I TRIed

I know it’s been way too long since my last post. Sadly, they seem to be getting further and further apart. I wish I had a good reason, but I used up all my good excuses earlier today. All I can say is I’m sorry, and I hope you’ll forgive me. If you find it in your heart to forgive me and would like to know more about what’s been going on since my last post, I’m more than happy to tell. 🙂

English: Triathlon photographs from the Chinoo...
English: Triathlon photographs from the Chinook-Half-Ironman Calgary Alberta Canada, June 23 2007. more photos of the race visit http://reuben.krabbe.ca Magyar: A kanadai Chinook Half Ironman triatlonversenyen készült képek (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m sure you’re wondering what exactly happened with my triathlon idea. My training started off great and I attended some workshops, but I had to weigh my priorities. I started training less and less to spend more time with my family, which was absolutely worth it. Although my training suffered, I did maintain a steady pace and found myself on the starting line last weekend.

The morning was cool and the fog was thick. The officials delayed the start due to fog, which really didn’t help my nerves. I checked and rechecked everything as many times as I thought necessary. As they began the countdown to the start of the race, I began to feel a little anxious. It was too late to back out, so the only thing I could do was wait for the countdown to end and literally dive in. The race official said, “Go!” and I began the hardest 2 hours of my life.

The swim was no bueno. The fog hadn’t quite lifted and I had yellow-tinted goggles, so trying to find the orange buoys was just short of impossible. I followed the group of swimmers in front of me until I could see the markers. After about ten minutes of trying to find my way through the fog and swallowing a week’s worth of water, I finally made it to shore and began the next leg of the race.

The bike ride wasn’t as bad. I found myself pondering everything that can be pondered on a fourteen-mile bike ride—questions that ranged from, What did you get yourself into? to, I wonder if the people along this route mowed their grass for the event. I finished the bike ride and discovered a small piece of information that hadn’t been passed down to me beforehand: When riding a bike for an hour, jumping off and running is a task that should be respected. My legs nearly collapsed as my graceful dismount turned into a jelly-like jog. I regained my balance and moved on to the run portion.

The last leg of the race was the 5k run. To say it was difficult was an understatement. I knew I could do each of the legs of the race individually, but I hadn’t put them all together  until race day. As I mentioned before,  my legs weren’t very happy with having to do even more than they’d ever been asked to do. The run alone wouldn’t have been too much of a problem except for two setbacks I encountered.

The first setback: a side cramp. Just about the 1k mark, I began to feel a pain in my side that wouldn’t subside until just before the finish line. My second inconvenience: Nature. Oh how she loves to mess with us at the most inopportune times. Not to be outdone by my side cramp, my bladder decided it wanted a piece of the action. I know elite athletes do what they can to keep going without losing time, but I’m an amateur and I’d rather not finish a triathlon in wet pants. I found a bush, lost about a minute, and continued on.

After fighting my body for what seemed to be an eternity, my cramp finally subsided and the finish line emerged from behind the trees. This helped me gain the energetic boost I needed to cross the finish line in full stride. (1 hour 48 minutes 22.3 seconds)

With my family and friends waiting for me as I crossed the line, I smiled. I did it. This race represented so many positives in my life. I finished a triathlon, accomplished a long-term goal, and proved to myself that I could stick with something. For someone with ADHD, it’s hard to focus on small tasks, so this seemed like a mile-long shot in the dark.

Thank you everyone who supported me and helped me cross the finish line.

-Ryan

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