Goal Race!

Notes from the Rochester Triathlon 

Goals are supposed to be meaningful. They're supposed to be realistic, attainable. How many times have you heard that? I've never believed in that SMART goal philosophy and you shouldn't either when it comes to personal goal setting. Hey, goals don't have to be realistic. If your goals are realistic (with all respect)  you're shooting too low. If you're looking for whats attainable you're not looking deep enough. 

On July 2, 2013 I woke up early and said in that most inner personal voice...enough. I"d gained too much weight, gotten too soft, and carried an excess of stress related to experiences I wanted to do and never did. That day, a little over a year ago, is when my goal became to complete the Rochester Triathlon in 2014.  At a weight of 255 pounds and forty-eight years at the time, some might say that completing a triathlon (even a sprint distance race) was not realistic or attainable.  Some might say that given my state of health and family history competing in such a demanding race could even be dangerous. 

After a steady increase from walking to running and gradual change in food consumption,  I'm fifty pounds lighter and down ten inches in waist size. I've completed three 5K races and two sprint triathlons by August, 2014. Whats more is the fact that I've not done any competitive running or swimming in nearly thirty years. 

Completing a triathlon may not have been a realistic or attainable goal last it is reality. 

Shameless fitting room selfie 
This shameless selfie was taken in the fitting room of Fleet Feet Rochester while scoping out a running top. The picture was sent to Joanne for approval of color and style.

What did they say?

At the start line, Durand-Eastman beach during the mandated safety briefing. I didn't hear a word of the briefing after they announced the water temperature.

Jyl and Marybeth are playing in the sand.

This shot was taken by a coworker who's husband was also running. I'm just getting out of the water after a lackluster swim. Just could not hit a pace or rhythm despite mild water conditions. Notice the young person darting past me? He she wasn't the last to do so...

The bike lifted spirits out of the water. The pace was good and I felt comfortable with pushing a little harder than at Shoreline. Having people zip past wearing aerodynamic helmets, riding bikes that cost more than my car was somewhat annoying.

No glacier in NY faster...

And then...the run. Normal pace is pedestrian. Race pace is glacial. Slow but got it done.

Paced by my son, Ricky 

Ricky jogging along the run route. He's pacing me, encouraging me as he's done at the 5K's. At 6'3" and 190 pounds, Ricky is a gifted sprinter/middle distance runner. His dad (obviously) is not.

Triathlon is an individual competition but a family event.

At the end of the race. Goodies and snacks but no hugs. I sweat too much. My friend Greg had the quote of the day when he pointed at my jersey asking: "is that all sweat?"


Race Review: My First Triathlon - Shoreline Multisports Festival

Today I finished my first triathlon. The Shoreline Multi-Sports Festival included a 5K, a duathlon, and the sprint distance tri. Its a cool coincidence that this, my first tri, would be held in my hometown  of Hamlin, NY.  This sprint distance triathlon consisted of a 0.5 mi swim, 15.7 mi bike and 5K run.  I finished 96 of 104 with a time of 2:17:24. The important thing is that I did finish and loved it!

This is the view from the transition area looking at the swim start. Lake Ontario, notorious for difficult water, was calm and smooth.

Getting out of the water after a brief warm-up. This would be my first time swimming in open water. If only I could've remembered what I learned in training! Getting mixed up in the pack of swimmers got me kicked a few times and made the swim a lot harder than it needed to be.

Coming up the ramp towards transition area. Grateful to be on land and able to breathe!

In transition area (T1) from swim to run...was having a hard time tying my shoes at this point. I'd decided to leave my spare running shoes (normally used to bike) in the car to save time. Bad decision. What became my only pair of shoes were soaked by the end of the 15.7 mile bike.

Back in the transition area for T2. Being familiar with all the roads was a blessing and curse. Although I know exactly where I was and how far I had to go, the familiar surroundings lulled me into thinking this was a training ride. I simply biked too slow. 

Exiting T2 and starting the four-mile some very wet shoes.

A good run. I never felt stressed on the run. My legs gave their typical rebellion of pain and tightness going from bike to run, but after the first mile had softened. 

I used to volunteer with Hamlin Ambulance...

At the finish line
Joanne and kids at the finish line

With my sister, Kris