Monthly Archives: June 2008

Three Weeks And Counting

As most of you already know, I took last year off from competition in triathlons due to health issues. Don’t ask me to repeat the actual maladies. It would be macho to say it was an old football injury, so let’s just go with that.

So my first race is a half ironman, The Muncie Endurathon. The 1.2 mile swim is in a reservoir. I’d like to say that I’m really going to do well in the swim, but that wouldn’t be true. Most of you know I’ve only been swimming for three weeks, so my training is woefully behind everyone else. I may be able to beat the guy who swam in high school, is fifty plus years old, and is cocky enough to think he can still swim fast with no training, but that’s it.

Before you think I can make it up on the bike, remember that due to my last year’s old football injury (wink, wink), I didn’t ride the bike all last summer and only rode for half an hour at a time on the trainer this past winter until my injury healed. I’ve been out on the bike since the weather broke this spring, but I’ve only done two rides over 56 miles, the length of the bike leg in the race, so I’m not really well trained there either.

After all my whining this past year on my running and sore hip, I don’t need to tell you that I’m also undertrained on the run portion. I’ve run three miles at a time for over a year, but have been able to ramp up the mileage, slowly, these past few weeks. My longest run so far has been 12.5 miles (if you count the three hills I walked up) today and the race distance is 13.1, so I’m not there yet and time is running out. My previous long distance was 11 miles (last week) and the longest before that was 10 miles (the week before last), and…you get the picture.

So why am I doing the race? I DON”T KNOW!!! Maybe it’s because I paid fifty dollars to get a rollover from last year’s race to this year, and I don’t want to waste the money. My friends used to say I was so tight, if I found a cold capsule, I’d go sit in a draft just so it wouldn’t go to waste. Maybe it’s because I have this same dream that lots of other triathletes have, usually first timers. It’s that, somehow, I’ll have my best swim ever, followed by an unbelievably fast bike, followed by a personal best run. When reality sets in, we all realize that your race is a reflection of your training. If you come up short in training, you will come up short in the race.

I guess the reason for doing the race is that I really enjoy the training with my friends. And in order to be a part of the “training group”, you have to be training for something. So, in order for me to fit in, I’m forced to pay the price and do the race. I had a really good way out this past week, but I either thought too fast, or didn’t think fast enough. I was running down the Michigan Avenue hill on one of my five mile, middle of the week runs. I came up on an intersection and a car pulled up coming from the East. I was running South, and I tried to make eye contact with the driver. He never looked my way, and I could see immediately that he was going to pull out in front of me. Instinctively I made a quick (for a geezer of 61) move to the left and went around the back of his car.

It’s confession time, so Mom, don’t listen…I may have yelled that he resembled a part of my “below-the-belt” anatomy that I’ve never seen, but I know is there, and thankfully so. Anyway, as I continued down the hill, a driver slowed, rolled down her window, and said “nice dodge” while shaking her head. If I had been thinking, I could have run into the side of the car, ended up with a race ending, superficial injury, and sued the guy for millions. As I look back on it, the car was at least fifteen years old, hadn’t been washed since the change of the millennium, and seemed to be held together by rust and duct tape. Maybe his estate wouldn’t be worth the legal fees. Oh, well, I probably made the right decision.

Just (Healthy And No Tire Tracks On My Back) Jack