Tuesday, August 26, 2014
When I crossed the Finish Line, I realized how fitting this Triathlon name truly was!
Once again, DSSECRETS created a fantastic photographic story of this race and I am so thankful for her effort!
We arrived around 5:30am with more than enough time for me to get situated & relaxed.
After completing my transition area, I went over to say hey to our bike mechanic who volunteered his time for this Tri! Team Outspokin rocks!
Met with my TriBuds and shook out the nerves with idle conversation. Then it was time to go to the beach shore...
Finally, my swim wave hit the 88 degree Gulf waters!
When I got to the first race buoy, I started to feel cramps in my toes, then a minor cramp in my calf. I knew this would be a slow swim. My head wasn't in the right place and I suffered for it! I was totally relieved when I finally left the water!
I made it to Transition (T1), got to my bike, and I was off on a ride taking me over the "Three B!^@^#$...uh Bridges!"
I must say this was the highlight leg for me. I stayed focused, geared well through the course WITH the bridges, and enjoyed the ride. I came into dismount fine.
As soon as I got off my bike, I know I heard my calf scream out for a second! I knew I had to keep moving...
I started my run, focused on finishing!
After running on the beach sand and sand train, I was feeling it. At the halfway mark, I felt relieved to see DSSECRETS and put up a smile...
I thought about nothing but focus on the finish! I was so relieved to hit the Finish Chute!
I have to tell you that I was truly dazed for a few seconds and felt like I was sleep walking! Please bear with me 'cause I'm going to show you what I noticed in DSSECRETS photos!
That first step off my bike going into T2?
At the halfway mark, AFTER I passed D taking my photo, I immediately dropped my head and started slumping my shoulders!
I came to a U-Turn, passed her again with a smile...
Then after I passed her...
No question, it was the biggest challenge in all of the 3 years & 8 months of 60+ races. My first Half in 2012 was a breeze compared to this. A true tell? I never get post-race massages. Another TriFriend saw me hurting & told me they were rolling out muscles...
After going through most of the incredible photos D had shot, I started to feel a little down. Then I saw these....
Rob and Brad, my TriBros, had waited for me to finish long after they crossed the finish line!
My sponsor, and owner of Outspokin Bicycles, Val! She is simply the best. All she had to say was that she was proud of me! Best medal I could have received!
After multiple bottles of water, I hit the oranges! In 1980, I was gravely ill. Oranges gave me the nourishment, comfort, and strength I needed!
These two guys lost 115 & 100 pounds respectively! Casey (29) & I (64) bonded strong last year after we shared our life's rock bottoms! So we had to get this shot on film. The dialog?
Casey... "Remember when we used to throw these down!"
Monty..."A dozen at a time!"
I took one bite, felt like someone hit me in the mouth with a solid bar of sugar, and was afraid I would OD! I threw the rest away after this bite.
Today we are Triathletes! I'm so happy for both of us!
I shared the good, the bad, and the ugly! I thought about the Triathletes on the course who had much larger challenges compared to me. I realized a strength inside I hadn't really thought of testing!
I'm not going to sugarcoat the journey. BUT I will tell you that every step is worth it!
So! I take lessons learned, and I move on to the Tarpon Springs Triathlon in less that two weeks. I am stronger because of this experience, more positive that ever, and blessed to have my wife & friends in my "Tower of Power!"
Thanks for your patience, kindness, and support!
Monday, August 11, 2014
I wasn't going to do Top Gun this year but then I realized it was my first Tri and this was my 1st Anniversary as a Triathlete! My sis came to visit so she could see my Tri and be with me during my procedure. (Which you all know came out with great results!) I had a full SUV with DSSECRETS, my Sis, and Rob, my training bud, with me.
I gave D my smartphone and she shot all the photos here. She did a fab job!
Arrived at the Race Site in Ft DeSoto at 5:45am...a bit late for my preference!
Went straight to transition and got my gear & my thoughts together...
Then Sis & D shouted at me through the fence!
I was so glad my family was with me!
We all headed to the beach where the swim waves were getting ready to rock!
Pre-Tri Photo Op!
Rob instilled confidence and my focus on last year's first. Totally different vibe this year! Love this guy!
My wave went off, I hit the water, and...
I survived with so much more post-swim energy! Training works! That's my Sis, Linnie, to my right, cheering me on!
We had to run quite a distance back to Transition (T1), then off on the Bike...
After an easy ride, made a good transition, was out of T2 and on the run...still smiling!
Have to admit, with a race bib issue and the heat, it wasn't my best run. We ran in the sun for a 1 1/2 miles then returned through the sand by the beach. During the beach run, I did catch up to a woman who was struggling a bit. We ran in together. I told her to take a good breath, get herself together, look pretty, and sprint through the finish! She did that asI followed her across the finish line! When you have so many to thank for getting you to goals and beyond...you pay it forward! THAT was my medal!
At the finish line, returned my time chip and I ran into my Physical Therapy Doctor, Eric. This is the man who suggested I do Triathlons and less Half Marathons. He also suggested I check out entry level Scott Tri bikes. (we both ride and love them now!)
He did my 1st Top Gun with me last year as well. This year, he volunteered. He always tells me how excited he is about how far I've traveled as an athlete this past year.
He took my wet cloth I got at the last run water stop, soaked it in ice cold water then gave it back to me.
Yes, we had a moment and, in an instant, shared the last year together. Amazing how emotional you get when you're physically spent! These are the people I have in my life and they are all amazing!
Finally, I got to see Swim Coach Leo, who conducts our Tuesday Night Open Water Swim Training. He is also on Outspokin Triathlon Team and We will do the Longleaf Triathlon together in October!
He was at the Swim Start for every wave earlier, giving good tips and instilling confidence to all! Now, it was more than appropriate to thank him for his guidance!
I couldn't have a better Coach!
I learned a lot at this year's Top Gun, had another great learning experience, and can't wait to do it again next year! Now, it's time to get ready for the Courage to Tri on August 23 at Sand Key! Woo Hoo!
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my report!
Friday, August 08, 2014
I've been reading over several running forums. I found a recurring theme of Personal Records (PR) & Personal Bests (PB) which made me think.
I've now done enough Triathlons to try to compare my times The swim depended on the day's conditions. They've either been choppy and calm. The bike distance for a Sprint can range from 400 to 750 meters The run can always vary in distance from the fixed 3.1 miles and in altitude. So, I look at my performance relatively.
I always forget, it's the same in any distance running race to a degree. The courses are never the exact distance due to a runner's path. Throw in variations of altitude, U-Turns, road composition, and weather conditions, and that finish time can mess your head!
Did you know each certified course is measured on its shortest possible route, called the route line, or tangent? The goal is to produce road race courses of accurately measured distances. I've run the same course almost tangent perfect and almost lazily! Obviously my distance varies and so does my time.
I love running in Safety Harbor here in Pinellas County. I have no idea what it is but I'm going to do a 5K in 28 or less when I let myself go and not pace myself. I've done PBs in my 5Ks as well as my Half Marathons. I really love running the area.
Now I'm not concerned as much about my Personal Records but more my Personal Best at a certain event. I know I'm better when I run free. I know I need to train well. I step up my pace in all distances and keep on pace or a hair below during run training.
But now, I keep a smile on my face and just run free at races. I never get bummed out anymore if my time isn't what I wanted. I just review the race and see where I need to improve. Normally, it's incident related. I just don't be come obsessed with speed anymore. I look at the challenge instead.
It's funny, I shared my thoughts after Run Club over beers last night. A Tri Bud of mine who is a great biker told me I might be more dangerous now. I said, "I still have to swim and bike!"
I like the perspective of this World Class Olympic long-distance runner hero of mine....
I prefer to focus on how wonderful my life is!
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