Decent athlete. What a photographer! (Thanks, Ju!)
just crossed the finished line. Ahh...
Julie and I got up around 5am. Well, I got up at 5pm to get my digestive system going before the big race. Julie woke up around 5:45am. Annie was already up smiling and laughing somehow. I guess she heard me get up. Julie got the kids dressed. I loaded the tri-gear into the car, and we were off on time around 6pm. We got there around 6:30. It was pitch black with hundreds of tri-athletes parking their cars and getting their bikes ready for the competition. Pretty cool to see such a large group of adult athletes dedicated to pushing themselves in an event like that. There were about 800 participants.
Julie left with the kiddos to take them to Katy at Mimi's house. I rode my bike into the transition area. Got my gear ready for the swim. Then, oh ya, headed to the port-o-potties to join the other 200+ people in line for 15 potties. I was in a bit of discomfort. I'll stop here :)
Went to get my chip for my ankle. They have these chips that log your time when you cross each transition. Very cool technology. It allows them to spit out the results of the races almost instantly.
I'm pretty nervous here at this point. My stomach is in knots. I'm anxious to get going. The time is about 7:15. The race starts at 7:30. I bumped into a friend John Cordes, a former classmate of Julie from Katy High. I joined him on the walk to the swim start.
They had some announcements, pledge of allegiance, and then the groups started. I was in the 30-34 age group. We were the 3rd to start. We waded in the water for a bit before starting. Not to trivialize war, because I have no idea what that feels like. But competitions like this are as close as a civilian will get. Nonetheless, it felt like D-day invasion. All of these men sitting there in the water. Very focused. Nervous. Then they sounded the gun. We were off!
I was at the front of the group, so I had a bit of a head start. Still, I was getting kicked and bumped into by all of these bodies. There were 62 in our group. Since it was an open water swim that weaved around bouys (sp?), this swim was much more challenging. Instead of focusing on the fundamentals of head down, arms extended, keep kicking, you were forced to have your head up alot to avoid going the wrong way or bumping into others.
400 meters later I was #20 out of 62 dudes!!! Alright! I felt disoriented. Dizzy. The picture says it all.
Unlucky for me, the swim is the shortest part. The bike, my weakest leg, is the longest. Races usually are won or lost here. Biking is cool. Just kinda boring to me. Lots of doing the same thing. Alot. 19 miles later, I had been passed up a bit, and I dropped to like 40th place.
On to the run. I like-a-the-run! I took it easy and paced myself for the first 2 miles. Then sped up for the last mile. Or maybe it was when I got passed up by that hot female triathlete who ended up winning her female class. Maybe that was motivation to run faster ;) There were quite a few hard bodies out there. Cool to see how normal folks take such good care of there body. Very motivating!
The last 100 yards, I sprinted in. I had the energy to kick it way up, so I did. You can see here that I was giving it 110%.
When I finished, I was dehydrated, dizzy, felt like puking, had headache, and FELT LIKE A COOL DUDE FOR FINISHING! What a mix of emotions!
I loved seeing Julie at the end. What is a race if you have noone there to cheer you in? I gave her a big kiss and we headed to get electrolytes, water, and pasta.
For the first 40 minutes, I felt physically worse than I have in recent adult memory. Maybe 2-a-day football practice or basketball practice comes close. I really pushed my body. I had to lie down in the shade. Slowly, I got rid of my puking sensation and headache. That was good.
From then, we just enjoyed each other and the scenery. After about 1.5 hr of laying around, eating pasta, and drinking water. We left to go pick up the kiddos in Katy.
This was my first experience at organized athletics like running or biking or swimming. It was a great experience. I'm very pumped about the next one!
If you've read this far, you either like my prose, are a cool friend, or are bored. In any case, thanks for reading about this cool experience. As you can tell, I had a great time.