This the not football season in the Special K household. This October has become triathlon season. I’ve been a workout junkie on and off since high school. The last time I was really into it was back in 2002 right up until I run the old Cooper River Bridge had my gall bladder removed 2 days later. For some reason I never gotten back to that routine. I think the combination of work travel and poker conspired against the workouts by sucking up my free time. Now, even though I’m not in the best running shape of my 40s, I am in the best all-around shape for swimming, biking and running that I’ve ever been.
Most of that work was inspired by my wife, Dr. K. She discovered working out and how much she loves it in the spring of 2009. Since then she has been working out and building a triathlon machine. The change has been remarkable. As we say during election season, I approve that message.
So the official sport around the house is now triathlon. Three week ago, we traveled to Augusta, GA to watch a friend run in a Half-Max Tri. I was pretty impressed as he just kept motoring along through a mile+ swim, and 40+ mile bike ride and a 13 mile run. Last week was Dr. K’s turn for her international distance tri (1k yrds/28 mi./10k). Unfortunately, the swim was cancelled, but she rallied from her disappointment to do very well. She came out with a plan to run a half-marathon in Dec.
Tomorrow is my turn. Around 7:48:45 I’ll start the same tri that I tried last year, the Take Flight Triathlon. Mine is a sprint of 250 m swim, 10 mi bike, and 5k run. If you need to catch up on what happened last year you can jump to here. I’ll not repeat the soiled details of that one, however I was not pleased with the outcome. Tomorrow is my chance at redemption and I’m pretty nervous about it. I’m hopeful that by dumping my thoughts here, where no one will read them, that I’ll rid myself of at least some of those nerves.
I’ve trained hard, maybe even too hard at times. I should have had a plan, but I didn’t. I just tried to do a lot of each of the disciplines and tried to improve my fitness along the way. Next time I’ll go with the plan. I didn’t have to go on a month long trip a few weeks before the event this year like last. I did go to Afghanistan during my training, but only for 2 weeks and I did manage to run a few times while there. My running is still not back to where I want it to be, but my swimming is about as good as ever and my biking is better than ever.
I’ve been over the course and there are about 4 points on the bike course that scare me. It is hilly and 4 of the hills are going to take my best effort and then some to get over in a reasonable time. The run will be awful to start, but I’m not holding back on the bike to save for the run. I’ll do what I can to avoid cramping up totally and take it as it comes. I’ll probably finish faster than I start on the run.
It all comes down to how deep in can dig in my heart to make myself go beyond where I think I can go. It seems so silly to do this as a hobby. There must be more constructive ways to abuse myself. I’ve got no one to compete against and no money on the line. I’m not good enough to compete for prizes. It’s just a goal that I set and I’m determined to see what I’ve got.
Tomorrow, my inspiration comes from an ESPN show I saw last night on Secretariat. Watching that horse run is such an awesome sight that I get a lump in my throat. One line from that show said that it was as if God said “go”, and he went. I’ll not be a Secretariat tomorrow and frankly, I’ll be relieved when it is done, but when they say “go” tomorrow, I’m going to see how much go I’ve got. I’ll update here when it’s done.