Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Individual" Sport?

In it's original form, triathlon was supposed to be an individual time trial in three sports. There are even penalties for drafting or receiving "outside assistance" during a race. Supposedly it is the quintessential, individual sport.

But does anyone get to the finish of an Ironman race alone, completely under his or her own mental and physical power?

I suppose there could be some stud out there who never doubted his own ability, never struggled, never turned outside himself in need of assistance or encouragement. Show me that person, and even if it is true I'll show you an insufferable egotist. More likely, it is not true, and he's either self-deceived or ignoring the elephant in the living room--his own shortcomings.

Can someone reach the finish line of an Ironman alone? I don't know, but who would want to?

This weekend, I did not take to the open water alone. Who would want to?

I did not sweat on the bike alone? What's the fun in that?

I followed someone who had been there before, someone who has taken any number of TNT trainees through their first open water swims.

I followed in the tracks of an Ironman.

Who better to show the way than a pathfinder?

I had to be in Dallas this weekend on family business, and Boomer took me to Lake Grapevine, the same place the Team In Training swims on Thursday nights. 2400 meters later, I had again learned more about how to be successful in open water--what to do with my brain in the middle of the swim when it feels like no progress is being made as well as how to balance the body, breathe, and swim effectively in some chop kicked up from the wakes of boats.

Then, on Sunday it was off to White Rock Lake on a top 10 weather day of the year for a moderate four hour ride. I got to test the new gearing on Carmen Tequilo, and she was totally sweet, smoothe a silk. 38/53 in the front and 12/27 in the back--it was like having half a dozen more options than before. Wildflower would have been somewhat less disasterous with that kind of setup.

And no trip to the Metroplex would be complete without dropping some cash with Lance Armstrong's original sponsor--the Richardson Bike Mart.

Yeah, I supposed I could have gone solo riding and swimming this weekend, and I suppose the physical benefits would have been about the same. But I do an individual sport, not a solo journey.


Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

excellent post

21stCenturyMom said...

Sometimes it is ALL about the training partners. Geting to the finish line is all about what goes on in your head but getting ready to make that journey takes a village.

Sounds like a great weekend!

Coach Tammy said...

I love that store! Spent some pretty pennies there myself two summers ago. Just drooled on the $10k Livestrong bike....drooooool.

Shelley said...

I can't wait to see that store!!! AND hey...if you had one person to show you to the finish line at any IM, I would pick triboomer too!!!!!

Bigun said...

Triathlon is way-better when training and racing with friends. It seems to be easier to do alone - making it social takes a little effort - coordinating meeting times and phases in training schedules, but it's worth it. Looks like you had an awesome weekend.

Rural Girl said...

You bet. Without my family, friends and raceAthlete this would all be too hard.

Laurie said...

Look at that! You are smiling in the first pic! :)

Training partners, virtual and in real life, make Ironman doable.

stronger said...

Who would want to? Nice question. Wish I didn't have the answer ;)

Andra Sue said...

Glad you got out to The Big D this weekend; hope you enjoyed it. The weather was divine. I wonder if you passed me by on Sunday out at WRL? :)

p.s. how many freaking loops did you do to get 4 hours!?

Bolder said...

you're back on track!