Last November, 9am, I anxiously sat in front of my computer. The day I had been waiting for had finally come: registration opened for the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon. It sold out the previous year long before I thought of signing up- I was determined to get a spot this year.

iron girl

Somehow I managed to snag a spot before the triathlon sold out later that day. At the time, I couldn’t imagine anything going wrong- it wasn’t until August, so I had plenty of time to train. I wasn’t just going to do this tri, I was going to kick it’s butt.

Only I never planned on getting injured.

Even now, as I sit amongst a pile of bike gear after a long drive to MD, I can’t fully admit that it’s not going to happen.

bike gear

I understood that I wasn’t going to be able to do the race- it just never sunk in. I went to packet pick up, along with hundreds of other racers, mumbling thanks as volunteers said ‘good luck’. I could only utter the words “I’m not racing” so many times. It was even smeared across my packet- “Not Racing”- like a giant scarlet “A”.

iron girl tri

I proceeded to make it worse on myself as I went to see the course and got caught up in the flurry of athletes setting their bikes up in transition. I started to walk towards the swim start area, but I couldn’t do it. It was like rubbing salt in a wound.

 bike tri bike bikes

So no, I won’t be racing tomorrow. But I’ll be there, bright & early, with bells on, cheering on all the other Iron Girls, hoping that next time I’ll be running alongside them.