So this week I decided to take matters into my own hands. For weeks I have been telling my 100-Mile Hero teammate Debbie Jett that I wanted to meet her in person and do some of my training miles in her neck of the woods--San Diego. It just so happened that Kay was doing her very first International-length triathlon today down in San Diego, so I made plans with Debbie to get our 8 miles in as we supported Kay with her race.
It was important to me to be there for Kay, because we have experienced so much together over the last few years. Kay was was my biggest supporter for my Ironman training even while she was battling Stage III rectal cancer. She would pull herself out of bed and run with us, even when she wasn't feeling 100%. She ran my very first Olympic-length triathlon with me. We swam in her community pool and we rode our bike and ran around a minor-league baseball stadium near her home. In addition, we also had our biggest laugh during this training session. Kay was in the middle of her chemo sessions, so her head was not always clear during this time period. As for me, I am not sure what my excuse was. Basically we had just finished biking and were running along a path and Kay kept shooting me funny looks. After about a quarter-mile she just burst out laughing. I had forgotten to take off my bike helmet and in her chemo-fog it took her awhile to figure out why I looked so funny. She knew something wasn't right, but she couldn't figure it out right away. We still laugh about that to this day.
Debbie was game to help me support Kay, because, being a colon cancer survivor herself, she might know a thing or two about cancer and the courage it takes to come back from a fight for your life. We parked far enough away so that we could get a mile in before meeting Kay. She was surprised and happy to see us, and we were able to stay long enough to watch her swim off, like a mermaid, with her wave.
Then Debbie and I took off to get some more of our eight miles in. The weather was perfect and we were so thankful for the mild temperatures so Kay and the other racers didn't have that obstacle to contend with. We decided to move along the San Diego Bay were we could watch some of the competitors on their run leg (the final leg). We were fortunate enough to see the elite racers and cheer them on as we continued on our miles, and we also ran into and cheered on some of the slower contenders as well.
As we walked back toward our car, we decided to attempt to see Kay on the bike leg of her triathlon. We found a spot at the bottom of a hill where we could motivate the bikers as they headed toward their run transition area. It was an exciting spot because the bikers had to make a sharp turn before heading off to the final stretch--some of the bikers seemed to go a little fast for the turn but would pull it all together at the last minute just in time to keep their bikes upright. We didn't see Kay, but as we walked back to our car she came up behind us and rode off to take on her 10K run. She looked so happy and appeared to be really enjoying every minute of the experience. Like Debbie often shares, she "lived some amazing LIFE" today!
Today I am content! I got my training in, but I was also able to spend a little time and support a friend who has given so much to me over the years. She supports me, she challenges me, and most importantly she reminds me to be be positive and never take life for granted. Thank you Kay for constantly inspiring us all to take life by the horns and enjoy every minute of the experience. Happy sigh!