Off to the Races
It’s that time of year again. We test another year’s worth of conditioning, training, and refraining from at least the “double-scoop” of ice cream, to see if the efforts have paid off to produce satisfactory results. It’s tri time! Joel races triathlons, for those of you who didn’t know.
But don’t mistake it for a solo sport. He may swim, bike and run by himself, but let me tell you….it’s most definitely a team effort!
I’ve been online researching nutrition and training, biking alongside him during the training runs, kayaking alongside him as he swims, driving alongside him as he bikes. I’ve called bike stores after hours for tube replacements the night before a big race. And of course, I’m not always the hero wife. I’ve thought the training hours were excessive and sneaked chocolate donuts into the house during the all-important training season.
But, I have to admit: Joel’s triathlon hobby is MY favorite hobby.
I love the excitement of waking up at 4am on race morning. Joel, having not slept the night before, has already eaten his oatmeal and started getting nervous. He’s emptied his race bag three times looking for his race number to tack on to his race belt. He’s double checking the fluids he’ll take with him on the bike and airing the tires again. He threatens to leave me at the hotel since he’s sure I’ll make him late. And then, even after I’ve had a shower and gone downstairs to get yogurt and a muffin, we’re still looking for Joel’s race number. And yes, now we are late.
Late, that is, according to Joel. We’re still arriving to the race site two hours before the gun will go off. This means more running back and forth between the van and the transition area so he can look at his bike setup one more time.
He warms up by running so far away I can’t see him and I panic as my watch reads 5 minutes till race start and I know he still has his running shoes on!
Finally, between the break in the trees, I can see him returning. I motion for him to hurry. The swim cap goes on, goggles secured, a kiss goodbye, and he walks down the ramp to the water.
The gun goes off and I usually feel nauseous with nervousness. Joel says that’s when he finally relaxes.
Over the next two hours, he’ll swim a mile, bike 25, and run 6 more. I’ll see him for about a total of 4 minutes and cheer silly things like “Hurry!!” because, although I have an hour to plan between transitions, I can’t think of anything else to say.
This weekend, we’ll go to Kansas City and Joel will take part in the USAT National Age Group Championships.
Good luck, Joel……..from your favorite pit crew girl. I love you and I love being a part of this with you.
Here’s to finishing well.
And to donuts if you don’t!