So, I've been VERY lazy about sharing recently, but I wish to jump back on the wagon for those of you still with me! And if you're excuse the philosophical mumbo-jumbo, I'll explain a bit about my absence...
I absolutely enjoy triathlon, especially long courses (ironman and 70.3 distance). Why? They are HARD. I am not skilled, I am not fast, and I don't posess some of the natural gifts that other athletes do. The training is long, the distance is almost unfathomable, and the race itself is guaranteed to expose any flaws in my preparation. BUT I LIKE IT. I like that it is not an instant gratification; you have to put in months of physical and mental practice. If you don't, the race will chew you up and spit you out. You just can't fake it. That appeals to me.
BUT... for as much as I like it, I also need a break in the routine. After being in this for 3 years now, I've learned that there is a pattern to these breaks. The 4 weeks following an Ironman? I don't want $#!+ to do with triathlon! I don't want to train, I don't want to keep track of my equipment, and I don't want to plan travel/food/logistics for my race.
I DO want to eat ice cream/bratwurst/hamburgers/bacon/beer/cookies/beer/cookies/beer (smokin hot wife introduced me to the 50lb. box of Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough at Costco).
But after a while, I need a break from that too, and triathlon again calls for me softly... she lures me back into my old, comfortable routine. That routine in 2009 was to do IM CDA in June (DONE!), take my break, and then come back and do IM 70.3 in Lake Stevens in August. That race took place yesterday, and this is a brief recap (if I get the itch, I'll write a full report and post that, but I have beer and brats calling my name first).
For starters, here are my stats:
Overall rank 541 of 1189
Division rank 52 of 111
A fantastic race for me! My goal was to try and go under 6 hours, something I have never done, and pretty lofty considering my full ironman times; I thought I'd be closer to 7 hours. But I came VERY close, and am very proud. Honestly, if I could shave 10 minutes off the bike, I'm there... and I STILL have a TON of work to do on the bike. It just isn't my best event, which does nothing except provide ammo to keep getting better!
The most fun part of this race however, was that my kid sister from Utah, who is brand new to triathlon, drove up to take part in this race. She has some guts to make a half-ironman her first race, but she didn't let that bother her! She did the registration/drive the bike course/bike check-in bit, and suited up for her first ever race on Sunday morning....
As a big brother/fellow racer this added a whole new element to the race. Not only was I making my own plans to hit the gas pedal in the race to see what I am capable of, I was worrying about my little sister! Will her bike chain break? Will she get psyched out on the swim (hell, will she get the crap kicked out of her on the swim, a "non-contact" sport)? Will she enjoy the race, or just be miserable? Can she handle the unpredictable weather in the PNW? I was in a strange place, the mindset of the triathlon spectator! Watching the clock, and staring up the course for hours desperately trying to find a glimpse of the uniform that I recognized, only to see her for about 4 seconds... then spending the next hours waiting for her to come back, hoping she was alright!
Well, as you probably know, our worries will wear us out if we let them... Control the variables you can, and then enjoy the ride, right?! Well, she did just that, and had a nailed it. Her first ever triathlon finish was a half-ironman! 70.3 miles, in 7 hours 26 minutes. She had a great day, and a great time... For proof, here she is smiling at the end!
In other news, the smokin hot wife proved herself AGAIN as the world's smartest ironman spectator. Even with a stroller and an infant, she ALWAYS manages to navigate the crowd and the course and show up smiling and cheering right when you need her. How doe she do it? ESP? A crystal ball? Some magic powers reserved for beautiful, intimidatingly intelligent, triathlon-savvy babes? I don't know. But if you ever participate in a race, and want some support, you need to contact her. She's truly amazing people.