Secret #2...I hate triathlons. In all honesty, I'm generally annoyed by any "athletic" event that gets finished before lunch. How challenging can it be if you aren't forced to miss at least one meal? Isn't that part of the challenge?
So I had a cross training day on Saturday at the New Jersey State Triathlon. I chose this event because I did it last year and I really liked it. Partially because they had a beer garden at the finish. So you can imagine how annoyed I was when I noticed they had switched the beer garden for an ice cream stand this year! Seriously?!?!? This is BULLSHIT! I'm not coming back next year...
This triathlon has a 500 meter swim in Mercer Lake. The water was 88 degrees, which meant I didn't need my wet suit. This is good...I hate my wet suit. It's a bitch to pull on and even harder to get off. Side note...I have a wet suit for sale.
The picture below is me scanning the transition area, thinking to myself..."How many of you bastards ran a 50 mile trail run through the Rocky Mountains 6 days ago? Nobody? Yeah...I thought so. Prepare to die!"
I'm not a particularly strong swimmer. And if you've never had a swim coach, neither are you. You may THINK you are, but you're not. Sure, we can ALL swim. But to swim competitively at any distance beyond 7 feet, you really need some professional assistance. It's much harder than it looks. I generally finish the swim in the middle of the pack (someplace I hate to be). So to make up ground, I have to CRUSH people on the bike and run.
Out of the water with a few young ladies!
I always love to finish the swim, because that means I get to go ride my bike. This is special to me because I never ride my bike. Ever. This is my third triathlon for 2011 and I've been on my bike twice before today's race, and both times were in my other triathlons. Incidentally, my bike is for sale. I'm serious...it's on Cragslist right now.
Below you can see a picture of the bike I have for sale.
I made up alot of ground on the bike and I really enjoyed the ride. I'm very comfortable on my bike at high speeds and I love stalking other cyclists until I can finally reel them in and pass them. It's a huge game for me during the bike leg of the race.
I counted 87 people that I passed on my bike, and I was passed 4 times. But in my defense, I was passed by those serious cyclists with the aero helmets and wind resistant riding suits. They take this shit too seriously. This isn't Kona...we're in freaking New Jersey!!!
After ditching my bike at the transition area, I headed out into my run. This is only a 5K run, so I don't have high expectations. I don't do well at that distance anymore, especially coming off a bike. My legs are always dead for the first 2 miles.
The run was actually pretty nice because the route kept us in shade most of the way and it was about 102 degrees out at the time. I felt comfortable and relaxed, but I hate running straight off the bike. I suppose this is something I could train for...
I finished 2 minutes slower than I had the previous year. This may be a result of it being 20 degrees hotter this year, or maybe because I ran Leadville last weekend? Whatever the reason, it doesn't matter. This is just a cross training day.
At any rate, my triathlon career is coming to a close. I originally got into it because I always thought of it as the pinnacle of endurance excellence. Triathletes were pretty badass and I wanted to be one too. But since then, I've realized there are other opportunities to push my body to the extreme and I have chosen to take that path instead. My triathlon "Grand Finale" will take place in New York City on August 7th, and I'll make the most of my final day in this sport.
All athletes find their home eventually, and mine is on the trail, high in the mountains somewhere. That's where I belong so that's where I'll be. But I will miss my cross training days, I'm sure. Maybe it's time to get a coach?