ITRYathlon 

The ITRYathlon is a mere two weeks away. On July 28th, I'll be ready to rock. 

Just about the same time that the Olympic Games get underway in London, I'll be facing my own personal  olympic challenge here in Irvine.

If you've been following my training journey, you know that it hasn't all been easy. Life got in the way of training schedules, and nagging injuries knocked me off my feet just as I was making progress.

I admit, there were more than a few times when I wanted to quit.

Then one morning in late June, I found a bracelet that I had given to my mother the year before she passed away.

ITRYathlon

A simple silver bracelet with the inscription: Celebrate Small Victories.

At the time, I worried that it was an inappropriately optimistic sentiment for a woman fighting terminal illness, but she loved it and wore it every day.

Finding my mother's bracelet reminded me of her courage; not just at the end of her life, but fifteen years earlier when she started to run for the first time. She was 61 years old.

ITRYathlon

We all thought it was cute; my senior citizen mother in her pink running shorts and shoes, heading out to dutifully run a mile or so. She also took up swimming at about the same time, learning proper strokes and side breathing. She wasn't training for a race or trying to set any speed records.

She just wanted to do something new and positive for herself, refusing to let her age determine her capability.

So I took my mother's bracelet out of the drawer and started wearing it when I trained. It reminds me that even though this may be new territory, my mother has been here before me.

ITRYathlon

On July 4th, my daughter Katie and I tested our ITRYathlon training and entered the Woodbridge Village Association 5K Race. For Katie, it was nothing new.  But I had never run for 3 miles without stopping and tendonitis in my ankle had kept me from running for a couple of weeks. I wasn't sure what I'd be able to do.

ITRYathlon 

We headed out anyway; moving at a snail's pace, but moving nonetheless.

I ran down my now familiar training route, passing little landmarks that I had set as stopping points only a month before. 

ITRYathlon

My breathing was even and, surprisingly, I ran with no pain. So I kept on going...

Celebrate Small Victories

ITRYathlon

Mom's bracelet was on my wrist as we neared the finish line.

"Hey Mom, when we get to the end, do you want to run?" Katie asked me, barely winded.

"I am running," I said.

ITRYathlon

It's not too late to join us on race day! Sign up at www.RenegadeRacing.com 

ITRYathlon July 28th, 2012

Northwood High School- Irvine

Proceeds benefit Irvine Public School Foundation