Monday, August 19, 2013

70.3 Becomes 71.8 The Big Day

Ready to swim./

We planned the date, planned the route, got Grandma to watch the little one, and went to the pool. Stage one would be 1900 meters of lap swimming at the pool. The pool staff at the Warren County Aquatic Center were great. They made sure we had a lane gave us some words of encouragement and off we went. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
Before the adventure.

I had a personal victory in the pool. With my new careful pacing I was able to start swimming continuous freestyle without breaks or switching to backstroke. I swam the 5th and 11th lap backstroke, but managed to swim all the rest freestyle.

Pacing is important.

Transition Zone
AKA our car.


T1 was interesting. we had to get the bikes off the car rack, we grabbed a little snack, and headed out on the road. We stayed together, she swam at my pace, I biked and ran at her pace. Except the first part of our ride was through town back to our house, so traffic did impede our progress quite a bit. I choose to focus on the 95% of polite drivers who made room for us, passed carefully, etc., rather than the few impatient ones who did things like see me get to the left of the land with my left hand out signalling a left turn, then gunning past us on the left. Most drivers that day were very friendly. We biked to the house, stopped for a quick snack and water bottle refill then hit the road again.

After biking across Bowling Green, we biked out to Simpson County, stopped at an old cemetery with Civil War soldiers buried in it, then on to Auburn in Logan County before biking back to the house.

We stopped for a quick lunch at the cemetery. We stopped at a convenience store to buy new gatorade. This self supported stuff requires more planning. It is a good thing we were planning on finishing the distance and not racing the distance. To nail a killer time while self supported would have required carrying a lot more stuff on the bike ride.

Our bike ride turned out about a mile and a half long. We had to reroute part of our ride due to some heavy, unsafe traffic. Basically this means we are a little more awesome than just half Iron distance finishers.


Transition Two was really fun. We grabbed our Gatorade and water bottles out of the refrigerator, then took the dogs out to potty. I bet there are very few triathlons that include dog poo at T2.

We were basically wiped out at this point. We had swum 1900 meters. We had biked 57.5 miles. We were tired. The good news was all we had to do was run a half marathon.

So we ran. We talked about whatever we could think of to distract ourselves from our task. We enjoyed the scenery. Living out in the country is wonderful. Our race route included restored prairies full of yellow coneflowers, chicory, and queen anne's lace. We saw horses, sheep, and cattle. We had rarely cool weather for August in Kentucky.

At about mile 6 we were both feeling pretty sorry for ourselves. We started thinking of people who inspired us. Examples that had been set before us to help us get our perspective back. At times like this, the elites don't inspire me much. It doesn't help me much to think of someone who has coaches, Nike sponsorships, and a lifetime of athletic training behind them. My inspiration was one of my fitness clients who has decided to take charge of her life. She's lost 60 pounds in the first 6 months of this year for a total of 100 pounds of weight loss. When I thought of the mindset, work, and consistency that that required, THAT was my inspiration.

Just before our turnaround point there is a concrete pineapple by the road. So we called this event the Rockfield Pineapple Triathlon.

We turned around and started hobbling home. Our spirits were low. We both wanted to cry. So we started pointing out the beauty of the scenery around us. Usually when we do this on runs we say things like, "Hey, look at that sunset! Aren't those clouds beautiful?" At this point it was, "Clouds. Pretty."

Then I started singing.

We must have looked crazy, sunburnt, messy haired, covered in sweat singing the Rocky Theme, and "Be A Man" from Mulan, and the Superman music while running down the road in the middle of the cornfields and soybeans.

My wife sang with me as much as she could, but we were much higher in her workout zones than we were in mine. So I sang us home. One crazy song at a time. Whether or not I could remember the lyrics. We finished with "Jingle Bells".

We made it home hand in hand.

She won 1st place overall female.
I won 1st place overall male.

What were our times?
They were wonderful times.