Tri-ing a Triathlon

My super man pose after my first (and maybe last)  triathlon.  You never now what you can do until you try!

My super man pose after my first triathlon.
You never know what you can do until you try!

After running 27 marathons to date. I thought a sprint triathlon would be easy. I was wrong  very, very wrong! I ran with Scott Rigbsy two years ago at the Boston marathon. I have a new appreciation for  him after this triathlon. He completed the Kona Iron Man with two prosthetic legs. 

Before I get into the details about this race, I’d first like to thank a few people who helped me. Live Daybreak (especially Becky and Wendy) who took care of all the entry fees and sponsored me to do this race.

logo

Also Poco Loco Swim Store in Logan for the spiffy swim wear and goggles.

Thanks Poco Loco!

Thanks Poco Loco!

Bike  training on one leg

One legged  man problems.

One legged man problems.

The first task was to start my bike training. My rides consisted of biking to and from my work. I rode from my home in Daybreak to 59th South and 9th East( approx 17 miles one way ) several days per week. I learned to love the Jordan Parkway.

Everything did not always go  smoothly. One day as I made my way home  I made a total spectacle of myself when I fell off my bike at a busy intersection on Redwood Road. My fake leg was still  firmly attached to the pedal while the rest of me  kept on rolling.

I’m sure the drivers nearby had  a  crazy story to tell that day. I can picture it all now:

 “Hey, you’ll never believe what I saw today. Some old guy fell off his bike.  His leg came right off…. ya…. and  it was still  attached to  his bike!”

This was horrifying embarrassing but it’s ok because we have to learn to laugh at ourselves once in a while.  Go ahead and laugh, it was pretty funny.

Swim Training on one Leg

Swim training was equally entertaining. Being  from Southern Californian I pride myself on being a water lover. I love swimming and being in the pool. I particularly love swimming with one flipper. You could call me a “Merman” you know like in Zoolander, “MER-MAN, MER-MAN”

Ready... set... Go!!! I might be slowest swimmer, but dang I Look good!

Ready… set… Go!!!
I might be slow, but dang I Look good!

                                                                                                                                                                                    

I made my way to Golds Gym during my lunch break  for my swimming work out.    I found out very quickly my “mer-man” skills were  somewhat lacking.
“If only I could have had that flipper for the race.”

I had to figure out which swim stoke I would be able to swim with.  I tried the American  Crawl  it was a big  no go since I needed two good legs. Out of default I decided to use the Breast Stroke. Sadly I learned I am a slow  swimmer  and even slower when I use the Breast Stroke. Dang it!

Running on one leg
I  ran 4 marathons in four days about a week before this triathlon. I figured running was not going to be a problem. I  probably could  have done some speed work   but I didn’t have time to worry about that.  My first and foremost priority was the swim.

Goal #1  for my first triathalon: Not drown  during the swim portion of the  triathlon.

  My first Triathlon with one leg

A triathlon has been on my bucket-list for some time so I was really excited but like every unknown I wasn’t 100 percent sure if I could do it. I had trained hard, very hard, but there was something else here that most people with two legs don’t even consider. I basically needed a pit crew to help me or none of it would be possible

Fake Leg Pit crew, Vicki and Lynette

Fake Leg Pit crew, Vicki and Lynette

 My wife, two daughters, and both son-in-laws showed up to help. I needed someone to take my leg to the edge of the lake,  help me into my wetsuit and  finally then help me into the water. I also needed help at the end of the swim.It was a bit complicated . I had to make sure I had everything I needed when I needed it.

The swim went really well and I felt very strong even though there was a powerful headwind which created a pretty stiff current. I finished the swim almost last  with only two swimmers behind me. I had a very  non mer-man speed of 39 minutes for swim 1/2 mile . 

When I reached the shore at the end of the swim one of the volunteer officials started to yell at me, (in a very helpful way of course, not knowing my limitations)

“Stand up and walk…

You are done…

it’s OK, you can  walk now!”

Instead of walking I was crawling like a crab on my butt. My son-in-law, heard this fellow going crazy and ran out to the water up to his thighs and picked me up and helped me get to the pier so I could sit down.

He then peeled my wet suit off me like he was peeling a banana. My wife was right behind me with my leg.  After I put my  leg on I had to run up the path and over to the bikes. That’s when I realized I was only wearing my tiny, green, tiger-striped speedo.  I felt more naked than Tarzan! There were a dozen people cheering and clapping for me.

“I had flashes of changing my name to ‘Candy’ and getting a part-time job pole dancing.”

 My sexy speedo. Taken from a long distance away to protect the innocent

My sexy speedo. Taken from a long distance away to protect the innocent

Finally I was dressed and heading down the road on my bike. I tried to tear it up as much as I could to try to make up some time from my turtle like  swim.

The  first half of the ride was mostly up hill and it was a killer, my thighs were burning.  After the turn around at the entrance to the Copper Mine I was looking forward to an easy downhill ride. Unfortunately, I met up  with that same nasty head wind that plagued the swim. It slowed me down a little but I just pushed to the end.
Once again at the transition area I had to take extra time to change legs from a walking leg to my running blade.

The run was a short three miles. I wanted to run a faster pace but I was spent. I probably needed to eat another Gu packet  but I forgot to grab it when I switched legs.

My finish time 2:22.  If you do triathlons you know that is a pretty slow time, but I am proud anyway. The only person I compete with is myself.  I believe that pushing yourself to do something out of your comfort zone and doing it is one of life’s greatest and  most invigorating  joys.

Mission complete. I completed  the 2013 Daybreak Triathlon.

Bucket List :          Triathlon  Check

Bucket List :
Triathlon
Check

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3 thoughts on “Tri-ing a Triathlon

  1. Tim… great story and still simply …AWESOME! May the roads you travel be void of any potholes. May the people you meet continue to be as varied and beautiful as the places you visit. May your health and stamina overflow with power and calmness as you cover the many miles and influence the many others that will witness your persuit of a life well lived!! God bless and keep you safe. May that lovely wife of yours find strength and peace knowing your safe and doing exactly what your placed here to do… all for a higher purpose.

    Your biggest fan…

    Manny

    1. Thank you so much for the very kind words and thanks for reading my stuff. I hope it makes you laugh a little. And not to brag too much but Lynette is the sweetest wife and so very supportive. Thanks again. Take care.

      Tim Hurst

  2. Tim, I chanced upon your blog accidentally. But I went ahead and read your articles for a whole hour. I should get back to work now ( lol ), but I really wanted to write to you about how inspiring your life experiences are for me. I wish you continue on your journey and accomplish your mission with joy. I truly admire your will power and your approach to life. I wish you, your wife, daughters and step-son, and their families, a wonderful, happy, life ahead! Keep running, keep inspiring us. Best, Akila

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