This is how it works-
I love to run but there are times when I would rather not. This is when the voices start. Chants, name calling, guilt and reverse psychology is how they get me up and out the door. I don't really mind the voices and have actually started looking forward to their daily calls. Together we have formed a running club that supports, encourages and competes with each other. I love these peeps. They are much more experienced, talented and tougher than I am. Pushing me out the door, through the hard miles and up the monster hills when I am feeling lazy or want to give up. Some people have "real" training partners, coaches and support crews. My team is ALWAYS with me and helps me to keep my eye on the prize and not veer off the track. Sounds crazy- Yeah, probably is.........

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

T is for Triathlon. I is for Idiot.

Last year, after I completed the Lake Freebird Triathlon, it was clear to me that I should have trained. I even wrote a blog post in which I vowed to train before attempting it again. Guess what? Yep. I'm dumb like that.

I really didn't plan on entering the tri again this year, it just kind of happened. I could take responsibility for my own actions here but I won't. I blame my friend Charley. We did this mess together last year and I really couldn't, in good conscience, let him roll in there alone. Yeah, that's a stretch but I'm going to use it. Of course, Charley is much more serious about these things and has been planning on competing since last year. He actually bought a bad ass road bike and has been swimming on a regular basis. Me? Uhhh..... I rode my antique 1994 Schwinn Mtn. Bike once back in February and I did swim on vacation, kind of..... His peer pressure prompted me to make the last minute decision to enter. By last minute I mean 6 pm the night before.....

So...... I blew the dust off my bike, aired up both flat tires, shot some WD-40 on the chain and pulled the old baseball cards out of the spokes. I was ready.....

The Swim:

No. I didn't really wear it.

This is not a big event. It is small with only about 60 people doing the sprint and it was not a requirement to wear goggles or a swim cap. Good thing because I would have had to use my kids Scooby Doo mask....Whatever. I was the only person (again) without goggles in the lake. A very loud boom from a cannon signaled the start. Here we go..... only 600 meters. No sweat.

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep..... hey dude, why you kicking me? What the hell? Did somebody scratch me? Why are you trying to drown me?

It was soon evident that I was in over my head. Literally. Swimming is hard. Swimming is really hard when you have no clue how to do it. I was afraid to put my face/head under water because I figured my breathing was all screwed up and I would suck water and die. So I didn't. This resulted in a weird, neck like an ostrich, doggy paddle looking thing. It worked and I finally made it out of the water in 12:35 and 32nd place.

The Bike:
It's a classic.

After wobbling for a few steps out of the water and a way too long transition period, I was off and rolling on my bike. It was, by far, the crappiest one there. I should have been embarrassed by this but I wasn't. Not sure what's wrong with me but I was kind of proud. The VOICES were laughing because they knew I was about to get smoked. Jerks. I pedaled like a mug for about 2 miles before realizing that my back tire was half flat.

Must be a slow leak..... I don't have a spare or any way to air it up.... okay, don't worry- it'll be fine. If it holds for 10 miles then I can carry it the last 4. If it dies before then.... Could be a long day..... just keep pedaling. Just keep pedaling.....

The tire held up. Turns out that maybe I didn't shoot enough air in the tires the night before. Guess I could have used a pressure gauge. Next time. Maybe. Whatever. The big, knobby back tire felt like it was rolling through sand the rest of the way. I worked REALLY hard to get that thing to maintain a 15.6 mph average for the 14 miles as I got passed. Turns out that cycling is hard too.....

The Run:

I hate 5k's. Really. Hate them. This started with a loop around the lake and then up a monster hill. It is not often that you will hear me say this....I walked part of the 5k. Think I did last year too. Weird. Anyway, I managed to pass a few people and ended up with the 6th best run time overall with a slow 5k. Not good enough to bring me back from the dead but enough to bring me in with a time of 1:31:17.... and in 26th place overall. Charley finished in 1:18 and 10th overall. Stud.

What I learned:
Triathlons are hard. I am not a triathlete. I am an Idiot. I will train next year. Or not.


Anonymous said...

i like your was told exactaly how i saw it .....and you smoked me by 7 minutes....keep up the good work..John B

David- said...

Thanks John. I appreciated your encouragement that day. Good to see you there.

Resurrected Runner said...

I will be attempting my first sprint triathlon early next summer. Unlike you, I WILL train for it. However, I don't expect it will be pretty for me, either. RUNNING is where it's at. Just wish my body agreed with that sentiment.

SeekingBostonMarathon said...

Having just run my first Tri, I found this to be fricking hilarious. I was a 1/2 step ahead of you...I swam for a little over a month, and I borrowed my brother in laws bike and nearly threw up during the swim. So what did I do? I signed up for another one this weekend. #colormestupidtoo

you can read my comical first tri story at;

Mean Guy Running said...

Awesome! I also found this fricking hilarious! Before I started running a few years ago, I wanted to try a tri. The way you wrote about it, I really want to. Hopefully, just a little better trained.

Mike said...

Great post, you made my day!
However, triathlons are not that hard you just need to train in order to get your muscles ready to switch from one discipline to the next one (in particular from biking to running!)
Also the transition part is key.

Keep doing it David!

Mike @TheIronYou