Usually this blog is mostly Technical things, work related, but I have to share an experience I had yesterday. I completed the first annual Mean Green North Texas Sprint Triathlon. The feeling at the finish is something I just can’t describe. The feeling is more than accomplishment, or pushing your body to do things you “THINK” it can’t, happiness it’s over, or just excitement. Probably the best part is seeing my family at the end. My 11 year old son ran the last 100 yards with me. This is now the 5th Triathlon I have done. The feeling at the end is the same every time. I think that is why I try to do one a year. Not to compete or do them every weekend. (they get in the way of Sailing, but because of them I am in better shape to sail!)
OK most of you are asking, exactly was is a Triathlon, I bet 98% of you have never seen one in person, only on TV. I also bet 99% of you have never tried one. This isn’t the Ironman Hawaii thing. It’s a sprint.
200 people entered this one. 8AM start on a Sunday morning. You start in order from fastest swimmer to slowest, this one was 400 Yard pool swim. That’s 8 laps in a 25 yard pool. That took me 8 minutes. Realize they start one person every 10 seconds so 80 people are in the pool with you it can be crazy trying not to crash into anyone. Then on to your bike. Out 6.2 miles with the wind. and yes 6.2 miles back against the wind and up hill. A total of 12.8 miles, takes about 45 minutes. The guy in front of me crashed as we exited the parking lot, broke his hand, they mixed up the bike numbers and thought it was me, called my wife and told her I was in ambulance(another story). I just love being out on my bike on country roads right after sunrise.Then to the run, in this case 3.2 miles, two loops on a road behind the school and pool. I hate to run. Ok running is not easy for someone my size 6 foot and 275 lbs. I walk/run, or mostly walked yesterday. My goal wasn’t to bet anyone, just myself on completion. So I finished that in about 40 minutes. I know really slow but who cares. No I wasn’t last. I finished, completed my goal. There were about 20 people that didn’t even make it out of the pool. In all I was done in less than 2 hours. Pain is just temporary.
Since this race was hosted by University of North Texas most of the competitors were 20 something, but there were some old people with me. See in a triathlon you are marked on your arms with your race number and that number one one leg. The other leg they write your age. So you know when that person you passes you is 78 years old! Roll up your sleeve at work the next day and show off your race numbers as a badge of honor.
I highly recommend going to watch a local triathlon. Just search, there is probably one every weekend during the spring and summer somewhere within 50 miles of where you live. Volunteer or just watch, cheer the individuals challenging the goal of just finishing. Watch the faces of the people as they finish, it is truly inspiring.
Or even better, if you are looking for a motivation to get in shape sign up for a sprint. You can do it, it just takes a few short weeks of prep.
The saying goes, to call yourself a Triathlete you have to finish one every year. Well I can call myself a Triathlete again this year! At least this time my picture wasn’t on the front page of the paper!