Walking on Air
I find I have far fewer foot injuries if I simply levitate an inch above the ground rather than letting my feet hit the actual pavement.
My Tri Team was fortunate enough to see a screening of "What It Takes", a new documentary that tracks four professional triathletes - Peter Reid, Lori Bowden, Heather Fuhr, Luke Bell - in the year leading up to the 2005 World Championship in Kona. Let me confirm what you can probably guess: if you do triathlons, you need to see this movie. Duh.
Yesterday I was a tad upset that my artificially-created tri-hero was cancelling his appearance at our Triathlon Movie screening. (see next post.) But I still went to see the film. I was waiting in the lobby outside the screening room when Tri Team Leader Nabil showed up with the director of the movie. He introduced us: "Mister P., this is Peter Han. Peter, this is the guy with the blog."
I'm very upset.
If you read any of the tri-mags you've probably heard of Sarah Reinertsen. Last year she became the first female above-the-knee amputee to finish the Ironman. I competed with her last week in the New York City Triathlon. (I just love being able to say that. We ran along 72nd street together but no, I didn't say anything.) Well now she's taking on a bigger challenge and will be on the next season of The Amazing Race!
I admit it, I'm a little self-conscious about my weight. But with me it's because I am (arguably) underweight. If any of you are going to start saying "oh boo-hoo, I WISH I had that problem!", STFU; you don't know what you're talking about. Part of my insecurity may have to do with a co-worker who comes up to me once every 2 weeks and says "You weigh HOW much? That's not a man's weight! That's a teenage girl's weight!" (he has a flare for the dramatic.)
Dork that I am, I love cranking through race statistics when they post very detailed results online. It helps me put a little spin on things to create personal victories.
It isn't much fun getting up at 4 am to do a tri, but I managed. I met up with tri-teammates Shelley, Ariff, and Robert, The World's Greatest Triathlete, and we took the shuttle bus to the transition area. I only had about 20 minutes to set up my stuff before we had to clear the area. That should be plenty of time for normal people, but considering that in my last tri I had to go back to T1 twice, I would have liked a little more time to make sure everything was in order. Oh well.
OK, so this whole out-off-state racing is pretty stressful.
Wave starts can be a wonderful thing. You might start a race 30 minutes or an hour before another group, so even if you wind up having the slowest time of the day you can still cross the finish line ahead of many other racers. It's just a nice psychological boost. At my last triathlon, I finished last in my age group and near last overall, but because I was in the first group that started there were still people behind me. (Well, not that many people... even with the head start I was still pretty slow.)
One of my biggest goals for any race is to get the Perfect Race Photo. I've been tweaking things here and there, and I think my photos have improved. Getting rid of the knee braces was obviously a big help (not that I could afford to race without them at first.) I worked on my posing, trying to look determined without looking too staged, or just going for the full smile. And I added a hat to cover up my follicly challenged head.
It seems that a ruffled a few feathers yesterday when I posted the phrase "just a runner", implying that runners weren't as good as triathletes. I'm certainly not one to offend, so allow me to explain myself. I am fully aware that there are people out there who are too uncoordinated to ride a bicycle or who are too afraid to go into the water, and that's just fine. I think it's great that these people are able to look beyond their handicaps and go walking very quickly from time to time. And as triathletes, I think it's important that we don't think of runners as being lazy simply because they only train 3 or 4 times a week. Indeed, on their days off I'm sure they are very busy: perhaps they are working on their needlepoint. Or attending their Stamp Collector Club meetings. I don't know what they do while we're fighting the ocean currents but I'm sure runners get off the couch at some point.
I went for a bike ride in Griffith Park today. About halfway through I stopped back at my car for a fuel break. A guy came up to me and asked if I had an extra Gu (energy packet); his running partner wasn't feeling well because of the heat and she needed to get some nutrients back in her. I was happy to give them a Gu and an extra Gatorade I had (warm, unfortunately). I offered to drive them back to their car but they said they didn't have much farther to go and they would be fine just walking it.