Yesterday was season three, race one in my continuing effort to beat my younger sister across the finish line of a sprint-distance triathlon. You may recall that at the end of last season, after an exhausting amount of incessant training, I came within 19 Stinking Seconds of catching her. Alas, victory was not to be mine yesterday, either, mostly because I didn’t train enough before this race. While I’m proud to say that I did finish the entire quarter-mile swim, 10-mile bike ride, and two-mile run, I must also admit that it wasn’t my best showing. I was actually four minutes slower yesterday than I was on the same course a year ago. Heck, I was so slow yesterday that I actually got passed by a guy with one fake leg.
Actually, I got passed by precisely 245 of the 269 competitors. I know this because women 40 and older, as well as Athenas who weigh more than 150 pounds, were the first wave of competitors into the water. That’s my wave, and I started swimming right at the front. So I was literally in the first row of competitors who went onto the course, and yet 245 people completed the race before I did. That includes the dude with only one real leg, a person with asthma who carried an inhaler, and the two oldest competitors of the day, both of them 68 years old. It also includes the handful of people who were using yesterday’s race to train for even bigger ones, like Iron Man events. While I was gasping for air, singing Coldplay songs in my head to help keep myself on pace, and basically just trying to make it to the end, they were actually sprinting through the sprint-distance course, running alongside professional trainers who carried stopwatches and shouted more things about electrolytes every 10 seconds than I’ve heard in my entire life.
So, kudos to everybody who kicked my butt yesterday. And to my sister, who beat me by 2 minutes and 22 seconds—which is winning literally by a mile in triathlon-speak, depending on how fast you can pedal a bicycle.
As I begin preparations for September’s re-match against my sister during our third-annual race on the much-longer Delaware Diamondman course (0.6-mile swim, 16-mile bike, 2-mile run), you can be sure that I’ll be training much harder than I did for yesterday’s debacle. I also will constantly be reminding myself that I did better yesterday than everybody else on the planet who chose to sleep in. Hey, it’s only fair to give myself a little something for the effort.
Yesterday’s race, by the numbers:
And a few additional statistics, just because they give me hope for the future: