Tagged with: ‘redondo beach’

June 16, 2009 My first triathlon

Before I begin I would like to note the following.

I have never ran 2 miles in my life.
I have never swam half a mile in my life.
I have never swam in the ocean before.
I have never swam in a wet suit before.
I have never done any of the above the day after shooting a full day wedding.
Oh, and I can’t swim freestyle.

Now I would like to list the legs of the sprint triathlon in the order that they happen:
1/2 mile swim
6 mile bike
2 mile run.

Now I shall begin.
Saturday, full day wedding. Saturday night, drove to Redondo Beach. Sunday morning woke up at 5am to bike to triathlon area.

I get to the location and try to check in and they don’t have my packet at the check-in booth.  This was the first sign of a what turned out to be a dreadful morning. But after all the prep work, getting settled, and breakfasting my friends Eric, Michael, Stephen, and my girlfriend Rosalva scurry to the beach to warm up.  Soon after a proud 13 year old trumpeted the National Anthem in front of the crowds of hundreds the buzzer rang and all the white caps (male ages 14-35) ran into the water like it was a Black Friday.  I was doing pretty well at this point, but by the time I got to the first buoy (there were three) I was already showing signs of exhaustion.  Since I only know how to do breast stroke I kept swiping at some dudes butt, and kicking some guy behind me in the head. Thankfully, there are lifeguards who sit on top of surfboard to watch out for people who might need help (people like me,) and after a while I basically swam from lifeguard to lifeguard to clutch on to their board for dear life. My breast stroke allows me to bob my head up and down through the water so I can see who’s around me. I’m a white cap, so initially I’d bob and I’d see lots of white caps. White cap, white cap, then nothing. Red cap, red cap, the nothing (red caps are the next wave.) So at that point I started to realize I didn’t train enough.

The last lifeguard I clutched on to was really nice and offered to swim next to me if I needed help, so I was accepted her help and continued to swim for about another minute and then gave up again.  I told her I was done with the swimming (this was past the second buoy) but I wanted to finish the other two legs.

If that’s not bad enough, here’s where it gets worse. I get on to her surfboard and this poor lifeguard girl is paddling for the both of us. I was just slumped over on her surfboard and looked something like this without the smile.
cream day spa relaxation My first triathlon

So I’m just laying there while she’s working hard and paddling and eventually she gets tired too so she signals for a tagteam to another female lifeguard.  I make the transfer except this new lifeguard didn’t have a surfboard I could lay on, just a floaty thing so I had to swim again.  Since I didn’t swim all that far I wasn’t very far from the throngs of people still waiting at the starting line who I’m sure saw me come up on shore half way.  At that moment I gave “walk of shame” a whole new meaning. I also experienced extreme lightheadedness, and I remember thinking to myself “if there was anytime in my life that I was going to pass out it would be now.”

After swimming comes the biking leg, and that’s where I planned to dominate.  That thought was squashed when I saw old people, little girls and little boys pass me.  I couldn’t catch up to anybody. I tried drafting, nope.  I even tried to follow behind attractive woman, nope. Nothing worked.  Then I finally completed the loop only to find out I had to do another loop, but I could’ve just cheated and went ahead into the transition space. That would’ve been uber disgraceful, I couldn’t do it. But I did think about it.

Finally, the running part came.  By the way I experienced cramps in every leg of the race in different parts of my legs. This is the part where I felt like the fat kid in middle school who gets lapped by everybody. I wasn’t even running it was more like a jog, and I would stop when I got cramps. Near the very end it got so bad that this old lady came up to me and volunteered to walk with me who wasn’t even part of the race.  I was so close to the end but I couldn’t move because my body was freaking out.  I stopped momentarily and immediately after the second to last sensor which was about 50 yards away from the finish line.  Someone form the crowd yelled to me “That’s not the finish man!” but I couldn’t do anything because the leg cramps were so severe.  Eventually I mustered the strength to start walking, 40 yards, 30 yards, 20 yards then suddenly my girlfriend who looks like she’s having a great day passes me and manages to blurt out “hey” and smile before she ran to the finish leaving me in her dust.   At ten yards I managed to skip-limp which is something invented at that moment during the final home stretch.  I always imagined going past a finish saturated with glory and pride, but it felt more painful and shameful than anything. But I did it icon smile My first triathlon

That is the pathetic story of my first triathlon. I give you permission to laugh at me. Here are some photos.
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