Tuesday, August 26, 2014
When I crossed the Finish Line, I realized how fitting this Triathlon name truly was!
Once again, DSSECRETS created a fantastic photographic story of this race and I am so thankful for her effort!
We arrived around 5:30am with more than enough time for me to get situated & relaxed.
After completing my transition area, I went over to say hey to our bike mechanic who volunteered his time for this Tri! Team Outspokin rocks!
Met with my TriBuds and shook out the nerves with idle conversation. Then it was time to go to the beach shore...
Finally, my swim wave hit the 88 degree Gulf waters!
When I got to the first race buoy, I started to feel cramps in my toes, then a minor cramp in my calf. I knew this would be a slow swim. My head wasn't in the right place and I suffered for it! I was totally relieved when I finally left the water!
I made it to Transition (T1), got to my bike, and I was off on a ride taking me over the "Three B!^@^#$...uh Bridges!"
I must say this was the highlight leg for me. I stayed focused, geared well through the course WITH the bridges, and enjoyed the ride. I came into dismount fine.
As soon as I got off my bike, I know I heard my calf scream out for a second! I knew I had to keep moving...
I started my run, focused on finishing!
After running on the beach sand and sand train, I was feeling it. At the halfway mark, I felt relieved to see DSSECRETS and put up a smile...
I thought about nothing but focus on the finish! I was so relieved to hit the Finish Chute!
I have to tell you that I was truly dazed for a few seconds and felt like I was sleep walking! Please bear with me 'cause I'm going to show you what I noticed in DSSECRETS photos!
That first step off my bike going into T2?
At the halfway mark, AFTER I passed D taking my photo, I immediately dropped my head and started slumping my shoulders!
I came to a U-Turn, passed her again with a smile...
Then after I passed her...
No question, it was the biggest challenge in all of the 3 years & 8 months of 60+ races. My first Half in 2012 was a breeze compared to this. A true tell? I never get post-race massages. Another TriFriend saw me hurting & told me they were rolling out muscles...
After going through most of the incredible photos D had shot, I started to feel a little down. Then I saw these....
Rob and Brad, my TriBros, had waited for me to finish long after they crossed the finish line!
My sponsor, and owner of Outspokin Bicycles, Val! She is simply the best. All she had to say was that she was proud of me! Best medal I could have received!
After multiple bottles of water, I hit the oranges! In 1980, I was gravely ill. Oranges gave me the nourishment, comfort, and strength I needed!
These two guys lost 115 & 100 pounds respectively! Casey (29) & I (64) bonded strong last year after we shared our life's rock bottoms! So we had to get this shot on film. The dialog?
Casey... "Remember when we used to throw these down!"
Monty..."A dozen at a time!"
I took one bite, felt like someone hit me in the mouth with a solid bar of sugar, and was afraid I would OD! I threw the rest away after this bite.
Today we are Triathletes! I'm so happy for both of us!
I shared the good, the bad, and the ugly! I thought about the Triathletes on the course who had much larger challenges compared to me. I realized a strength inside I hadn't really thought of testing!
I'm not going to sugarcoat the journey. BUT I will tell you that every step is worth it!
So! I take lessons learned, and I move on to the Tarpon Springs Triathlon in less that two weeks. I am stronger because of this experience, more positive that ever, and blessed to have my wife & friends in my "Tower of Power!"
Thanks for your patience, kindness, and support!