The triathlon was yesterday and I wasn't DNF (did not finish). From about 100 yards into the swim until the start of the run, there was a lot of doubt about whether I would finish or not. The swim was every bit as bad as I remember them to be. The water was icy but the wetsuit kept me warm. However, the wetsuit also constricts breathing and just as with the two other open water swim triathlons I've done, after about 100 yards I felt like I couldn't breathe. I breast-stroked some, dog-paddled some, actually swam some, and when I was able to swim made good time.
Then on to the bike, where about 1/4 mile into it there was a nasty uphill that caught everyone off guard. At the top of that I told myself "I can't do this again." For the rest of the first lap (there were two, so the climb was coming around again) I tried to think what would be the best way to quit. After one lap on the bike and do the run? After two laps on the bike and no run? On the way down to T2 (or the start of lap 2) they were waving me to the left, thinking I had finished the bike. Suddenly I moved into the right lane and started lap 2. This time I geared down before the hill, which made it only slightly more tolerable. With 2 miles to go, I started enjoying the bike, telling myself that my race was done as soon as I got back. It was a leisurely ride through Salem on a beautiful spring day.
As I approached T2, ready to quit, the family was there cheering me on. Brad racked my bike, Melinda took pictures, I got Gatorade and Brad led me onto the run course. My race wasn't quite over. About a mile into the run some children had a make-shift aid station where they were handing out water. We chatted for a few seconds, I thanked them for being there and then went on. There were three people behind me that I could see. All three were doing versions of a walk-run and soon caught me. At the only official aid station, they passed me. The volunteers encouraged me on. About five minutes later, they passed me in a pickup with the aid station taken down. I was the last runner.
I kept the other runners/walkers in sight though they pulled steadily ahead of me. I tried running a bit, but it was no use. Finally the finish line came into sight and I did run the last 100 yards for the sake of the paperazzi that had waited patiently for me to finish. It was a brutal two hours and sixteen minutes. Whether I do another one is an open question. I would like to overcome my dislike of the swim and do it the way I know I can. Now that good weather is here, the possibility of actually training is better. We'll see.
Anyway, I was number 200 out of 200 finishers. There were 204 starters. I was not among the four DNFs. My day was better than theirs.
I've been a lawyer since 1976, though my family seems to have gone into medicine. We have two nurses, one nursing student, one medical student, one pre-med student, and one working in medical claims, as well as one in the IT field.