So two weeks ago Matt says to me, "Hey, they moved the Millerton Lake Triathlon back to Saturday this year, do you want to do it with me?" Never being one to overestimate my ability, (ya right) I responded, "Umm OK". Thus began a rigorous two week training schedule for Matt and I of early mornings at his school's pool and riding the bike on the trainer in an attempt to not embarrass ourselves too much come the big day of the event. Both of us have done this triathlon before, but it has been five years since I last did one. In fact, I really haven't swam (besides in the backyard) or rode a bike much since the the last time I did one. Fortunately, this was a "sprint" distance triathlon, which is around a 400 yard swim, 12 mile bike and 3 mile run.
I have had some interesting experiences previously at this traithlon. The first time I ever participated in the event was around 6-7 years ago. I was then teaching and a colleague of mine asked me, because he knew I swam in high school, if I wanted to be on a team with him and another fellow teacher for the Millerton Lake Triathlon with me completing the swim portion. I trained (somewhat) and the day of the event I showed up thinking I was ready to go. I had learned during training that I needed to add a little protection under my arms, or they would get chaffed during long swims (I was a good 20-30 pounds heavier then), and as I was about to swim a mile, I lathered up my armpits and adjacent regions with a big ol' gobs of Vaseline. As I was walking down the boat ramp to the water preparing to swim, I noticed that I was the only person without a full body wet suit, and, as I was wearing one of my old speedos, (that's right I kept em), that made me feel a little awkward. Picture the scene, there I was, standing in the water waist deep, big hairy gut hanging over my speedo and armpits glistening with the morning sunrise causing fellow racers to shield their eyes from the bright glare off of the Vaseline...
I have since recovered from the mental scars of that humbling experience. Because I am lighter and in somewhat better shape, this years triathlon went much better. The cool weather lately made us fear stepping into that cold water at 7:45 in the morning, but Matt and I were surprised at how good it felt. There was a decent size crowd this year causing for some serious congestion at the start of the race.
Swimming with over one hundred people all going in the same direction in a confined space causes for some good punches and kicks to the face at the start of the race until the crowd begins to thin out.
Matt was tempted to resort to some of our old water polo moves of pull, punch and swim that we once perfected to make some space but decided against it.
The run up the ramp after the swim is perhaps the worst part of the whole ordeal. You come up out of the water already winded and then you have to run a couple hundred yards uphill over corrugated cement.
Once on the bike, I began to feel just how out of shape I currently am
and how much I need to ride a bike more as people that I passed during the swim began to return the favor.
While on the bike, there were a few thoughts that kept running through my mind. I thought that I would list a few of them for you:
1. I can't believe I paid for this!
2. What was I thinking?
3. I am a big fat hairy guerrilla-monkey.
4. I can't believe I just got passed by a 65 year old granny.
The hardest part of the bike ride was mile-plus ride up heartbreak hill. Even more difficult it dealing with the thought that once I go down this hill I have to turn around and do it again. Thankfully, the run was not as bad. I finished with a time of 1:17, a little slower then the last one I did.
A little slower then last time, but considering how long we prepared for it, I was happy. Jennifer, who was a good sport of waking herself and the kids up early to be there, was very happy to give me a at the finish line sweaty kiss.
Here's Matt at the finish line
Post race, Matt and I enjoyed sharing the experience with each other and others and talking about how good the next one is going to be
as well as having some fun with the kids.
Hopefully we'll be a little more prepared for the next one. Man I'm gonna feel it tomorrow...