Saturday, June 28, 2008

Philadelphia Triathlon

Katie’s Law: If anything can go right, it will. At least it did for me on June 22, 2008 in Philadelphia.

As we drove down Saturday morning, the forecast called for rain all night long, continuing into the morning. The bands on the radar were strong and clear and ominous. I had done triathlons in the rain before, but it was not something I was relishing for this, my first Olympic Distance. For those of you who don’t know, Olympic Distance is 1500 m swim - 40 km bike - 10 km run, (or about 1 mile swim, 25 mile bike and 6 mile run). With half a dozen sprint triathlons under my belt and 6 months of serious training, I was pumped and ready.

Well, the truth is, the training was a bit off. My training for my first two years of triathlon ranged from minimal to sporadic. This year I had decided to follow a plan, log my hours and train systematically. I had a little logbook with my name on it, and the Gale Bernhardt plan to study and follow. I determined to ride outside in the winter and discovered a new passion for riding. As it turned out, by June I had put in 1,500 miles on the bike. I did a half marathon early in the spring, but put less effort into the run after that. The swimming I did more regularly, but on my own and at a slow pace. Not surprisingly, I did very well on the bike leg in Philly and made a decent show on the other legs, so the lesson is, training works. Effort translates into performance.

The weather was warm, but overcast. They let us warm up in the water, so the swim was great and I felt really strong in the first transition. At the start of the bike I was taking a drink and some gel and passing someone on my right. A very buff, 33 year old guy (they write your age on your calf) passed on my left and yelled, “Get out of the way a-hole!” I put down my water bottle and hunkered down for the chase. I passed him easily. Staying ahead was not so easy though, as he kicked it up a notch. He passed me and then I passed him and we did that a few times. Then, going up a hill, I rode up on his left and said, “Were you calling me and a-hole back there?” He stammered and gasped as I hammered up past him. It was a beautiful moment.

I finished the run with a sprint and felt really great. In a very competitive field, I placed in the top half of my class. Plus, I had enough energy afterward to ride around the city and see the sights. And, it never rained at all. Some say 22 is a lucky number. I don’t know about that, but June 22 is my mother’s birthday and I know am very lucky to have such a great mom. Growing up, I was not an athlete. In fact, I almost didn’t graduate from High School because I couldn’t meet the PE requirement. But I have always had my parent’s support, no matter what crazy thing I decide to try. Maybe that’s why things go right for me. Happy Birthday mom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have always been a winner. I love you.