Notes & Asides
- If you don’t like the training, Ironman is not for you. It is persistent. Today is a rest day and it is here. It is part of the day and the night. Thankfully, I enjoy it. Most of the time, I enjoy it a lot. Nonetheless, racing is certainly more fun and rewarding than the training.
- A couple of days ago, I did my first race of the year. It was an Olympic distance triathlon that I’ve done each of the past two years. However, this year it was at a new location. The run was much more difficult due to gravel on 85 percent of the course. Nonetheless, I improved my best time at this distance by 11 minutes. (There is that number again.)
- If racing is better than training, then racing fast is better than not. It is much better.
- Training makes racing fast possible.
- No matter how fast you race, someone is always faster.
- Delayed gratification, life is a journey not a destination, reach for the stars, each journey starts with a single step, nothing worth doing is easy and other assorted aphorisms, cliches and life lessons apply here too. Training is hard; in itself it is a good thing; it can produce great things.
- I wore my new kit for the weekend. The 2XU compression tri shorts and tri shirt are damn fine pieces of gear.
- This was the first race for my new Oakley glasses. They too are damn fine gear. No fogging, no squinting, no slipping, no problems from them at all.
- Swimming well in a clear lake is about 1,000 times better than in a pool. It may be a 1,001 times better.
- Swimming well in a clear lake is better than any piece of gear. Cool water, crisp playful bubbles, warm sunshine upon my back, rays of light streaking past my hands and joyful trees gently bending to the breeze as I peek out for a breath — these are the initial sensations. The beauty intensifies with duration.
- At one point during the race, I was trying to pass some of the people in the wave immediately in front of me and swam straight into a buoy. I smacked my head, whacked an arm and sort of rolled off of it to one side. This is not something to repeat but it was better than about ten minutes later when something else happened for the first time during an open water swim. I was kicked in mouth by someone doing breaststroke. Somehow, I’m sure people in wave one think that starting later is better. The grass is always greener, even in the water. However, I can assure you gentle Internets that starting in wave five and then passing scores of people leaves something to be desired. That something is clear water.
- Running on gravel sucks. Running hard, racing, on gravel sucks even more.
- The swim, bike and run rankings for my age group and for the whole field point out an obvious observation. Swim 4/67 in age group and 11/511 in the field. Bike 14/67 and 60/511. Run 26/67 and 127/511. Relative to others and relative to the three disciplines, I swim better than I ride and I ride better than I run.
- The weekend had more going on at home that with triathlon. As noted elsewhere, the home front is far more fun and more tiring than racing.
- We dug fossils in the backyard, constructed a meteorology lab for the yard from a science kit, collected bugs, made ice cream with rock salt, cream and ice, cooked smores, put up and took down two tents, went to the pool to practice swimming and back floats, ate an excellent dinner and correspondingly good breakfast at our backyard campsite, made up bedtime stories, downloaded a new chess app for the iPad and thrilled a five-year-old with it. In addition, I excelled at delivering nine cubic feet of new sand to the sandbox. I know this last point because @danasfeast told all of the Twitters so.
- That shit is exhausting.
- I skipped a workout yesterday. While I did a 90 minute run I did not do the 45 minute bike. That too was exhausting.