My first triathlon
Obviously, you're addicted.
That's what Sports Doctor said to me after I got a bum hip from running. Over-running according to him.
Ohhh. Hardly. As if. I'm not one of THOSE people.
So, I decided I'd do a triathlon. I'd read about the Danskin triathlon in some girly magazine. And it seemed fairly doable. Sprint distances. (For those who don't know, there are sprint triathlons--you do NOT sprint if you're normal, there are Olympic distance triathlons, and then there are Ironman distance triathlons).
That way I'd run less. As it happened, I ran just as much paying little heed to the doctor and when I remembered, I'd go for a leisurely little swim downtown, or take my bike over to Marin and look at the pretty houses.
Things didn't get off to a promising start: The race was on Sunday. Registration pick-up was on Saturday at the San Jose Hilton and it was compulsory to attend. It took me over two and a half hours to reach the hotel from the East Bay. I have a problem with San Jose. I just don't know where it is. I always seem to miss it, bypass it, and only ever notice until I get to the Gilroy outlets.
Registration consisted of 1800 women pondering which new piece of triathlete gear they should purchase in between venting their jittery nerves. Triathlons are a complicated business: everything comes down to the transitions. Swim to bike, bike to run. Most exciting was the body marking: I have my number and age tattooed on four parts of my body. They say it will last a week. I kept thinking last night that this group of high school boys were looking at my legs; I was sort of confused. They're not exciting. Then I looked down later and saw my age was stamped on them. I think they were laughing.
Somehow, I managed to forget my bike over in Marin at a friend's house so Saturday evening I drove over to pick it up. I thought maybe a spin up to Mount Tam would be perfect for an idyllic Saturday evening before race day. Clearly, I was picturing myself as the next generation of Power Bar models. Driving home, I had the option of going the short way that has road work, or the long back way that has no road work and goes by Guy's-House-Who-It's-All-Weird-With-And-We-Don't-Really-Talk-But-I-Think-I-Wish-We-Did.
I chose the latter. Two houses before the white picket fence (Guy's House), I heard a squidgy sound coming from my front tire. My tire exploded. At 30mph, my tire exploded. 25% of the car was resting on raw metal. I couldn't move the tank if I tried.
Neighbors started appearing out of their houses. Did I want to use the phone? Did I want patch it and repair it? Did I want a piece of pizza?
Mostly, I just didn't want to be there. Not right there, on THAT block. There was evil in the air. I called AAA. We'll be there in twenty minutes they said. 2 hours later I was asking the AAA guy how far and how fast I could drive with my mini tire that he'd installed. Ohhhh, you can go about 30 miles at 40 miles an hour, he said cheerfully. Then he paused, Let me go put some air in this tire. This puppy looks flat, too.
And where can I get a new tire tonight? I asked. At 10pm on a Saturday evening? You're kidding me, he replied.
But I have a race in San Jose. Tomorrow. 5:30am I'm supposed to be there.
Hey! I'll tow you down there, he suggested.
I'm pretty sure I saw Guy's vehicle drive by me but I can't be sure.
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