#ForSusan

22 Jul

As you may or may not know, I am racing Barb’s Race, which is the only women’s only 70.3 this weekend.  The course is almost the same as Vineman 70.3, which is 2 weekends before.  This will be my second half ironman distance triathlon in 4 months.  Am I crazy?  The jury is out.

Part of racing Barb’s Race (named after a Vineman volunteer who is a cancer survivor) is fundraising.  When you register, you pledge that you will raise $250 for cancer charities.  This got me thinking.  As you know, endurance sport is not just physical.  There is a huge physiological or mental game you play when you are racing for 6-7 hours (less if you are fast).  One of my many mantras are, “it could be worse, you are lucky you have the ability to be out here and race”, this thought solidified when I was injured and couldn’t ride for 4 month (a lifetime for me).

Around the same time I started racing triathlons, my mom started taking her friend, Susan, to Chemo.  My mom and Susan studied for their PhDs together and had known each other for years, but their friendship grew on those long drives to downtown Dallas and hours of Chemo. Susan’s health had its ups and downs, she has a very rare form of blood cancer and for years it was touch and go.  There were stretches when she felt good enough to bake, she worked of creating the perfect chocolate cake (it was probably a good thing that I live thousands of miles away).  But the bad stretches were growing longer.  The pain…unbearable.

So when I signed up for Barb’s, I asked my mom if Susan would be okay if I dedicated my race to her.  Susan will never race a triathlon, heck I don’t think she even knows much about the sport but I knew when I had to dig deep and push myself on race day, my pain would pale in comparison to Susan. My mom spoke with Susan, and she was honored that I was racing for her.

On May 30, 2013 Susan passed away surrounded by her family and friends.  I know she will be watching me on race day and I hope she knows how much strength I pull from her.

Susan

Susan

I tri for those who can’t, I tri for Susan.

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4 Responses to “#ForSusan”

  1. tootallfritz July 22, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    That gives you a lot of inspiration and a lot of reasons to endure whatever comes your way. Just don’t think about it too much while you are “on the run” b/c I don’t want you to tear up and waste any needed energy. I get very emotional and almost started crying several times yesterday for a variety of reasons. Stay strong, you can do it!!

  2. jnkmiles.org July 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    Agreed….you know how “raw” we become out there anyway….everything is stripped away so the emotions are front and center. I think it’s fair to say, she is looking down sending you good mo-jo and when you race for the right reasons the end result is never a bad one. Enjoy your day! I think it’s gonna be great!

  3. Jim Baus August 2, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story. Susan is my sister and I know she is very honored to have you do this in her name. He was definitely one Tough chik!
    Thank you again.
    The Baus family

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Barb’s Race Triathlon Re-cap | Tough Chik - July 31, 2013

    […] After my number was written in all the appropriate spots, I pulled out my sharpie and added FOR SUSAN to my biceps, inner forearm and left […]

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