Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Training Bloopers

As we start gearing up for the 2010 season, I look back at how far I’ve come. I have to laugh at some of the “training bloopers” that have occurred to me. Maybe they weren’t so much funny, as embarrassing.

The most recent occurred at Milky Way Masters swim practice. I normally swim at Kennedy High School, but over winter break we had an evening swim at Washington. I was in my swim gear and ready to go, but I wanted to use the bathroom first. Someone directed me to the locker room. As I entered the locker room the door made a loud thud behind me and I just knew. Yes, I was locked in.

I knew no one would hear me if I pounded on the door so there had to be another way out. I made my way through the dark locker room and found a door that led to the outside. I envisioned getting lost in the snow outside Washington H.S. and someone finding my frozen, lifeless body. No, there had to be another way out. I found a door that led down some steps and through another door. Soon I was standing in the hallway of the high school.

At the end of the hall there was a group of high school boys who smiled and said “hi.” Keep in mind, I am walking down the hall in only a swimsuit, swim cap and goggles. I tried to forget that I was half-naked and asked if they could direct me to the pool. They pointed across the hall. Here I thought my embarrassing high school moments had ended long ago.

I have had a number of biking bloopers, most of them having to do with me going over with my bike. One was in my first Pigman Tri. I had borrowed a friend’s road bike and I was finishing the bike portion. As I headed towards the dismount line I realized that I could not get clipped out. I had to make a quick decision. The side of the road was lined with people but I saw a small grassy opening so I put the bike down, almost taking out several spectators. As I lay sprawled on the ground a guy said, “You’re supposed to dismount over there.” I smiled and got up, my side covered in mud.

Bike mishap #2 occurred a few months later, shortly after I bought my Felt. I was riding on the trail, trying to figure out my bike computer. Somehow I lost control of my bike and didn’t realize I was only clipped out of one pedal. Over I went. I put my hand down to break my fall and could feel my ankle twist in the foot that was still in the pedal.

I stayed on the ground for a moment, still under my bike. “What is with me and bikes?” I contemplated. Suddenly there was an old lady standing over me. “Are you okay?” she asked. Unfortunately, I get asked that a lot. It happened on my first Pigman swim when another swimmer asked me if I was okay because I looked like I was about to drown. No, I’m not okay! I don’t know what I am doing out here!

This latest bike crash sent me to the doctor with a sprained ankle and wrist and I had to drop out of the Trihawk. Since I needed to explain why I crashed my bike for no apparent reason, I told people I swerved to save a family of raccoons. It’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

I can’t recall any specific running mishaps, other than the embarrassment of being passed in a 5K by people pushing strollers. The point is, you sometimes have to laugh at yourself. I realize that my “bloopers” were all part of my triathlon learning curve. It’s the adversity that makes you keep tri-ing. Oh, and for the record, I haven’t put my bike down in a long time!