It was another humbling stop for the Traveling Circus this weekend when I jumped head first into a whirlpool of feet, hands and yellow swim caps to start the 2008 Tri Del Sol in Middleville Michigan.
I questioned my decision when I was stuck in the middle of flailing arms and feet with competitors pushing on my feet and tugging on my swim trunks. When I was tired I rolled on my back and did the airplane tree monkey, airplane tree monkey, deep breathes, relax. I did my best with my interpretation of free style swimming along with a modified survival stroke and what many spectators thought was the doggy paddle but was actually a refined swim technique designed to warm you up for the bike ride.
After 25 minutes of fun time in the water I emerged exhausted with foggy swim goggles to awkwardly jog to the transition area with legs and arms that felt like Jell-O. The transition area was a vacant ghost town of abandoned wet suits and swim goggles indicating my swim split was less than splendid.
I sat down and dried my feet, taking my time to suit up for the 18 mile bike ride. Ahhh the bike ride. That familiar piston pumping motion I had grown so accustomed to. My goal was to stay aero for the full 18 miles and turn a tall gear. Once I started rolling I felt at home and wished the ride would last forever. The faster I pedaled the sooner I would have to run/hobble 4.5 miles.
I put Tropical Thunder (Holly’s nickname for my TT Torpedo) in the dawg and the pistons started churning. I passed a handful of riders and enjoyed the straight out and back course. Cornering in the aero position @ high velocities would make my already sweaty palms even sweatier.
I rolled back into the transition area and saw more running shoes than bikes which meant redemption from my water logged excursion. I ditched my rocket, laced up and jobbed on to the 3rd and final obstacle, the 4.5 mile run.
To this point I had only trained up to 3 miles and was anxious to see how my body would fair. I kept my pace consistent, breathing relaxed and wrapped things up in just over 2 hours, good enough for 12th in my age group with the 2nd fastest bike split.
A special thanks to the following:
- My mom and Dad for making the drive on their 33rd wedding anniversary.
- My wife for waking up at 5:30 and making me pancakes
- My teammates Jonah and Matt for assuring me I would not drown
- Kevin F. and Mike W. for giving me great advice
- My 2008 Supporters Team Active, Tifosi, Autism Speaks.org and Bontrager Cycling Components
#2 Step Brothers
Funniest Movie of all Time
If you aren’t watching it right now, go get your tickets ASAP. It will change your life forever.
#3 Buddies and Bikes
Ryan Burke talked me into buying my first mtn. bike in 1998. He left the scene but is back. Here he is outfitted with a revived lugged steel gem. He will be trying his hand at the Prairie View Tri in August.
Holly and I are leaving for a vacation this coming weekend and will be returning in one week. Stay tuned for the 12 Hours of Pando Race Report