Now, just to be clear, I do NOT push my kids to run or do triathlons. Last year, I didn't even consider enrolling Sweetpea when Spud did his first triathlon. She wasn't even close to ready. This year, I did enroll both kids, but registration was only $3 per kid, so if either of them hadn't wanted to, I would have been quite okay with it. Truth is, I wasn't sure Sweetpea would be ready, but I knew there might be tears if she wasn't given the opportunity when her big brother did it.
Having said that, kids often want to do what their parents do. Every day, when I pick him up at school, Spud and I have a race to the car. Sweetpea joins in sometimes and has learned not to get upset when she doesn't finish first (Spud is enough bigger then her that she doesn't stand a chance.) So, when I asked them if they wanted to do a triathlon, they were both completely into the idea.
|The kids in their life jackets, waiting to get started|
The swim is one length of the pool, so pretty low key. Plus, both kids wore life jackets. Sweetpea was first on the list (they had them listed by age), so we got called up right away. Spud wasn't long after, in the same wave. I went over to a lane with Sweetpea, and as I was about to lift her into the water, she had a sudden fit of nervousness and insisted I join her. Fortunately, I was still wearing my tri clothes under my regular clothes, so I quickly stripped down and hopped in the pool. Then Sweetpea started to kick her way across.
About a quarter of the way across the pool, she seemed to change from scared to excited. She started saying "I'm doing it! I'm doing it!" as she kicked her way along. I was walking alongside her until we got to the deep end. I realized that I actually suck at swimming with my head out of the water though. I switched to swimming on my back, and somehow she kicked herself almost on top of me. Then we were at the end of the pool. I got out, pulled her out, and we headed to transition.
Meanwhile, my husband was with Spud. Also wearing a lifejacket, he blasted across the pool without any nerves. Apparently he kept looking behind him. Making sure he was staying ahead of the competition? Turns out he was, because he was the first in his wave to get out of the pool. He was also in the first wave, and continues to tell me how he was the first out of the pool. That kid is competitive...
Then it was out to transition and the bike course. I carried Sweetpea to her transition spot in a towel and helped her to get dried off. Her transition was somewhat more involved then mine. Dry off, put on pants, put on socks, shoes, jacket. Of course the helmet. Then walk the bike over to the mount line and go.
I was one of few parents out on the course with Sweetpea. She did get a bit nervous on the bike, and my husband tells me that Spud did as well. I know from taking them on bike rides around the neighborhood that they can go fast. But, I think the combination of riding on the road, surrounded by crowds, and having older kids zipping by made them a bit unsure. Regardless, they both kept going and finished the bike!
Then it was onto the run. Spud excels at running, so he was off with Daddy. The only disadvantage to doing the race with one kid is essentially missing the other kid's race.
Sweetpea got passed by the majority of the field on the bike, so we had the run course almost to ourselves. She started telling me she was tired at the turn around, but once I held her hand, and she saw the finish line, she was good and running again. She was the youngest participant that day, and she was the last across the line. Regardless, as she passed it, with the crowd cheering her on, she started yelling "I win! I win!" Yes. She did.
|Crossing the finish line with Mommy. (I'm planning on buying this picture. Just have to decide between 3 similar ones.)|