Give me a Q!…. Give me a U!…. Ok, that’s enough. With only 3 days left until the Queen of the Hill Sprint Triathlon, cheering best describes how I feel. Now is that cheering in excitement and anticipation of the event? Or cheering in relief of being only days away from being done with my 1st “official” triathlon? Up to you to decide.
To start with, after a very hectic week in Boston, I am much relieved to be back home in NJ, running, riding and even (gasp) swimming outdoors. I was able to stick to my training schedule while on the road, but I found it challenging to push myself and get in as intense of a workout in the hotel gym as I do in the lovely outdoors of Mullica Hill. Add in the fact that the hotel pool was smaller than most backyard pools and you can imagine how difficult it was to get in a good swim when it’s pretty much eight strokes across each way. (If only I knew how to do a flip turn….next year….next year).
Probably one of the most interesting parts of the week however was meeting a gentleman by the name of Wayne Kurtz. Does this ring a bell? It didn’t to me either, but take a moment and Google him, or better yet, just read on for a brief synopsis. He’s a pretty fascinating guy. But who is he exactly and why should you care? Well, he’s an ultra triathlete. He competes in deca Ironman’s. Yes. That’s right. He competes in 10 Ironman triathlons @ one time. I don’t have the exact specifics in front of me (oh but I did look them up) and to summarize- it’s a crazy amount of swimming (like 20 miles), an insane amount of biking (think 1,000 plus) and 10 full marathons (over 200 miles. On foot). At one time. With very little sleep in between. If I remember correctly, the swim takes approximately 15 hours and then it’s right to the bike. There is about 2 hours of sleep each night. I might be wrong about this, (you have to know I spent a good deal of the 1st five minutes speaking to him with my jaw on the floor and a huge amount of disbelief nagging at my brain), but I am pretty sure he told me that he once competed in a Deca on a 1 mile track! Needless to say I was fascinated. How can you not be? But check him out for yourself. He has a website, a blog and a book titled Beyond the Iron.
Bottom line, this is all good stuff, but I also feel it ties in with the approaching tri this weekend (at least for me). How so? Ever feel so tired trying to fit it all in and continuously training for 3 sports? Me too. And while I’m not trying to downplay what I’ve been doing this spring, none of it comes close to the training and fortitude it takes to complete such distances as a half, full or deca Ironman. But that isn’t meant to sound defeatist. In actuality, I found some extra motivation in meeting Wayne when I took to the ows at Lake Gillman Monday night. A 1/2 mile vs a 1/4 mile? You got it! No problem! Thank god it isn’t 2, 3 or 10 miles! The other motivating thing that happened simultaneously, but unrelated to my chance encounter last week, was that after 4+ months of training for the tri, I have finally found a way to enjoy the swim. While I originally thought I would be fearful of the open water swims, they have been quite nice (minus the browning of Lake Wenonah), as I find they’re peaceful and serene with blue skies and beautiful trees aligning the water.
So the truth is, I am very much looking forward to this weekend’s triathlon. I have learned and found a passion for two additional sports, finally shaken the last of the baby weight that haunted me for almost a year, and made some fantastic new friends along the way. Thanks for coming along for the ride (swim and run). See you at the finish line!
(oh and despite my assurances this was my only tri of the season, I will see you @ SheRox too. Guess the sport of tri-ing IS addicting).