A Triathlon in San Francisco
As the aroma of Sumatra (coffee) fills the air and the last drip hits the pot I await to taste the boldness of a fresh brew this Monday morning. Okay, don’t judge me, normally I have my first cup of coffee before 9:30am but I decided to go back to sleep after the 5:30am long course swim practice. Ah, swim practice… Today was the first day back in the pool since the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.
For those of you that don’t know, I did a triathlon on March 3, 2013 in San Francisco that demanded a 1.5 mile swim, 18 mile bike, and 8 mile run. In one word, this event was, incredible. In one sentence, this event broke down my body but strengthened my mind and spirit so much so that I felt stronger by the time I finished.
It was the week of February 16, 2013 and my friend Lacie asked me if I wanted to go to San Francisco because one of the guys that she’d been training was doing Escape from Alcatraz and we had a free place to stay. Me being the last minute up for anything kind of guy that I am I said, if tickets are affordable then you can count me in. Not a few minutes later she asks me, “If you go do you want to do the triathlon?” At that moment about 50 thoughts hit me like a brick. I could feel the weight of the thoughts in my head trying to rationalize my decision as it was being processed. All I could get out of my mouth was Umm… I don’t know… Out of intrigue and confusion I asked, why is there a spot available for me to do the triathlon? Isn’t it a lottery event? Well, she says, “Mat had a buddy that was going to compete in the event but his friend didn’t feel like he thoroughly trained for it.”
Oh man, exactly what I wanted to hear!!
Ok, let me get this straight… You are asking if I want to do the triathlon, on two weeks notice, in place of someone that felt like he didn’t train enough over the course of a year?? I resorted back to, umm… uh… I guess I’ll do it. I mean it’s Alcatraz, I have to, right? At that point my whole psyche changed from thinking of a leisurely trip to San Francisco to straight up survival mode.
The next day, I was in the water training for long distance. I did a mile set then another, putting in 2 miles per practice. I ran 6 miles that week to find that my knee still bothered me (still need to get it looked at) but I felt confident enough to run the race. The bike training consisted of me looking online for a bike rental in San Francisco not to mention I hadn’t been on a road bike since 2003. Yeah, there wasn’t any training on the bike…
The following week’s training was pretty much just tapering in the pool and no more running to let my knee heal from the 6 miles the week prior.