Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Event: Bike and Run

I was ready. Things felt right about the bike. The course was meandering at first but the pavement was so much smoother than that I train on. The open road and riders were getting passed in droves. I was into it. A few good athletes passed me, but generally, I just worked my way through the field. In most cases there was no straining to pass, I just went by in another mode. This was so much fun. On the second loop I was moving along well about 21 mph when a group of young men down on their aerobars, passed me. They were obviously in another league above me, but for some reason, today, I thought I wanted to go with them. Somewhere I found another gear in my spirit and I did. I stayed with them almost to the transition area. This was a great ride. I had pushed myself almost to reckless abandon, not fearing the price I might have to pay on the run to come. The run wasn't bad at all - a first. Then the heat and the cost of the bike ride began to take its toll. It was time to pay my dues. The course twisted and turned, jumped up and down curbs with me, as I just plodded on. It was hot and humid; regular summer Texas. I was passed by a 74 year old man. Way to go! The only thing I had going for me in this miserable run was that I didn't want to walk. Oh, but I wanted to. Finally, I was on the last incline and could hear the crowd. Then, I saw the finish line, and my ever-faithful wife, cheering, taking pictures, like I was winning the race or something. I felt so blessed. Thank you God. I was wobbly on my feet when I stopped to have my timing chip taken off. The volunteers thankfully had ice bags and iced towels for the finishers. I put the ice on my head, wrapped the cold towel abound my neck and wandered about a minute or two. With such a slow run, I was surprised to find that I was second in my age group. I am thankful for that, my trophy, my great swim and that great bike ride where I had the courage to extended myself. Would I do the bike like that again, knowing that the run would beat me up like it did? Call me a slow learner but the going up was worth the coming down. Of course, I would.