Saturday, August 15, 2009

Caveman Triathlete

August 15, 2009 -

Since the dawn of time man was made to be a triathlete. There was swimming to catch fish, running to hunt food and then it all came together with the invention of the wheel. From that point on...triathlon has ruled the lives of many men and tomorrow...once will rule mine.

My wave at the Lake Stevens 70.3 Ironman starts tomorrow at 6:38a and something is different this time. It's not about curiosity or the unknown, or nerves. Its about just going out there and having fun and doing exactly what I know how to do. It seems too casual almost. I just have to get up, drive up there and crank it out.

Despite sticking with a regimented, strict plan for CDA Ironman and then training casual until now, I am still very prepared. Physically and mentally, I know what it takes and I know how to get out there and have a good day.

I'm really just excited to go out there and race and really enjoy it.

It does however, almost seems a burden to have this little road bump interfering with my summer plans causing my wife to ask me why I was even doing this race as I have not trained super hard for it and I already accomplished my big goal of Ironman this season.

At first, I didn't have a good answer so I thought about it for a couple days. Why am I doing this race? Why put up the expense and time to squeeze in one more race this summer when I'd much rather be doing something fun with the family for the weekend?

My initial answer was simple. If you are an triathlete and there is a race like this in your own backyard, you have to do it. Triathletes travel all over the world to do these Ironman and 70.3 races, so to have one at home, only 30 minutes away is a blessing. No travel, no hotel, no bike shipping, no weird food, bad beds etc. The best of racing with the comfort of your own home.

But that was just a small part of it. As I thought about it, there were so many other reasons I wanted to do this race.

I love having something on my calendar to keep me focused and accountable. I love the comraderie, nerves and excitement at the registration and expo. I love the maticulous detail as people rack their bikes and setup transition. I love flushing away half my nerves with a 500 yard swim at the race site the day before. I love trying to relax the day before but never actually getting the chance in the preparation tornado. I love tinkering around with my bike, cleaning it up and preparing for mach 3. I love laying my gear out and compulsively checking it over and over again. I love visualizing myself at every second of the race. I love stuffing my face with more pasta, salad and bread than should ever be consumed. I love the restless and fast sleep and usually always waking up before my alarm. I love that morning coffee, stretch, oats and most importantly....pre-race poop letting you's gonna be a good day. I love getting to transition and having time for a pee, couple songs on the iPod and a quick jog. I love the cool, misty mornings with the announcer blabbing and music cranking in the background. I love feeling nervous that the porto lines are too long and there is not enough time for one last pee before my wave goes. I love zipping up the wetsuit and making my way past other athletes and spectators down to the water. I love to plunge in the water and swim a few yards...and finally get that last pee before the start. I love the gun going off and the chaos of a triathlon swim start. I love getting into my swimming groove after the initial adrenaline wears down a tad. I love being done with the swim and getting started on the bike thinking to myself...alright, I'm in it we go. I love finally getting off the bike and testing the running legs knowing the end is near. I love the constant battle against my mind on the run and always pushing new barriers. I love thinking that the race will never end, but also knowing just how quickly it will be over. I love rush you get when you come around the corner and see the finish line and hear the announcer and the music calling you in accross the finish line. I love goofing off for my race photos thinking of what crazy pose will immortalize the fun of this tri. I love the feeling of crossing that line, arms raised and getting another shiny medal around my neck. I love savoring the victory for the rest of the day and celebrating the accomplishment and I love going to work on Monday morning and finding out what everybody else did on Sunday....because usally while everyone else earned the title of Lazyman...I earned the title of Ironman.

And why I love to race, and why I will get up at 4am tomorrow morning, push with everything I have for a half a day and walk tall with another successful race under my belt.

That is what I did this weekend....what did you do?