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.


Blogger Joy said...

Hey, look, you placed 2nd in your class! That's pretty cool, especially considering that you were sick. Go Kef! You also finished the race, which apparently 64 of the 116 entrants did not (does "entrants" mean "people who were there at the start of the race" or "people who originally signed up but didn't necessarily show up on Sunday"?), and that, I think, is accomplishment enough, especially for the first time around; getting in under your set time despite illness is a bonus.

Orillia, hmm? That's pretty soon, but I guess you don't need the same kind of taper for a sprint triathlon as for longer running book says "Most runners can comfortably run a 10-K every couple of weeks." Listen to your body and see how the return to training goes...if it goes well, maybe we will drive up and see you race!

8/03/2006 10:12 AM  
Blogger Angel said...

I'm proud of ya! Completing a triathalon while fighting bronchitis is truly impressive. Can't wait to see you in Orillia. Jwe and I will be cheering you on!

8/06/2006 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mad props and big ups! You're an inspiration to me and proof that the mind is the strongest muscle in the body!

See you on Wheaties boxes soon!


8/15/2006 10:18 PM  

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