Saturday, June 14, 2008

7 days from now

I will either be in my wetsuit milling around trying to be calm, or I'll be frantically running around, trying to put the wetsuit on while setting up my transition area, thrashing around looking for something that is in my tote box but happens to be tucked under a corner of a towel or something. Or maybe that sunscreen stick I'm looking for is the lump in my wetsuit. I remember reading about the guy trying the plastic bag on the foot thing for the first time, and getting one leg into the arm of his wetsuit, and thinking, "that could be soooo me."

But I have my list, I have the beginnings of a schedule, and I'm naturally organized about getting me and stuff into the car and where it has to go.

On time.

Early even.

Like, insanely early, even before they are set up.

Herding everyone around me like a sheep dog on coffee, testosterone, steroids, and viagra ALL AT ONCE.

As my wife could tell you, but trust me, you don't want to get her started on this topic.

I'm even cautious about saying "You married it!" on this topic because she didn't know she had.

But she didn't know she'd married a tri-guy either, though that took mumble mumblety years to come out. She's happy enough about that, and likes the changes all the exercise has done for me. I like them too. Although to be honest, I'm still a tri-wannabe. For another week.

I'm excited and nervous about Chinook, and calm and relaxed at the same time. How is this possible? I'm guessing because the race itself, (but I'm trying not to think of it as a race) is new to me, but the activities themselves are not. Barring some unforeseen setback I know I can complete the distance. IG created a great program that got me out of blob-itude and well on the road to fitness, with more to come. He knows I can do the distance, probably better than I do. It only remains to show everybody else.

The non-tri people reading this might be wondering why I'm not thinking about it as a race. There's a starting noise, right? And you're timed till you finish? And there's other people? And the first people in various categories to finish get goodies? So how is that not a race???

It's not a race in the same way that you golfing with Tiger Woods is not the PGA, and sharing a rink and a puck with Bobby Orr is not the Stanley Cup finals. There is no way I can be the first one across the finish line, not by hours. Some of the people I'll see (briefly, as they disappear over the horizon) are seriously well conditioned and trained athletes by just about any measuring stick you care to use. I expect to learn lots from watching them.

Really, the only competitor in this event is me, myself, and I. Nobody else on the course can help me, and really, excepting a bit of tussling for space at the start of the swim, or an accident, nobody else on the course can hinder me. My finishing time, whatever it might be, is just me. Sure, it's the same course, on the same day, so the temptation is to compare yourself to the other competitors. If you go down that road, you will never think of yourself as a winner, and this is an event where every finisher is a winner.

Even the DNF (Did Not Finish) are winners in that they tried. Maybe they goofed on their race plan, or there was something beyond their control. At least they tried.

Today, while it's still nice, I'm going to go over to the lake and check out the transition area. I'll walk or ride the run route into Fish Creek, and back out again, but I'm not sure if I'll go down into the park itself. There have been flood warnings. Then I'll ride or drive the bike route between 22X and the lake.

After work yesterday I picked up my new wetsuit. I also got a swim cap that I expect will provoke a strong response from Susi. My thought is that sometime this weekend I'll trim my fingernails, put on the suit and cap for practice, then come out of the bedroom and scare the bejaayzus out of Amelia the cat. She's always believed that the two-tonned tusked monster from the black lagoon is coming to get her, and demonstrates this every time the doorbell rings.

Well, it's 8:09, and I'm nibbling on a cookie and sipping good cofffee. Thinking that a week from now I'm going to invite my inner shark to cut loose. Remember, there's lots of things that swim faster than sharks, but none so purposefully, or determinedly.

2 comments:

  1. Awesome post Keith, sounds like you got it figured out. :)

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  2. You are SOOO ready for this event. I'm so proud of all that you've accomplished to date.

    Oh, and I can still remember us in the lunchroom at SEI discussing triathlon when I was training for my first half IM.

    I believe you said to me, 'I know I oould swim that distance. With some practice I could probably ride that far. But you will never ever get me to run!'.

    Huh...who'd a thunk it eh?! Tee hee.

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