Wow! A lot has happened since I last blogged. Well, a lot relative to my level of activity. Sometimes we bloggers are a little like those 70s singer-song writers. We got to write about every little thing that happens to us.
Well I went to the store to get a case of beer
Met an old girl friend and we talked for an hour
She’s married to some dude and I’m still doing my thing
You know what I’m talking about.
Did I ever tell you about the time I put salt in my energy drink? Oh yes, it’s worthy of a whole blog post and…oh, nevermind.
Here’s something we’ll all be interested in-my Stockton Lake Tri Wildlife Challenge race report! OK, I don’t do race reports, I just write about what I can remember. What I can remember is 11th place overall out of 40 (long course) and 2nd (out of four) in my age group. That’s what I love about these small races-I have a chance of winning something. I just considered this race a training day. I had a two-hour run on the schedule, but then this came up so I went for it. I wanted to get another tri under my belt this year anyways in preparation for Ironman Louisville.
My times are what they are:
1000 meter swim: 23:08
20.8 mile bike: 1:10:02 (17.8 MPH)
10K run: 23:57 (8:38 pace)
OK, so 2nd place in my age group with those times means there weren’t a lot of fast guys there, but that’s not to diminish the achievements of the winners. The overall winner finished in 1:57:58. The amazing thing about that is the dude is 53 years old! What the heck? The winner of my age group finished in 2:09:29. He was also 2nd overall. One other thing about the results – I beat all the girls! Woo hoo! Once again, gotta love these small races and enjoy it while it lasts. I’m sure next year I’ll be smoked by some even older dudes, and probably some older ladies.
I encourage everyone who can to sign up for this race next year if they have it. This was the inaugural race. It’s nice two-loop swim in Stockton Lake, which is a clear-water lake. I’d never done a two-loop swim, so that was cool. The bike course is hilly, but no long climbs. The hills aren’t rolling, they’re better described as jagged. No sooner do you get to the top of one and you’re immediately zooming down the other side. The run takes you across asphalt roads, a winding trail through the woods, across the dam, and then back.
Oh, I did win something, besides the finisher medal. My number got drawn for a door prize. It was a race belt with a magnetic clasp. So that’s something.
Just a couple more items. I’ve started using salt tabs during training, and I used them in the Stockton Tri. I really think they are helping me stay hydrated. Since I’ve begun using them I haven’t felt sick during those long, hot runs. I first experimented with salt by putting a teaspoon in my water bottles before heading out, but even that amount makes it taste way too salty, like when you swallow the Atlantic or something. The salt tabs are much more tolerable. Whether it’s the placebo effect or they really do help my body absorb the fluid I consume I’m going to keep using them for long workouts and long races.
The other thing about the race is that it reminded me how thankful to God I should be for the blessings I enjoy. As I ran across that dam I looked down over a beautiful, green valley and it seemed like I could see forever. On the other side was the glistening lake. I reflected on how blessed I was to have a healthy body, healthy enough to complete a tri on my own two legs. I thought about my beautiful family, including my wife and daughter who were waiting for me at the finish line. At that point I wondered what the hell I had to complain about. Nothing. I had nothing to complain about. Thank God for the means, the health, and the support I have to participate in this hobby we call triathlon.
There is a verse from one of those singer-songwriters that goes through my mind during a long training session or race. It’s from the incomparable James Taylor and it’s basically a prayer:
Won’t you look down on my Jesus
You gotta help me make a stand
You just gotta see me through another day
My body’s aching and my time is at hand
I won’t make it any other way
I know what he’s talking about.