Thursday, August 31, 2006

My name is Kevin, and I have a problem

That's the first step right? Admitting I have a problem? What's the step where I say I don't really have a problem and it's not hurting anyone? Wait, that's denial, and that is another whole series of steps...I think.

So what is this problem of which I speak. My friend Joy mentioned it for any cross-reading blog type people. Yes, I am addicted to World of Warcraft. Yes that is a computer game, and yes I am a nerd. If my Sis still reads this she'll have a field day, she thinks it's bad enough I have a blog. At least she can't make fun of me for this without admitting to reading MY blog, which would make her a nerd, too. So anyway, when I am on line, that is what I have been doing. It's fun, I don't care what you think. (Unless this is Marty or Joy in which case I am pretty sure they think it is ok, and therefore I do care.)

It has been almost two weeks since my second triathlon. I feel even more now that I can say I am a triathlete as now I have done two races in a season. This separates me from that guy who once showed up to an event and never went back. I am falling more in love with this sport. The last event was the Northern Triathlon in Orillia, (which really isn't that far north I know, but I didn't name it.) It was the Ontario Short Course Championship, (or something like that,) so there were about 1200 athletes there competing. HUGE compared to the first event I went to. This also meant the level of competition was much higher. I finished 21 out of the 27 or so in my age group which amounted to somewhere in the high 400's overall, (468 or something.) Like last time though, I wasn't competing against the veterans of the sport or the eventual podium finishers. I was competing for myself, but also against a friend from work. Kinch and his wife were at this event, too, so there was a friendly rivalry going on. He is a runner. He has actually completed marathons so he can have that title of Runner. I knew I would need to be faster on the swim and bike in order to have any chance of beating him. We were even on the swim and I gained a couple minutes on the bike which I knew I would as it is his weakest leg, (despite dropping my chain half way through and having to dismount to replace it.) The run though. Ugh. I was at about the 4K mark of the scheduled 7K and I saw him coming the other way on the out and back course. "I'm comin' for ya Kev!" was all I heard as he blazed past the other way. It wasn't long until he made good on that claim. Now let me point out here how a "wave start" system works. I am younger than Greg by a year so I started in a different wave. This means to start the race I had an artificial 3 minute lead on him. The fact that he passed me with about 2K left of the run shows how good a runner he is. My splits were about 5:15/Km, and his were a blistering 4:14/Km. He gained 7 minutes on me in the run alone! Like I said, it was friendly competition though and I had no trouble saying congrats at the finish line and humbly show the rest of our team at work the results.

Especially since I was showing them all that his wife beat us both!

All for now,

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Still at it

I didn't take much time off from the training. Swimming seems to be coming along the best right now. I think I have already knocked 30-40 seconds off my 100m split so I should save some time on the first leg next event. The biking and running have been average. I have run a couple of times with a group from the Running Room and that is great having a group of people to motivate you and not just yourself to stay on track. Sunday I did a long ride up North of Brampton through rolling hill type country. The way out was more up than down and I was struggling up the last couple of hills, but I still managed to pound it back for a quicker home split. I feel good about it right now and I should be more than ready for Orillia.

I spent the weekend at my Mum's out in Brampton. Sis and her Husband were up from Kingston so it was a fun weekend. Andrew's an F1 fan so we were up early to watch the Hungarian Grand Prix, (I missed the first bit.) I then convinced him to watch a race with me, so we watched the Brickyard 400 Nascar race in the afternoon. Then, Kristy and I went and got a Chillabration cake from DQ for no other reason than we kept seeing the commercials and wanted icecream cake.

Today was the first day back at work. Going back after a long weekend is tough, but one thing that kept me going was knowing that Friday was only two days away. I have a lot to do before Friday though.

Guess I should make sleep one of them.

All for now,

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Well, I did it!

I am a triathlete!

I can say that officially now. For the last twelve weeks I have been training for this thing but that's all it Now that I have finally completed my first event I can say that I am a triathlete, not just some guy that might at some point participate in a triathlon. And, yes I did go through with it despite the chest cold I am still dealing with. (Thanks for the concern from those that read, and sometimes comment (Joy;))

I can't say the race went off without a hitch though. At several points on the Saturday I didn't know if there was going to be a race at all. It all started when I woke up at about 5am to thunder and lightning over the lake, (I was staying up at the Breadner's place.) This made me a little down because I thought I might not be able to get over to the race site as I had to go by boat. It stopped when I got up though and even got sunny as I made my way to the event and started to get myself set up. About 15 minutes before the scheduled start however it started to rain again. They gathered us all together for the "pre-race" (like announcements) to say they think we are going to delay a little bit because of the fear of lightning. Right after he said that, there was a flash over the lake and huge CRACK of thunder. "Well that means at least an hour more delay."

They got us all back together again about an hour later and it was clearer, but there was still a lot of wind and the lifeguards weren't letting anyone back into the lake. I was really bummed because I was sure they were going to tell us that it was cancelled and sorry, see you next time. They gave us some options though. Option one was to run a 10K race right then. Option two was to run the sprint triathlon the next day while the Half Iron distance event was running. Option three was to do both. I chose number two. I did stick around for the 10K though. I helped at the aid station which was both the halfway and finish point, and got to chat with a few of the event organizers about the whole triathlon/duathlon scene.

So now Sunday was the day of the big race. The funny thing is I actually slept better Saturday night, and when I got to the event on Sunday morning, I was not nearly as nervous as the previous day because I felt like I had already been through all that first time build up and anticipation. I feel like I raced pretty well for my first time. I know I can do better and I know there were some factors that held me back this time but I am not making excuses because I know I can only go up. I set a goal for myself of 90 minutes. My finishing time was 1:29:59! Talk about cutting it close. If you look at the picture, you can see me desperately sprinting for the finish line before the clock rolled over to 1:30:00.

I'll relate one quick story where I lost a bit of time because it is actually a little comical. The transition between swim and bike (or T1) is probably the biggest change because you have to put on a shirt, shoes, helmet, sunglasses, etc. and then get your bike ready to run out to the "mount" line. One thing I noticed in the rules was that you had to display your race bib with your number on your front for at least the run. I figured it would be easiest to just put it on the shirt before the start of the race. Funny thing happens with safety pins in a stretchy shirt when you are trying to pull it over your wet body: they open up. So there I was struggling to pull the shirt down without stabbing myself, then doing up one pin only to have another one open up. I was actually laughing pretty hard and could get my helmet done up. I'm sure I looked quite the newbie.

Anyway, I guess the point is that I had a blast. The people were great, I got to meet some premiere athletes in the Half Iron distance event, and I proved to myself that I could do this. And, I discovered it's addictive. I can't wait until my next event!

See you all in Orillia!

All for now,

p.s. Blogger is stupid right now and I can't post the picture. Check later if you want to see my embarrassing finish line shot.