My first “Why Not?” moment happened early in 2010. I received an email from the Red Sox advertising a fundraising run. The inaugural Run to Home Base was scheduled for May 23, 2010, and because I had bought tickets to a Red Sox game, I received an invitation to run. I had never run a race. I ran to get in shape for soccer throughout high school and college, then I ran after college to try to lose the weight I put on after I stopped playing soccer. The race was 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) long, and I would need to raise $1,000 to support the Home Base Program, but I would get to cross home plate at Fenway Park.
At the time, I wasn’t concerned with what the home base program was…It provides services to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injures (TBIs) and their families. It was a good cause…why not help those who have served our county, it sounded obvious that this was a worthwhile charity. What I was concerned about were 2 things: 1) Can I run 5.6 miles? 2) Can I raise $1,000? After a discussion with two of my colleagues, I was convinced I could do both…or at least a little less hesitant about it. So, I said “Why not?” and signed up. I began training and fundraising and lo and behold, I was successful on both fronts. I raised $1,210 and ran the race in 54:59, which was a 9:49 pace. Not too shabby for my first attempt at a race.
Since then, I have become dedicated helping support the Home Base Program. I have run the 9K every year since its inception and have raised over $7,000 for the program. For more information on the Run to Home Base, visit www.runtohomebase.org. To support my fundraising campaign, visit www.runtohomebase.org/2017RuntoHomeBase/shirabrown.
If you know a veteran in need of help, please encourage him or her to visit the Home Base website at www.homebase.org.
Okay, back to the story. Shortly after running my first race, and still on my runner’s high, my friend Cat invited me to join the Philly Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon with her and some other friends. I said “Why not?” (I mean 5.6 miles is almost half of a half-marathon, right?) and signed up right away. I woke up the next morning, and my first thought was “What the hell did I do? How am I going to run 13.1 miles?” And so began my running career and my obsession with Hal Higdon’s training programs.
Since then, I have run a total of 14 half-marathons. I got a little bored with the half-marathon at one point, so I thought about a full marathon. And decided “Why not?”. So, I signed up for the Disney Marathon. I decided while training that marathons are not my thing (more on that later), but I am glad I did one and can check it off my bucket list.
So, this brings us to the “Why not?” that led me to sign up for a triathlon. I like to run. I do not bike or swim. I can do both and own a bicycle and a bathing suit, but rarely use either one. But, for some absurd reason, I decided that I should do a triathlon. After a few conversations with a triathlete, I decided “Why not?”. Maybe I’ll hate it the way I hated the marathon training, but maybe I’ll love it. So, in November 2016 I had laser eye surgery to correct my vision. In January 2017, I began swim classes to improve my stroke and efficiency in the water. In March 2017, I finally felt ready to sign up for triathlon, so here we are.
I pretty much had no idea what gear I needed, how transitions work, or anything else about the nuts and bolts of a triathlon. So, I started doing research, lots and lots of research. And it was annoying! So, I have decided to compile all of my research notes here. Both for myself and for any other newbie triathletes who also said “Why not?” and jumped into the deep end.