Second Verse, Same As the First

‘Cept a little bit slower and a little less worse.

Yeah, I was a camp kid. Every summer, I got trundled off to day camp, or when I was older, off to overnight camp. The crazy thing? I loved it. Nothing better than living in the woods with other kids, getting to shoot and paddle and run and play. I even really enjoyed sing-alongs, be they bawdy camp songs or hymns at chapel. Best job I ever had was as a camp counselor, ’cause I got to get paid for playing. And the only evaluations that mattered were then ones at the end of the term when the campers’d bring over their parents to say “Hey – this is Billy. He’s cool”. Well, that and making sure that every night we tucked in the same number of campers that we woke up each morning and hadn’t lost any to drownings, rockslides, snakebites, gunshots, etc.

Anyhow, the long days, stinky clothes, swimming that doesn’t involve chlorine, and questionable eating have me in a camp type mood. Were I not exhausted, I’d try to do something creative like preface each paragraph with song lyrics. Heck – camp songs are pretty camp specific, so I could just make stuff up, ya know…

Anyhoo – Tri number two. I finished. Mission Accomplished.

Fears about the heat were unfounded – today was wet and not hot. Actually, it was kind of freakily similar to the last one weather wise. There were a few more folks at today’s race – I showed up about 30 minutes earlier today than the last time, and ended up with #66 instead of #69. Think there were just over 100.

I cannot emphasize enough quite how cool the folks at Pig Iron Sports are for putting on the series. There’s just a great vibe at the event. No hype, no pressure, just a lot of folks who like a challenge. Seriously, if you’re thinking of a tri and live in Connecticut, you could do a lot worse than leaving work early on a Thursday.

C. pulled out of this race – she hurt her heel last week, and has a trip to the Dolomites next week. I was kind of disappointed, and thought about not going, but ended up running into a couple of people I’d met the last race, so I wasn’t sitting around on my hands waiting for the race to start. Random pre-race observations:
– I have no upper body. My arms look like noodles.
– Real triatheletes could double as sculpture.
– Modesty is in short supply
– Smiles are not

But start it did.

Swim was better this time. I took Annalisa’s advice and did the swim with my arms instead of my life. And y’know what? (What, Jank?) It worked. I didn’t panic, and gained about a minute on the swim. I think that they rearranged the course somewhat, too. From the start, the buoy was lined up with a clearing on the other side of the lake, so it was a lot easier to aim. I bumped into a couple of people, got my goggles knocked off once, but didn’t freak out. Good.

The bike was better, too. No cramps, no squealing brakes. And, I knew the course, so knew where to attack. The folks who organize the race are really good at putting monitors at the turns, and there were a couple of times I got to completely attack a corner. Out pops the crap eating grin again. Not sure if I improved on the bike time-wise, though. It wasn’t painful this time, but I think that pain really drove me the last time.

The run – Let’s just say that I’ve got two lessons learned.
1. Going a little long on a hot day the day before a race is a dumb idea.
2. Even though it is six hours before the start, pizza buffet is not a good pre-race meal.
2a. It doesn’t taste as good the second time.
Somehow, I managed not to puke, even though I did get to savor lunch again. The run just flat out hurt.

But I finished. And finished strong. I spent most of the run chasing two women who came out of the transition at the same time I did. Caught one of them just before the finish, but the other one managed to hold me off, and turned around immediately after the finish. We swapped huge, out of breath grins, and both broke down laughing. Did I mention the vibe at the race is exceptional?

Wow – results are already up. 86 out of 105. If you move the folks who only did 1 bike loop, it’s 83 out of 105.

Hmm, let’s compare with last time

This time: 11:02 swim, 39:15 bike; 26:48 run
Last time: 11:14 swim; 40:29 bike; 26:34 run

Huh – 10 seconds on the swim, over a minute on the bike, and only lost 14 seconds on the run. Not bad improvements for two weeks of kind of random training.

I think I’m officially hooked. And the key, I think, is that it’s a series. Same race, same course – the only variable is me. Kind of like summer camp.

Pushups and situps tomorrow.

6 thoughts on “Second Verse, Same As the First”

  1. Nice work! Hope you have a great 4th of July weekend, too :-) The weather is supposed to better around here, I think?!

  2. Woo hoo!! Kickin’ butt!

    I *do* have to drive right by there on my way home from work…maybe in August I can join you!

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