This was my first tri but first a bit of history before I get to the race report….. It was 21 years ago and I was 20 sitting in the orthopedic surgeon’s office for a follow up for my PCL reconstruction. I picked up a magazine called Triathlete and thumbed through it. I remember clear as if it was yesterday being in awe of the athletes and the challenge of the race. I told myself that I was going to blow through rehab and I was going to do a triathalon. Well I got involved with other things and ended up rupturing my ACL in my other knee two years later. Both knees are fine, I have skied, road my bike, and competed in world level sailing events without issue but I heeded my surgeons advice all these years to not run, not that I wanted to anyway.
So to the race report…. I could really stop at “It was awesome!”, but I will make you suffer through the whole race report anyway.
The swim: 24:02 (9/14)
I went out to fast in the beginning of the swim which I knew I would. I did my best to keep it slow but passing people is just fun. By the first mark I got myself ahead of my breathing so I side stroked it for a bit. Come to find out I have a bitch’n side stroke…. I passed someone and was holding the guys just ahead. I was still pretty deep in the hurt locker the rest of the way so I switched back and forth between freestyle and my wicked fast side stroke and made it through. So was it me or was the last leg to the ramp after the turn at, “goose poop island” as my son calls it, the longest swim ever? I knew I did o.k. because I started in the front (not sure why) and was either passing or holding with those around me.
T1: 4:29 (11/14)
Almost fell over twice fighting with my f’n sock. Made it out and didn’t hurt anyone in the process, success…
The bike: 1:10:45 (9/14) 16.0 average
I was like “alright, the bike is my strength lets rock this bitc…. ah, where are my legs?” It was like I was riding in peanut butter. I have been an avid cyclist all my life so I really wasn’t pleased with what I was feeling. I really didn’t feel like I was getting it all together until the right at the circle. I was definitely missing something and I think it was what I left on the swim course. Left turn into the community and up the steep hill. O.K., remember what Walt (best mentor ever, well only one but still awesome) told you, easy on the hill and hit it at the top to get back up to speed while everyone else is recovering / puking. Half way up I look over and there is Walt! He rode the rest of the race with me and was a perfect distraction with some funny conversation and timely words of encouragement, absolutely awesome, thanks Walt! All in all I had an o.k. ride, better than it felt.
T2: 4:40 (12/14)
Almost fell over getting off my f’n bike. Almost fell over twice switching f’n shoes. Made it out and didn’t hurt anyone in the process, again success…
The run: 45:21 (13/14) 13.21/mi not DFL woho!!!
Ah the run, I suck! So let’s go back to the orthos “probably not the best thing to do” answer about running. I haven’t run a step past chasing my kids to get the remote back or running across the parking lot to make it in to buy a six pack before the store closes in 20 years. That’s right I haven’t run in 20 years. When I decided I was going to do this I went to see the Ortho at the beginning of this year to get the knees checked out. He took x-rays, pulled and pushed, and said, “Your knees are fine, whatever you are going to do isn’t going to make them any worse”, o.k it’s on! I got a stride analysis done with the videos and dots on my legs at NRH Regional Rehab with Josh Billings, very cool. Fantastic program by the way. The results came back, and it was evident that, well, I suck at running. I was given some specific strength and stretching exercises and technique changes that transformed me into the 13+MM monster that I am today. All kidding aside I can run now, just got to work a teeny bit on my speed and I am there.
As I said above it was awesome! I crossed the line hand in hand with my 5 year old son Dylan who was as giddy to be running down the chute with me as I was to be running with him. I did it, twenty year old check box CHECKED! !!!!!!
What an amazing experience this has been. Training for this has really transformed me as an athlete. I went form an average cyclist to an average cyclist who is a poor swimmer and a terrible runner, amazing! The best thing that I did for myself was join MMTC. You all are a fantastic group of healthy minded people. Mentor program is awesome, Walt you da man! Thanks so much for all of the “go Mid Mayrland” shout outs along the way. I really felt like part of the team, the slow part, but part none the less. I am not feeling totally satisfied with it all though (that’s how it all starts isn’t it?) so you will probably see me on the race course again.
Funny thing, Walt was riding his Tri bike in the grass next to me on the run, not an easy thing at the blistering pace I was setting, and someone said as they were passing “Is he like you personal caddy? How do I get one of those?” I couldn’t say it at the time, too focused on not passing out, but the obvious answer was…. join MMTC!
Observations / things I learned:
-Transition is a lot easier in your basemant.
-Swimming with your eyes closed is rather relaxing, not like you can see anything anyway.
-I need to find a sidestroke race and enter it.
-dry grass does not come off of wet feet.
-Centennial lake tastes and smells exactly the way I expected goose poop would.
-My Tri singlet makes me look fat.
-It’s a great feeling to be proud of yourself.
-MMTC tent ROCKS!!!!!
Thanks for reading this, all of the help, all of the support, all the shout outs, and I would like to especially thank MMTC red chair #15 for its extended support after the race.