A Day in the Life of a Triathlete: The Event

08.18.2009"The alarm goes off. I look over and it blinks 4:30. I think to myself, no, just a little longer. Snoozing every five minutes, I get up at around 5 am. I start getting my things together in the hotel for what I will need in the transition area. After feeling confident with what I have, I begin to energize myself. I grabbed a couple of mini bagels, spread some peanut butter, and enjoyed the carbs entering my body. I drank a little gatorade to get some of those ""electrolytes"" they claim are in the sports drink. While doing all of this, my brother is doing the same as he is doing the triathlon as well. Around 6:15 am, we check out of the hotel, and head to the site of the triathlon.

By now, my mindset has changed. Its not longer wondering what I will be doing tomorrow, but its focused on what I need to do in order to compete effectively. The time passed by as we set up the transition area, and finally, it was time to begin. We walk down to the lake where we would start the swim. I was the third wave to go, so I watched the first two waves take off out into the dark waters of the lake. Now, its my time to start. The buzzer goes off, and I dive into the water. Lifting my head every so often, I guide myself from the outside of the pack, working my way on the inside, in order to get better positioning when I go around the buoys. After turning around, I look up and think Im almost done. Reaching shore, breathing heavy, I run up to the transition area.

""Gotta hurry up Joe, gotta hurry up."" I throw on my socks, shirt, toss on the helmet, and off I go to start the 14 mile bike ride. At first, I was trying to catch my breath, but eventually I begin to set in, and begin to power through the course. Predominantly flat, I push myself as much as I could, constantly looking down at my watch, seeing what my total time is. Though I did get passed by others on the bike, I put my head down and passed by competitors myself. Around mile 11, I could feel my stomach churning. ""Why does my stomach hurt, I feel like I could throw up any minute. Please God, please let this feeling go away."" And then, the sick feeling was gone, and I raced my way back to the transition area, where I quickly got into my running shoes. ""Oh no, my stomach hurts, I can do this."" And there is was, I threw up right in the woods, not even 100 yards into the run. ""Ok, Im ok, lets keep going."" Not another 50 yards later, it happened again. ""Joe, keep going, you can do this"". I kept running, yet I got sick a third time. ""Should I keep going? I feel terrible"". I hear other competitors telling me ""Hang tough, keep going"". Thats all it took, I continued the run. Pushing through the terrible pain in my side, I ran the 3.1 miles the best I could, sprinting across the finish line, only to top of the race to get sick on more time. I thought to myself after finishing "" wow, I cant say I have thrown up that many times in that short of time in a while. But its all good, I finished thats all that matters.""

My total time ended up being 1 hour, 17 minutes, 44 seconds. I knocked off close to 13 minutes off my last triathlon I did in June. I was pretty excited to see that I was getting better, not to mention I got 9th out of 21 people in my age group. I know I could do better, and now that is my motivation to train even harder. My brother did awesome as well, knocking off 25 minutes off his previous time. So we both succeeded in finishing as well as improving our times. It was a great race, and I really enjoyed it.

I hope any of you who are interested in doing something like this, I encourage you to try it. Its an awesome sport. If you plan on going to University of Dayton, they have a triathlon club which I am joining this year. Its definitely an awesome experience. I hope you guys enjoyed reading about the triathlon. By the way, the countdown continues... 5 days until Dayton! OH YEAH

Be safe and make good choices"