Cathy is the reason I do this sport. When I lived in Norfolk, VA, I was talking to my friend Amy because I was looking for a running group to meet up with in the early hours of the morning. She immediately recommended the Hampton Roads Runners 6@6 group that ran six miles at six in the morning. I didn’t really want to go because I’m not a fast runner, and I was worried that this group would leave me behind as I watched the lights from their bobbing headlamps get smaller and smaller.
It’s a good thing that wasn’t the case. Cathy ran slow with me to show me the route, and there were a few other runners there that were my speed so I wasn’t alone in the darkness. Some days, Mira and I kept up with the speedier runners, and we finished the route in under an hour. During this time, Cathy’s girls and my kid became good friends, so we started hanging out when we weren’t running.
One day, I happened to mention that I used to swim in high school, and Cathy’s first thought was to invite me to swim in the indoor 50 meter pool on base. A 50 meter heated indoor pool? I’m in! I haven’t yet found a good place to swim other than the Y downtown, and it was just OK. We always swam a minimum of 1600 meters for the swimming gods, and I kept getting faster. Cathy suggested I do triathlon, helped me get my first road bike and drove with me to do open water swims in the Chesapeake Bay and in Lake James.
Through this sport, I have met so many people who have helped me along the way and are now good friends like Cathy. Even though military moves have come and gone, we still try to meet for a race like the Patriots’ Triathlon Festival in Williamsburg, VA. It’s a “local” race to Norfolk that I have never done, even though I ran up the same finish line twice for the Colonial 200 Relay, so why not make a girls’ weekend out of it?
That’s just what we did. I’m glad we had the chance to catch up, race on a beautiful day, and still make it back in time for the birthday party at her house. Cathy took first place in her age group for the 70.3, and I managed to hang on for the run in the Olympic distance as old injuries flared up even though the rest of the race went well.