Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Triathlon Diaries - Volume One

Asbury Park 2010
The Road to the Asbury Park Triathlon, July 2010

Sometime during the late, cold months of 2009, musician and decided non-runner Don DiLego, perhaps slightly inebriated, hears amongst the caucaphony of music and conversation in Barramundi in the Lower Eat Side, a couple buddies discuss their plans to compete in a "triathlon man, yes!" in the summer of 2010. Not surprisingly, Don spins to insert himself not only into the conversation, but into the race itself, the 2010 Asbury Park Mini-Triathlon (found out about the "mini" part afterwards). Awkwardly, Tim "Santa's Helper" McManus and JJ "The Deuce" O'Connor agree to share information on said race. In fact encouraging if not daring our hero to enter.

These are the chronicles of Don's path to glory, infamy, and perhaps the infirmary.

Chronicle One
Jan 4 (aka "Day One") - Training has begun, and I am ready to attack. I give myself a mental deuce and head off the gym in the hotel I'm staying at in San Francisco.

6:47pm - I insert my key card which gains me entry into the quite plush hotel gym here at the Palace. Confidently, I step through the gym portal and into the exercise
room replete with state-of-the-art treadmills, bicycles, and Stepmasters. The wicked witch of the west stares menacingly down at me from her perch at CNN inside the
50" plasma screen. She calls herself "Nancy Grace" , perhaps to keep me off-balance. It doesn't work. I step up to what appears to be a new treadmill and launch myself into a 3 m.p.h. warmup, oh, and at a slight incline...beeeyatch!

6:52pm - Though I haven't exactly "jogged" as they say in the "exercise world" for some...errrr....two time/years or so, I seem to feel no worries about my first day goal of 3 miles. For the record, I am wearing wrestling shoes.

6:54pm - Dolly Parton has really really big breasts and I don't know when she got 'em, but they don't look to be there early on in this Dolly bio I'm watching on Biography. She's awesome. What a set of tonsils.

6:55pm - Time to rev it up to 5.5 m.p.h., take me down to 1.5 on the gradient meter. No problem. Already at .68 miles. I got this.

6:59pm - I am exhausted. The commercial breaks during the Dolly bio are excruciatingly long long. Has anyone seen this infommercial for the "Shake Weight." What the???

7:03pm - Ok ok. Settling in now. 1.15 miles. I feel I can do this, but wish the miles went by faster. Let's bump it up to 6 m.p.h.. Flat slope. These shoes seem fine! I don't what all the fuss is about "proper running shoes." Isn't there a barefoot movement now or something?

7:07pm - I may have failed to mention that the treadmill is directly facing the large, cool, empty swimming pool. Mmmmmm....water.

7:14pm - Possibly blacked out for a minute or two, cause I seem to have missed the return to "Dolly" from the commercial break. And now, no lie, a 3-minute commercial on some miracle
women's support strap that goes over the bra and keeps women's breasts just under their chin. Where they anatomically belong? The women in the commercial look happy AND scared. Who's behind this product anyway? A million dollars says it rhymes with a "schman".

7:14:35pm - Oh look at me! Crossing over 2 miles. I got this. However, I can't. feel. feet.

7:17pm - Listen. exercise is definitely a good thing, but man, I am b-o-r-e-d. Dolly keeps me going though. Resolution 2010. Dolly Parton concert. This is non-negotiable.

7:19pm - Ok. I'm done. Almost 2.5 miles, a good start. However, the sweat on my body and exhaustion on my face has "10k" written all over it.

7:20pm - To the pool!

7:20:02pm - Oh wait. There's a sauna? Probably best for everyone if I test that out first. Looks dangerous. I got this.

7:38pm - 65% chance I may have passed out again, cause there's NO WAY I've been in here for over 15 minutes. Back to the exercise room.

7:40pm - Time to work on the six-pack. I place an exercise matt on the ground and just as I get started, the door creeks open. (ok, it's a new door so it didn't creek. Actually, I don't think it made any noise. Can we get a foley guy in here?) In walks who we will call, "exerciser #2.", or #2 for short. Now, I don't mind sharing the place with anyone else, that's not exactly the problem. But I JUST STARTED my sit-ups, and she's witnessed me "just start." Now I'm screwed cause I'll have to do a ton of these things to look like a "real" exerciser to #2. Damn public exercising!

7:42pm - Thirteen. Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen. Twenty-Five. Thirty. Thirty-Two. And........a hundred.

7:44pm - Ill-fated decision #2. The dumbbells. I've likely already been in here too long for my first triathlon training session, but my masculinity suggested I do some bench presses to work on the arms a bit. Bad call.

7:47pm - Ok. Enough of that. To the pool!

7:47:14pm - Whoa, slow down partner. Let's drink some aqua. Ahhhhhh.... ok, to. the. pool...

7:48 pm - I enter the pool area. A couple young tikes are frolicking in the low end with their wussy inflatable arm bands and wimpy "parental supervision." I'm totally gonna toast these guys! Woooooo!!! mini-triathlon 2010!!!

7:49pm - Water looks cold. Me to kids: "Looks cold." Kids eyes to me: "You're old."

7:50pm - Jump right in. These kids can't intimidate me. Pool is pretty large. Not olympic size, but not the backyard in-ground christmas-bonus size either. I've always been a pretty good swimmer, have I mentioned this yet?

7:51pm - Note to self. No bench pressing, running, or sauna visiting of any kind prior to swimming. My arms hurt. I begin to sink.

(insert squiggly/wavy lines on screen going back and forth...back and forth)

7:53pm - Apparently, I have passed out again, as I am coming to with one of the 5 year-olds helping me up saying something to the effect of, "hey, wake up. You're gonna be ok. Just breathe. Breathe mister. Good thing I was here, if it weren't for the oxygen from my inflatable arm band, you would've been dead. Dead!" In the background, the other kid and father are laughing at me. The younger brother appears to be wearing a t-shirt that reads "First Place - 2007 Asbury Park Mini-Triathlon." Or something like that.

(re-insert squiggly/wavy lines on screen going back and forth...back and forth)

7:51pm - Realized I had a flash-forward there. I'm still swimming under my own power, though truth be told, the lap and a half have taken their toll. I push it to four. Though I manage to complete this, I should of asked the kids' father to spot me just in case.

7:55pm - All toweled up, heading back to room. Feeling pretty good actually. I mean, not physically, but mentally I'm on fire. Give myself another mental deuce as I get back to my room, exhausted but full of confidence. I'm gonna mini-triathlon the crap out of 2010!!

6:55 am - Not. feeling. Good.
My feet are throbbing and my shoulders feel like the scarecrow's from the Wizard of Oz. Ok, maybe I don't know what that means either, but you're with me. You got this.

6:57am - As my eyes begin to adjust themselves to being back awake, I focus on the cushionless soles of my wrestling sneaks. Which harkens me back to Ill-fated decision #1. It goes like this:

"Do not wear wrestling sneakers on a treadmill while running for the first time in ages in an ego-driven attempt to prove your manhood during "training" for a mini-triathlon a half a year away." Or something like that.

7:15am - Coffee is kicking in. Coming to my senses a bit. Resolve to "dial it down a notch or two" during next workout. I got this.

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