Training is good and it helps keep one in some semblance of reasonable conditioning, provided that that training is performed on a regular basis and at a fairly arduous level. However, for me at least, it really takes the donning of the club colors in a race to generate a serious evaluation of my present fitness.
I performed a tentative, albeit short evaluation this past weekend in Coeur d’Alene at the Race the River Sprint Triathlon. This was my third time at this great event, and other than the packet pick up process, things were as professional and well run as ever. Standing in line for the packets took an eternity; however the race director has graciously agreed on the problem and promised to fix this issue for next year.
The race venue is relatively small and compact (the 11 mile bike course consists of three loops) but still seems to provide reasonable accommodations for 800 racers of all abilities. The swim is a point to point affair with about 10 waves taking off every three minutes. As a result, even slow swimmers like me can catch and pass some from previous waves. Wave starts also means that one is essentially racing against one’s self in that he/she has no idea when those around him/her actually started.
I am attempting to pick up speed a bit after a sharp turn.
The end of the swim involves a pretty substantial run up a couple flights of stairs, over blacktop and finishes in T1 which is comprised of dirt and sharp rocks. As a result I once again pulled out my patented running shoes with the heels sawed off. They definitely saved my soft feet.
The run, as a five kilometer affair, is of course, over fairly quickly. However there is a short, somewhat humbling hill just prior to the two mile point.
In measuring my own fitness, this sprint race tells me that I really need to back away from the dinner table. Form fitting spandex can definitely cause the pudge to show and the pounds I have gained over the winter are still here, pretty much in full bloom for all to see.
Photo evidence of my winter coat still in full bloom. I am the chunky one on the right.
So, while I did manage to win my age group (which included a bottle of fine local wine , as well as a cool medal), I would like to once again morph into a bit of a slimmer version of Spokane Al. My job now is to do something about it.