This past Saturday was the big day—the Blaine Triathlon. I had trained hard for the last four months, spent Friday night carbing up at Noodles, and got plenty of sleep. The weather forecast I heard on Friday night for Saturday was the rain was supposed to hold off until Saturday afternoon.
I awoke on Saturday morning after a good night sleep and heard-------rain! “That can’t be right,” I thought. “It will stop in a bit. It’s not supposed to rain”
No, it didn’t stop. I arrived at Lakeside Commons Park around 7:00 a.m. looking for shelter. Fortunately Dave Nyberg from Chain of Lakes had set up a small Chain of Lakes tent. About 15 others from our new congregation arrived and we huddled under the tent. The weather was perfect for ducks, but not for people who wanted to swim, bike, and run.
The organizers of the Triathlon put off the start for a hour, but it became obvious that the rain would not quit. The elite group ran into the water for the swim at 9:00.
My group was one of the last to go. The water was very cold—not surprising. The water was so cold that it took my breath away—a little surprising. When I got about 200 yards into the swim my wet suit felt like it was choking me—a terrible surprise and a very uncomfortable feeling as I was in 12 feet of water. I couldn’t catch my breath and needed a break.
I swam over to one of the boats. “I need to take my wet suit off,” I told the two guys in the boat. They looked surprised. I pulled myself into the boat, took off my wet suit and was ready to jump back in. “Are you sure you want to swim the rest of this without a wet suit,” they asked. “Uh—no.” Just as I wasn’t sure I really wanted to swim in a pouring rain in a lake whose temperature was in the low 50’s.
I told the guys to take me in—but under one condition. I wouldn’t quit unless I could finish the bike ride and run. The guys took me in—and I put on my bike helmet.
The rain hadn’t stopped, but it was a lot easier to navigate a bike in the rain compared to swimming with a wet suit in a lake. I finished the 18 miles on the bike. I got off and could not feel my legs. “This could be challenging,” I thought as I started the run. I have never run before when I couldn’t feel my toes. Fortunately the feeling in my legs came back after a half mile of running.
I’ve run two marathons and have plenty of experience of running while feeling lousy. I plodded along in the rain feeling like a duck for 3.5 miles. I was determined not to stop. When the finish line came I was warmly welcomed by folks from Chain of Lakes and my two favorite red heads. Those two gave me a kiss and a hug, and I was done.
How did I feel—lousy.
Will I do it again—of course. I’m determined to finish the swim next year. I’ve already mapped out a training plan.
On Saturday afternoon I shared on my Facebook page that as Meatloaf sang “two out of three ain’t bad.”
I got up early this morning to go for a bike ride, but was thwarted by------you guessed it—rain.
The experience of the Triathlon was terrible, but I had a blast doing it. I know that makes no sense, but doing a Triathlon makes no sense. I probably won’t figure that out, but I really don’t need to as I have another Triathlon to train for!