Monday, May 13, 2013

Connected - CB & I Triathlon 2013

The energy stirred within me just checking in my bike at the transition area the day before the CB & I Sprint Triathlon. After 40 of these things it is always so refreshing to be there at a race venue. I love these people, this alive and charged environment. I seem to reconnect to part of why I do this stuff. It is my lifestyle. It feels like coming home. • Talking to a nice lady while walking to the race venue before daylight race morning. She’s done several triathlons but none this last year: cancer. This race will decide for her whether she will continue to do triathlons. She is seventy-one: heroine. • In the port-a-john line pre-race. A young female remarks in broken English from the back of the line that she hopes she get’s this bathroom business done, as she has not picked up her timing chip yet. The lady next to go calls back down the line for her to come up to the front of the line and be next. • The male contestant at the swim start dropping to his knees to pray. • My own prayer that I would get through this on my bad leg, for His glory; for His glory. The words resonated: I felt connected. • The wonderful opening prayer. The national anthem. The dawn breaking fresh upon the water. • The painting was complete: Thank you God…Lets go! Slightly crowded at the beginning of the swim; some body contact. Someone grabbing my ankle as I veer off course a little to avoid swimming over someone. My big, boney elbow thumped into flesh. That had to hurt. I say “sorry,” but no one can hear. Completely blinded in the turn. Can’t see the next buoy. I am led only by momentary glimpses into a blinding light. Turn again and vision improves: my body begins to move really well. Now threading through slower swimmers. I am on; into it! So soon, does the swim end so soon? No wetsuit strippers? Oh my, this will be interesting. Tug, pull, grapple, wrestle and finally I am out of that wetsuit: longest transition ever. Starting the bike slowly and people are passing. But, I don’t want to push the bad leg. My caution had little resolve. Three to four miles in and the ride begins to build. No pain! Rock and roll, I’m moving really well; no fatigue. The smooth pavement beckoned me to a higher cadence. I answered. I’m in. How great is this? Now I am passing people; lots of people. Yes! Is the bike over so soon? I almost walked out of the transition area for the run. It hurts, but can’t walk just yet; plenty of road for that yet. Help me here. This is going to be rough. Find the rhythm, however slow. Runners are passing me in droves. Keep the rhythm; for Your glory. The leg hurts with each step. Try not to limp. Many of the people passing me saw my age printed on the back of my right calf and said things like, “you are an inspiration” or “I hope when I am your age I can…..” One man even patted me on the back and said something nice about my performance. “Thank you,” I always replied. Try not to limp, keep the rhythm. The leg didn’t seem to hurt as much. There’s the finish. Focus, rhythm. I hear, the announcer, Jon Walk, calling my name as I approach the finish line. His hand goes out in congratulations. “Good job, Marvin.” I am so into it, I absent mindedly keep running through the finish line chute past the volunteers. “Sir, sir, can we remove your chip? “ I finally stop and a finishers medal is placed around my neck and the chip removed from my ankle. Now the leg really hurts. “Where is the medical tent?” I hobble over there for my first time ever to be in the medical tent. The announcer - again Jon Walk - for the awards ceremony calls out the 3rd place winner in my age group. My expectations for an award were not high. If my age group were sparsely populated I might have slipped into third, but now that didn’t seem to be the case. The 2nd place winner was announced : not me. Oh well, I did the best I could; no regrets. “ And first place is Marvin Dittfurth!” Is this for real? For Your glory – Amen.