Triathlon Fears, Diabetes, And Remembering The Love

Five days from today, August 17, 2014, I will wake up at 4 AM, take a bolus of insulin, eat breakfast, grab my triathlon backpack, and ride my bike 3 miles to the Minneapolis YWCA Women’s Sprint Triathlon start. This will be the first triathlon I will race since the last one I did in October 2009, which was a Half Ironman. (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run)

I'm on Team Endo, here I am at the lake for a practice swim!
I’m on Team Endo, here I am at the lake for a practice swim!

I am surprised how nervous I am. I loved doing triathlon, and I’ve done many of them. As hard as some of them were, I loved all of them. I love figuring out the gear from sport to sport, I love figuring out the best strategies to manage my diabetes. I love figuring out the pacing, so I have energy on the run. I love smiling through the whole event! So, why am I nervous to do this Sprint triathlon? (This Sprint triathlon is a 500 yard swim, a 15.5 mile bike, then a 3 mile run.)

I think the nerves come from the uncertainty of wondering: Will I remember how to put all the pieces together? Am I still mentally strong enough to go from one sport to the next? Do I still love triathlon? After doing this one, will I want to do another one?

As I typed these questions, these fears, I took a deep breath, and centered myself. And I reminded myself that the biggest goal I have for this Sunday, is to ENJOY IT! I plan to keep a smile on my face, one that radiates directly from my heart, through the entire race. No secret goals. No time goals. No performance goals. Just enjoyment!!! One stroke, one perfect circle, one step, at a time. Thinking of my future assessment, that doesn’t help me at the day of this event.

It was after doing my first triathlon in 2005, one week after finishing radiation therapy, that creating the Red Riders, cyclists with diabetes that ride in the Tour de Cure of the American Diabetes Association, came to me. I am open and willing to allow any and all magic to happen as I enter the world of triathlon again!

My number at Sunday’s race is 576. I swim in Wave 11. I like these numbers. I do believe these are my lucky numbers!!

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment. I will take you all with me as I swim, bike and run this Sunday!

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6 thoughts on “Triathlon Fears, Diabetes, And Remembering The Love”

  1. Hi Mari, not sure if you remember me from Inaugural T1DM camp in PA…my first camp as a new T1 diabetic at age 45, but I will never forget you. After that camp I did about 8 tri’s over the next few yrs trying to prove Joslin DC wrong. They were right. Yeah I am a T1d on a pump and cgm. Once I realiEd JDC right I finally accepted I have it. That wS 2 yrs ago. I have been a slug since then. Have
    Gotten comfortable in my rut. I want to run and bike and tri again but I think I am lazy, not motivated at all

    • Hello Shiela!
      Yes, I remember you!!! That was a long time ago! Very cool that you got inspired and did a bunch of triathlons!!! And I’m also glad you’ve accepted that you have type 1 diabetes. It can be a difficult road to acceptance. And now, you’re at another choice point. What will you do now?! I doubt that you’re lazy. Unmotivated happens to all of us. Have you ridden your bike in a Tour de Cure ride? They are rides put on by the American Diabetes Association. You can find the ride closest to you at And sign up!!! And challenge yourself to a longer ride, 62 or 100 miles!!! You have to train for a ride that long!!!
      It’s great to hear from you!
      In wellness,

  2. Mari,
    I know you will do awesome in this Sprint Tri.
    Nothing wrong with being nervous but having followed and read what you have posted all this time I know in my heart you will finish and have a big smile at the end.
    Good luck and enjoy 🙂

    • Thanks so much Ian!!
      As the days go by, I’m feeling more and more ready!! I’ve got my Race Plan written down and a few friends will be at the finish line!!
      I promise to smile the whole way!

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