XTERRA: Party of One

I did it. Yesterday I finished the XTERRA Sport Course off-road triathlon in Temecula. I was first in my age group. I was last in my age group. (As my buddy, the Governor, reminded me.) I was the only fool in my age group – for the second year in a row.

I’ll keep this post short because I suspect beer and blogging don’t mix. I definitely have reason to celebrate. After all, yesterday was my first triathlon anniversary. (Wow, what a year it’s been.)

Yes, I do have a grin on my face. I had a great race. It was exactly what I had hoped for as soon as I crossed the finish line last year. You know, a good do-over! With plenty of sunscreen this time.

Since I only had myself to compete with, here’s how I did versus the younger version of me:

Last year’s swim: 28:21
This year’s swim: 22:43

Last year’s bike: 1:56:45
This year’s bike: 1:29:59*

Last year’s run: 43:24
This year’s run: 43:45*

Last year’s overall time: 3:08:30
This year’s overall time: 2:36:27

* The bike course was a mile longer this year. The run course was three tenths of a mile longer this year. No idea where they put those T1 and T2 times.

Of course, it’s not entirely fair to pick on the younger version of me. It’s a bit like kicking sand in the face of the 90-lb. weakling on the beach. (Yup, that was me too.)

I love that younger version of me.

She took up this sport so her niece and nephews wouldn’t think that being a bad swimmer was genetic.

She couldn’t swim 100 yards without stopping or choking on her own bubbles just three months before the race.

She was willing to start over after her doc forbid her to do anything more strenuous than golf with a cart the previous two years.

She was willing to be an outsider for the opportunity to meet new friends (online and off-line) that she’ll treasure forever.

She took some risks. And lots of baby steps. She was willing to suck at it all and be patient with herself for the chance to get better.

Now, she’s me. I really do feel like I’m back. There’s plenty of room for improvement. And that will be half the fun.

Stay tuned for more posts about my big XTERRA weekend, including meeting the pros at XTERRA University, hanging out by the campfire with some funny triathletes, the swim that might remind you of those lost whales in Sacramento, three bike crashes, help for a fellow runner, and a kiss from the coolest race director around, Kahuna Dave.