      Reply

  10. irenejean

    You both sound like amazing athletes! I never used to get nervous before a race, but I compete against myself more now, I think I care a little more about how I do, so I get nervous now before a race. Being a spectator is so motivating for me, I love it!

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      I’m so happy to hear you love being a spectator because I do, too!! It’s really neat to take a step back and view a race from a different vantage point and to see stuff not seen by the competitors.
      I’m very similar to you in that my nervousness before races is due to the fact that I work hard and want to perform well!! When you want to PR, etc, it can sometimes be very intimidating at the start.
      Thanks so much for your lovely compliment!! XOXO!!!

      Reply

  11. Open Up Life

    Great post! Congratulations on your husband’s achievement! Love your photos and when I was reading this, I felt like I was there. Thank you for sharing. Have a great day!

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      Thank you for all of the wonderful compliments!! When you said, “I felt like I was there,” THAT is THE BEST compliment because as a writer, that’s what I strive to achieve!! Thanks again!! Have a beautiful day!!

      Reply

  12. Shawna

    nice reflections — i think we so often forget to just sit and take life in and reflect upon the moment we’re in, and you did a great job with this. congrats to your husband! such an athletic couple. 🙂 i like being a spectator but i haven’t been one in a while. it’s fun to cheer people on, especially since we know what it’s like to want to be cheered on ourselves.

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      Thank you Shawna and I love what you brought to light- that we, as athletes, do get what other athletes go through so that gives us even more incentive to be outrageously encouraging when we’re watching!! Great point!! You’re awesome!!

      Reply

  13. leerunsdistances

    Typically I’m very reserved prior to the horn sounding at a race, kinda in my own thoughts, and no I’ve never been a spectator although I do tend to stick around the finish line after I’m done to congradulate other runners as thet cross even if I don’t know them

    Reply

    1. Kristin

      Awe, you’re SO wonderful Lee!! That’s awesome encouragement!! I’m very reserved, too!! I just try to save my energy and stay in my thoughts!!

      Reply

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