Sunday, May 21, 2006

MEMPHIS IN MAY - OLYMPIC TRI


I want to put on a triathlon for ONLY fat people . . .

I realize it must be one heck of a job to be a race director for a triathlon, especially the size of the one I did today.

Let’s begin anew . . . I don’t want to discourage anyone who reads this post away from this sport and lifestyle by the following rant. Please read, because I have some great stuff in this one too.

Overall, I loved my day today. I think this was a great race venue and a heck of a lot of fun. I would recommend this Olympic Triathlon to ANYONE who is considering taking on the challenge. The first thing that just made my day . . . THEY HAD A 4XL SHIRT FOR ME!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me!!!??? I have a stack of race t-shirts stacked away to wear one day when I am skinny. But I have NONE to wear currently, until now! I am so happy. I might wear it for a month, straight!

My family and I swung by the race site the day before ad met up with Vanilla and his family and we set up the tents and chatted a while. Had lunch and I began my ritual of getting ready for the race; packing the bag, lube the chain, talk to myself about the day to come, all that good stuff. I was going to take a quick nap and head downtown to see my Sister and then eat dinner with some friends.

I did none of that.

I woke form my nap at about 9:30pm, looked around at the unfamiliar place called a hotel room, which I forgot I was there and then turned off the TV and went back to sleep. Sorry friends and family.

The alarm went off at 4:15am and I was up and ready, not really. I heated up some omega oat waffles in the microwave, and jumped in the shower. Loaded up and I was off.

I forgot to mention. I fell asleep on the toilet and woke up 45 minutes later with numb buttocks (es), TMI I know, but it had to be told.

I wanted to arrive at the race site about 5:45am and actually arrived about 6:30 am. Unloaded and went to transition to set up.

WOW.

It was like a sea of bikes. Grace, my lil sis said it looked like a junkyard. After I thought about is for a while, she was right.

Then I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. And . . . You get the point.

Here is rant #1 of 2.
I am fat, I am not a Clydesdale, but a fatsdale. However I see, and I love it, a few folk out there giving it their all and they are more than Clydesdale or Athena. Crap I am 2 Clydesdales.

Here is what I don’t understand. I have done like 13 or 14 triathlons and a couple duathlons. The people who finish with me or just a head of me are usually bigger folk. Now, to their credit they usually aren’t biggun’s like me, but as my beautiful wife so affectionately puts it (and I hate it) fluffy.

For the Sprint tri’s I get a little peeved when this happens, but today I was absolutely fired up! This was an individual start with Pros first, RELAY second, age groupers third and Clydesdale’s and Athena’s LAST.

DID YOU NOTICE R-E-L-A-Y SECOND???????!!!!!!!!! These guys only do one of the three sports, either the swimming, biking, or running, THEY DON’T EVEN DO THE WHOLE THING!!!!!!!!!!!

Now I am speaking on this from a purely safety and insurance platform. Also there is the personal, I felt like I was gonna die today part of it too.

Why would you send the slowest people out last? I can understand sending the Pros out first, common sense, but why send out the biggest people, let me rephrase since I have a couple friends who are Clydesdales who kick everyone’s tail, but why put the group that has some of the folks who will be slow last to start.

What happens as the day goes on? The sun comes out, it gets hot and people, ok not people, I, ME almost die!!!! OK, not really, but go with the effect here.

Also, the people who work the water stations, I have more on THAT in rant #2, are volunteers. Why would you want these poor people out there SO LONG giving some fat ass (I AM SO SORRY TO CURSE< BUT I AM PISSED) like me water when the sun is beating down and they would much rather be doing something else with their time?

Why would a race director who pays a boat load in insurance to run these events want to risk having someone out on the course so long? I know there are ½ Ironman and Ironman races where people are out ALL day, but why make it worse when you can make it better and smarter?

OK, rant #1 is done.

I get in line and I am OFF for my swim. I felt great today in the water. Some guy on the run, as he passed me, told me he was trying to pace me, but he couldn’t keep up. That really made me feel good. The swim was uneventful, but FUN!!!

I cam out of the water and began getting suited up for the bike. I was exhausted for some reason. I am never tired out of the water, but today was a different story. I walked to the mount area and almost fell over. I took a moment, cleared my head, looked around at all of the people and realized, there is no way I can clip in and fall over with this many people watching. I took another deep breath and cleared my head again, clipped in and . . . DIDN’T FALL! Wo Hoo!

The bike course. Very uneventful again, but very windy at some points. The other thing that was actually funny to me on the course was when I was chugging up ONE of these hills and the wind was head on, I thought back to the MIM website description of the course. They have it listed as flat. I chuckled and realized how we all think of things geographically. In Louisiana, this was hilly!!!!!!!!!!!

My max speed was 34mph. My min speed was 8.

I came in on the bike, walked slowly to my rack. I will tell you that that was the longest walk. The sun was blazing, I was dead tired and I think I chose to quit about three times before I made it to my rack, but my body wouldn’t listen, stupid body!

As I exited the transition I saw Vanilla (Charles), oh how I envied him, he was done, ready to relax, have a beer, and eat some BBQ. I spurted out something like, “I’m never doing this race again!” He looked at me confused. I didn’t mean it, well, I did at the time, but this was a great race and I will do it again, especially if they take my suggestions and tinker with a few things.

I walked. It was all I could do to walk. My hip hurt, my legs were cramping, did I mention it was blistering hot? After mile 3 I decided to quit again. And I did.

I said that I had enough of this crap and I quit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was talking to myself, cursing, spitting, gnashing of my teeth, I was DONE! All I had to do was walk back to the finish line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really did quit, but I had to get back?

As I passed the 4 mile mark I was so excited because I knew there was one of those GREAT water stations there. The previous ones were my savior and this one was the most needed one yet!

I make the turn and see the . . . The . . .

There is no one there, wait I see the truck is still there, but where did the people go? There are three more people behind me, I thought to myself, then right back to me selfishly, WHERE ARE THE WATER PEOPLE!!!!! MY SAVIORS!!!!!!

Rant #2

I get up to the station and there IS A GUY THERE!!!!! Oh thank goodness!

He is sitting on the back of his truck, not happy to be there and not moving an inch. I say hello, he nods. He is then talking on a hand held radio about how many people are left and how much longer does he have to wait. I am looking for water.

I see lots of Gatorade, no water. My stomach could not handle anymore Gatorade. I look back at him, he’s not looking at me. I look in one of the two coolers, nothing, I look in the other, nothing, I grab a Gatorade, throw it back and that was the second most disgusting this I have ever had in my mouth. Number one was spoiled milk. HOT, I mean H-O-T HOT Gatorade.

I took some down and spit out what I couldn’t get down. I looked back at the guy again, he is busy. I walk off cursing, AGAIN! It was a theme today.

I get to about mile 5 and a poor guy pulls up beside me in a truck and asks if I am ok. Now, I have had no water in blistering heat and I am two steps from passing out. I ask him, are you a race person, he says yes, I UNLOAD ON THE POOR GUY. He kindly says he will go get me some water. He does. HOT BOTTLED WATER! But it was better than nothing. I thanked him over and over since I felt bad for unloading on him.

Rant #2, complete.

I made it to mile 5 and the water station was again unmanned, but they left me a nice big cooler, bucket of COLD water. I tell you, I almost dove in it, but I wouldn’t have fit and I might have drowned, so I just poured cup after cup after cup on me. AHHHHHHHH!

The last mile.

My poor sister and Mom Daudet. This is the second time she has seen my wrath at a race. I am so irritable and today was even worse. They waited in that heat at mile 5 to walk me in. What did I do? Yelled at them to go to the finish line! I felt bad. I get so deflated when someone walks me in. it is a personal stupid thing, I need to work on that.

I CROSS THE FINISH LINE, even though I quit a few miles back. After 6.2 miles in the heat and sun, the pavement throwing the heat in my face, I walked right into the lake. Clothes, shoes, everything, right into the lake.

It was the best feeling. Cold, wavy, oh I was in my little piece of heaven.

My friend Lane was trying to say hello to me, but I was having none of it at that moment, but after a while I said hello and met some other folks from BT.

Dwight, Janet, and Robin all helped bring my stuff back to the truck, he sat and chatted up and I ate some of Dwight’s famous chicken and potato salad.

Grace and I came back to my hotel where I have been cramping and puking for about 3 hours. I figured I would write this to get my mind off of it.
It was a great race and I will do it again. Thanks to everyone for your words of support and kindness.

Until Heatwave!

10 comments:

Lane said...

No worries brother, I wish I was as smart as you to go dive back into the water. All my pleasure is seeing you today! Great job on terrible conditions...you have more heart than any of us!

Lane

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of you....I don't know how you do it!

Okay...you're the one who brought up the dangerous posibilities. I would feel much better if you got opinions from three doctors (not just a second opinion)about the true dangers of heat stroke and the stress on your heart.

Momma

Anonymous said...

You finished your first Oly, that is an accomplishment you can be proud of.

-brandy

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see even though you "quit" on the run you're still doing it again next year. :) (Completely blows about the water stations, though - I would have taken someone's head off.) Congrats on the first Oly in the bag!

- Cindy
BodyCheck over at BT

Anonymous said...

My wife and boys were standing up on the top of the hill cheering you in -- I'll never forget it.

Congrats on your Oly -- it was my first too.

BT/grems8544

Scott Audas said...

Hey Man,

I think I started right behind you? There was some confusion because they put you between 1422 and me (number was 1424) and your number was under 1422? You told the guy he couldn't count. (Priceless comeback) Was that you?

If so, I'm proud of you! I don't even know who you are BUT I'm proud of you!

Keep it up brother!

Scott
6'2" 245 lbs
Finished 3:31:46 BIG BOYS ROCK!

Anonymous said...

Goose bumps! great blog. great job getting over the finish line. You should be really proud of yourself!

la_guerita BT

la_guerita said...

WELL DONE! you should be very proud of yourself. esp for pushing past so many frustration.

la_guerita BT

Sherri said...

Way to go Chris!!

Anonymous said...

Hey chris, Visited Capital bike on Essen yesterday, saw your bike and equip, they said to say hi and to check out blogs, L. Fall from Alex said same, if you could email me I'd like to get some info on clothes / equip form your perspective,
I am bigger than you and have a tri, my first, coming in september. Inspiration, determination, barrier breaker, what else can I say, you got it goin on, dude. Can't wait to meet.
Emile