This morning called for a 16-miler. After waking up just slightly late, but late enough to have to forgo a real breakfast, coffee, and BM, I made it to the lakefront at about 6:45. This alone is a miracle fit for the Lord's day.
I had to loop it again due to the Chicago Tri chaos south of Ohio Street Beach. The first loop was great (running early did me well) but the second loop was tougher, complete with my own brand of knee pain called "Stop-Hurting-or-I'll-Give-You-Something-To-Cry-About-When-We-Get-Home."
Three gross-ass GUs and not nearly enough water stops later, I was done, and just in time to high-tail it one mile north to spectate at the bike-turnaround for the Chicago Accenture Tri.
As I wrote about earlier, the TRI for Life team was out there rocking the course. I literally set up my spectating spot ten minutes before I saw Lon speed by me (or speed as fast as that tiny turnaround would allow for!)
I then saw his brother (who I think I JUST missed on his first lap), and then Lon again for his second loop. They all looked fantastic, and I was sooo glad I got there on time.
See, if I had taken the time to eat breakfast pre-run, I woulda missed it all, so in the end, it was good decision making.
But what wasn't good decision making?
My lack of water.
When you're rockin' one kidney, you shouldn't do this.
And as a new general rule of thumb, I am SO good about taking care of this. But today, with the rushing around, I got horribly dehydrated out there. No water bottle in the car for post-run, which again, is not typical.
So when I wasn't screaming my face off for all the racers, I was talking to the ambulance guys who were there, silently hoping that if I did collapse (I came frighteningly close at one point) that they would wisk me away to IV-infused heaven, even though I wasn't technically (or non-technically) a racer.
So after I saw the TRI for Life-ers, I said my goodbyes and got home ASAP and have been sucking down the water. I am not in the clear just yet, but getting there.
Urine issues aside, I wanted to say this about triathlon - a thought that, when racing, I don't pay much attention to, but as a spectator, I noticed.
The genuis of triathlon is that it is the "Everyman's Sport."
Hear me out.
Any Bob, Sue, or Joe can pull out and dust off their ten speed, find an old pair of goggles, and running shoes, and train for a sprint or Olympic distance race.
You don't need Triple A leagues, years of training, team try-outs, or sponsorship to get out there and do it.
It is the sport where Pros race next to grandmothers, where $8000 bikes make the turnarounds alongside of the Sunday cruisers with baskets.
It is a sport that trains the whole body, and requires signficant mental effort to transition from one discipline to the other. But these are the things that I believe everyone has, even if they have to reach down deep to find it.
It was amazing seeing all the differnt people out there. The Zip wheels sponsor-covered jerseys wizzing by while the mountain bikers in their tee-shirts smiled through their second loop.
I loved it - I felt so proud to be part of this sport that EVERYONE can do, a sport that today, in Chicago, made thousands of people realize their potential.
Realize the endless possibility of their bodies and mind.
Realize that, as they are racing, their children are watching them become the best type of role model there is.
Realize that, no matter your age, or pants size, or race - YOU CAN DO TRIATHLON.
I love being a triathlete.
Even if JLo thinks she is too.
(By the way, I have decided that my issue with the JLo triathlon nonsense is this - While I so appreciate the fact that she is using it as a goal to get back in shape [hey, I JUST said anyone can do this sport, right?], my issue with her began with the whole GMA thing - The self-importance of her to think that her own triathlon expreince is not only CNN newsworthy, but actually MORE IMPORTANT than the possibly-never-to-be-seen again Olympic performances we have all just witnessed. Yeah, first tris are nerve racking and special -no doubt-, but more newsworthy than the beyond-humanness of the Olympics athletes? Yeah, not so much.)