I’ve often said “I might do a triathlon”…..this was generally followed by “yeah, right” like some Tui beer ad. That was until I visited a close friend of mine who, after recently smashing one of her goals and running the equivalent of 2100 trips from my car to the McDonalds counter (to those not interested in consuming a Quarter Pounder with chicken sauce/mayo, that is a marathon – 42km).
What made this visit different was the fact that we spoke about the Bribie Triathlon and before I realised it (I am convinced she used some sort of hypnotherapy or subconcious suggestion techniques), I had registered myself to compete.
No other words for it, amazingly simple. I hadn’t even really realised I was ACTUALLY going through with it until the congratulations email popped up in my phone notifications. Oh, did I mention? Registration was completed solely through my phone. I was able to pick the date that I was going to participate – November 26, the event I was going to participate in (short course, long course, short swim, long swim, Team – short, Team – long) – eventually going with the Short Course and I was also able to select my age group or…….weight class.
I’m a husky lad. I’ve been a larger bloke for a long time and while I have whittled my weight down over the last couple of years from 140kgs, I am still dancing the fine line between being in the “hundy club” and not being in the “hundy club”. Bribie Tri are fantastic though and have made this category “Clydesdales” – making me feel like I am a workhorse. Strong, athletic, powerful with a long flowing mane and a giant………pair of shoes.
Admittedly, it is at this point that I have to be completely honest and admit to my lack of buildup to this particular event. With my recent foray in the cage with Wimp 2 Warrior, I felt unbeatable, I felt bullet proof, I felt as though I didn’t need to add additional training to my current Wimp 2 Warrior Season 2 regime.
Did I go for a swim leading up to the Bribie Tri……No. Did I go for a bike ride leading up to the Bribie Tri……No (unless you count the Assault bike at Gamebred Academy. Did I go for a run to prepare myself for the Bribie Tri….No. Should I have done all of these things prior? Without a doubt.
I almost called it 2-minutes in. I got a little gung-ho, displayed my amazing sprint prowess to get as close to the front of the pack as I could…..before getting kicked in the temple and almost knocked silly (well, sillier). This saw me decide that I must be able to breathe in water, which I quickly discovered that I couldn’t, before also discovering that this…is what it is like….to drown.
Lifeguards were on hand though, zipping around, overseeing the struggling masses in their fluro yellow swimming caps – another first for me was donning a rubber half condom on the old noggin, making me looking like a giant version of Bert’s (from Sesame Street) knob. 2 minutes in, breathing in water after someone karate kicked my melon, I thought about raising my hand and calling it quits.
Just keep swimming – Dory, Finding Nemo
I rolled onto my back to calm myself down, get in some of the delicious oxygen, spit out some of the Bribie salted libation and wave off the lifeguards….literally, wave them off. They came to check if I was ok, that’s how drowny I got. I asked them, politely, to bugger off as they were causing waves.
I have now learnt that I like to cycle. I guess these Maori thighs have their uses and propelling myself at quite a vigorous clip upon the 2 thin wheels of a roadbike was something I was pleasantly delighted to learn that I enjoyed. Granted, clipping my feet in after kicking my waterlogged body through the swim section was amazingly difficult and invariably gave some seasoned professionals on the sideline a little bit of a giggle, but once I got going, I felt as though cars had nothing on me (at one stage feeling like I could challenge a police motorbike to a race).
Encouragement from my fellow mentally unstable participants made things sooooooo much easier. As I overtook someone, I would get comments like “nice work” or “that’s it, push, push, push” or “go hard” or “nice arse”……ok, I may have paraphrased that last one, but I’m sure someone was thinking it. The culture at this event is fantastic, even though the bike seat was doing it’s darned to slowly invade my spleen, I was being encouraged to push myself further that I have before.
The homestretch came into my line of sight as I racked my bike to enter the run phase. After donning the old faithful Brooks, I wearily trudged (or wobbled, I am not sure, I haven’t seen any video footage to confirm) toward the finish line. Multiple times I found myself wishing I had decided to train beforehand, wishing that I was fitter, wishing that I hadn’t even registered to participate, wishing I could catch that fit old codger that overtook me a second ago.
Once again, the culture of the fantastic people came to the fore as I attempted to stop running a number of times.
Attempt 1: a soft hand in the middle of my back assisted in propelling me forward as a nice lady said “keep going, you’ve come so far, we’ve got this”….and I thought “you know what, I think I really do”
Attempt 2: the impetus provided by the earlier encouragement, well and truly worn off now, sees me attempt to stop running again. Two steps into a walk and I hear “come on buddy, not far to go now, almost there”…..and I thought “you know what, I really am”.
Attempt 3: admittedly, this one was close to the line. I thought to myself “surely they’ve had Clydesdales walk over the line before” when suddenly, a little kid run past me (damn youth), I thought to myself “bugger that, I’m not letting this kid beat me” before throwing my complete mass into what I would describe as Usain Bolt seeing a camera just past the finish line, and beating that little kid like the…..well, like the kid he is (I feel bad now).
Exhaustion vs Accomplishment
I was sore. I was tired. I was craving a Krispy Kreme donut more that anything I have ever wanted in my life, but I had done it. I had completed my first Triathlon. Granted it was a short course (300m Swim, 10km bike ride, 3 km run), but the feeling of accomplishment was indescribable….really, I can’t describe it. Probably because I was too exhausted to try and remember the feeling.
Will I do it again? yes. Will I train beforehand? Yes. Will you do it with me?……
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