7/25/2013 2:11:00 PM It's going to be a long, sore Monday
My partners in the Chisago Lakes relay half triathlon. Timmy (at left) is doing the bike leg and Robbie is doing the running portion. I’ll be kicking it off with the swim.
What in the world did I get myself into? Once again, my big mouth has written a check that my body, most notably my backside, will have trouble cashing. A few months ago, a couple of drinks at a local bar turned into a friendly wager between myself and two of my friends and three of our other friends. The wager was simple: each threesome would enter the upcoming Chisago Lakes Triathlon as a relay team in the sprint distance category and the losers would pay the winner’s entry fee and maybe a few more brews to wash down the pain we would all assuredly be in after the event. Well, the three-man team that challenged us backed out of the bet. They say they have other commitments and aren’t able to make it. I say they are scared. We’ll meet in the middle somwhere.
So my teammates, Timmy and Robbie, decided we would go through with participating anyway as kind of a bucket list/I-did-a-triathlon-type accomplishment. But, Robbie -- our runner and the only one of us three who had actually done the required distance of the sprint before -- wasn’t satisfied with just running three miles. That was a piece of cake for him (Everything athletically is a piece of cake for him). He’s done a couple of half marathons before, so he wanted that challenge again since we weren’t being challenged by our friends who had backed out.
So, Robbie, who packs a lot of persuasion in quite a small frame, convinced me and Timmy to bump up to the Half Triathlon event, meaning my swimming distance went from a quarter mile to almost a mile and a quarter and Timmy’s biking distance spiked from 22 miles to 56 miles. Eventually, we relented and agreed, figuring we had a few months to get our training in and we would be ready for the tri on Sunday, July 28. That was a few months ago. This is now. We still have barely trained at all. I made it to my parents, who live on a lake, to swim the distance twice. In the calm of Martin Lake by myself with my parents trailing in their pontoon, I was able to do it with a lot of huffing and puffing involved. Swimming against hundreds of people on a chilly morning with water flying everywhere is going to be a different story. I’m not sure if it will drive me to swim a bit faster or drive me insane swallowing water from the Paradise Park Beach. I can’t speak for what’s going to happen with Robbie and Timmy.
Hopefully the drive of others competing around them (if I don’t set them too far back to start that is) will push them to a faster finish. Hopefully, we can stay out of last place among relays. Hopefully we all just finish the actual race without keeling over and grasping for the local EMT’s. Regardless of our time, whether we are first or last, all three of us are looking forward to the opportunity to participate and appreciate the fact that such an event exists so close to home. We are just three average guys who play casual sports in bar leagues and around town, but we are taking this challenge with a positive outlook and boatload of enthusiasm. Our friends and family have laughed about it for months -- including trying to start a pool big enough to convince me to wear a speedo at the event -- but now that it’s getting closer, they all are supporting us and that drives us just a bit more to come in with a halfway decent time.
For at least Sunday, July 28, 2013, we’ll masquerade as real athletes next to these elite tri competitors. No one is going to mistake me for David Thompson coming out of the water (or while I’m in the water for that matter), but finally being able to see what these guys go through every year after covering the triathlon for the last four years is going to be a blast and something I look forward to. Just don’t ask me about it on Monday morning.