Saturday, June 28, 2008

In the books!

It's official, I am now an bonafide, genuine triathlete! But no need to worry, Sports Illustrated will not be knocking on my door anytime in the near future asking for an interview, so anyone out there worrying about a new tri-king being born today... ah, that didn't happen!

What did happen, however, was an experience like no other. The adrenaline, the nerves, the jitters, they all found a common place, right about when it was time for me to take my place in line.

"Number 202" the announcer called, and ready or not, off I went. Into the pool, off to the races. 350 meters (seven lengths of the pool) later my biggest question mark had been answered. Not sure what my time was because as of this writing, the official times have not been posted, but it felt good, really, really good, regardless what the official clock tells me. One of my biggest concerns was that would interfere with younger, faster swimmers. I did not want to be in the way, I did not want to make any waves... no pun intended. What happened instead was just the opposite. But thinking about it closely, that was probably a good thing. It gave me time to catch my breath, and catching it needed.

First transition went okay, just okay. Stumbled a bit getting my gear on for the bike portion of the event. But off I went. The course was nice. Rolling hills, all manageable, none overpowering. Cadence was up, a bit higher than I've had it a practice, close to the 80 rpm. Remember the goal is 90-110. It felt good as well. Actually it felt good because I was overtaken only by a few bikes, all of which were ridden by athletes 10 to 15 years younger than me. If you're wondering how I know they were younger than me its because when the race officials do the body marking, they write your age on your left calf, for they world to see. I did manage to overtake a couple myself. That felt even better. I remember thinking and maybe even telling a few folks that time really didn't matter for me in this event. Well, when you're out there, pedaling your tail off, time does matter, and it matters a lot.

Second transition went bad, really, really bad. I think it took me over two minutes (goal should be seconds, just a few seconds) to change from my biking gear to running gear. This I must practice. It felt like I was stumbling over my own feet just to get myself ready. But finally out I went, off to the run course. As usual and as it has happened during training, the first couple hundred yards were tough. Body needs to get adjusted, legs need to figure out that you have changed gears. Once I got in the rhythm it was smooth sailing. I figured I would take it easy, again... Wrong! There's no taking it easy when someones got a clock on you. I was very thankful for the fact that this was the run course and not the bike course. Let me explain it with just one word: hills! The mother of all hills throughout this course, well at least they looked like they were the mother of all hills and I remember thinking: me, my bike and these hills... not sure that would work!

Was this all worth it? As you approach the finish line and the announcer calls your name... you know at that very moment that yes, it was all worth it!

A few things I learned today. One, I am not as bad as I thought I was in the water. Two, my comfort in the bike is growing. Three, the running still my strongest and last but not least: I suck at the transitions!

1 comment:

  1. Totally awesome! Proud to call you my Big Bro!