I hadn't done a triathlon since 2016 when I did the half Ironman in St. George and it was negative eleventy degrees and I was being punished by God, probably for being a really bad child in the 90s, and I committed myself to never exercise again.
Then at the end of 2016 I had a nervous breakdown, ate my feelings, and wrote a lot of bad poetry (in my heart).
In 2017 I didn't do any triathlon races and I basically forgot how to swim and by Christmas, I had gained like 30 pounds so I finally decided I needed to get back on the wagon.
I trained for the last five months for this year's St. George half Ironman, which was not easy because it was basically winter in Salt Lake City until yesterday at 2:00 PM.
On Friday at negative 6:00 in the morning, Skylar and I took off for St. George. That afternoon we packed my transition bags and took them to the various locations to drop them off.
The first transition is right next to the lake, where I decided I should probably do a quick practice swim to remind myself how miserably cold the water is.
There were people in wetsuits doing the same thing as me over near the starting line, so I wandered that way. Skylar saw some kids splashing around in the water around a couple of little islands just off the shore not far from the starting line so he told me he was going to go over there and play.
I got in, screamed, flailed my arms around for a while, and then decided that was good enough and went looking for Skylar, whom I found on a large rock out in the water, playing with the kids like he was one of them.
He was not playing with the kids like a grownup does. He looked like a 10-year-old boy at a playground. One who had to tell all his friends that his dad was there to get him so he had to go when he looked over and saw me.
I collected my offspring and we went back into town so I could go to bed at senior citizen dinner hour.
The next morning I got to the starting line, where the lines for the porta potties were so long that they wrapped around the world. Twice.
This caused a bit of a panic, because the race was starting in like 40 minutes and I had to pee so bad.
And the panic grew when they called everyone over to the starting line as I still stood at the back of the porta potty line.
I quickly put on my wetsuit and wandered through the crowd to find my place.
They had all 2,000+ athletes line up according to their expected swim time so that the fastest people were in the front and the slowest in the back. We had chips secured to our ankles so that a person's time would not start until they actually got over the starting line and into the water. This was important because it took nearly an hour for the people in the very back of the group to start their race.
I was positioned somewhere in the middle to second half of the people. And after about 20 minutes, I had to pee so badly that there were nearly tears.
And so, and you can judge me for this all you want, I decided to just pee a little in my wetsuit. I figured that no one would be able to tell. It would just collect in my wetsuit and then once I started swimming it would all get washed out.
Did you guys know that it's not possible to "just pee a little?" That's not a thing. That is not an option for humans.
To make a long story short, things got very stressful after the "just pee a little" decision. Because first of all, I peed a lot. And for the next 20 minutes, the pee slowly made its way down both of my legs WHICH WAS DISGUSTING OMG HOW DO BABIES DO THIS YOUR BABIES ARE GROSS.
But more importantly, I knew that it was only a matter of time before it would start coming out of my wetsuit at my ankles. And all 2,000+ barefoot triathletes who were walking on the same ground as me would know what I had done.
I was like the world's grossest hourglass, taking baby steps with the masses, praying to all the gods that I would make it into the water in time.
Skylar told me after the race that I looked very "focused and determined" as I walked into the lake.
He had no idea.
The pee was at my ankles and just starting to drip out of my wetsuit as I stepped into the water.
I was so relieved to have made it that I forgot to be miserable when I started swimming.
The 2,000+ athletes swam through my urine, and I came out of the water with my fastest ever time (barely).
I biked the 56 miles up and down the mountains, nearly getting my fastest time. And then I ran the half marathon, even though it was so hot that the weather was technically considered a hate crime. I was just a few minutes off of my fastest run time.
I finished in 5:34, about a minute and a half slower than my best time ever (in 2014). And to be honest, I was really shocked. Because I had convinced myself that I was a fat old man now who would never be fit again.
But now that I know that that isn't true, I have new motivation to keep trying out for the Mickey Mouse club.
|With the whole fam-damily.|
~It Just Gets Stranger