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  Wednesday, October 18, 2017  
 
06 August 2001
Tri-ing Times

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So what do you do when you're thinking about working out again? I was thinking about running like I used to, but it didn't really appeal to me. It also seemed to hurt more than it used to. What else could I do? I know. I'll swim. How will I get to the pool? I know. I'll finally ride that expensive bike my wife got me for my birthday...three years ago.

That's how my triathlon inspiration began. As always, I soon had to have a reason for training. I called my friend, Craig, and asked him what the end of season schedule looked like--thinking I'd take a month or so to prepare for one of the later, short triathlons. Craig pointed me to one ten days away.

It was slated to be a 1/4-mile swim, 11.6-mile bike and 3-mile run held in Duxbury, MA. I figured it was short enough on short-notice that I would survive so I signed up. The Foster family got up at 04:30 on Sunday to get there. It was a VERY foggy day. You couldn't see thirty yards ahead of you, and the ocean water was about sixty degrees. I HATE cold water.

As the race began and my group (the first group) ran into the water and began swimming for the first buoy, the harbormaster stopped everyone and said, "Go back." They deemed it too dangerous in the fog to allow the swim. Disappointed and freezing. What to do? Ah, yes. Have everyone sprint that 1/4-mile on the beach instead.

Since I'm not that strong of a swimmer, the sprint gave me an advantage, but I was really looking forward to completing the three events. I was fifteenth going into the bikes. That placement was soon a mere memory.

I'm not that strong on the bike either. However, I began to get comfortable on the bike for the first time around minute 15. At minute 19, my rear wheel detached and ground me to a halt. After three tries, I got back on the bike scared it was going to really fall off. It didn't, and I got back into riding until about minute 25 (several faster riders never saw minute 25) when it detached again. Oh well, I finished the ride trying to make up for lost time the whole rest of the way.

On to the run, my forte. Thinking I'll really be able to make up lost time here, I took off at a typical three-mile pace. Five minutes into it, I realized I would die if I maintained that pace. The sprinting and the rigorous bike ride added a dimension I wasn't used to. I slowed it down remembering my original intention to just finish the race and enjoy the workout. The crowd was pretty intense the closer I got to the finish so I ended up going all out leaving my hamstrings, calves and achilles tendons behind, but I'm sure it was worth it.

No idea how my placing was for the age group, but I'm sure it was average. A swell humbling experience. Unfortunately, I have yet to complete a "real" triathlon, and I have a bit of the bug. More to come.... Enjoy.

 

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