Well I stuck with the just saying “Yes” plan that a new friend of ours recommended, which coincided nicely with our Panama change of life plan, and I decided to do a Triathlon. Again this is nothing I would have ever considered in California on the contrary, I would make fun of the people doing them including the cute bicycle shorts. However I entered it and said lets do it and never looked back.
Less than 24 hours till Triathlon, getting a bit nervous and excited all at once, mostly wondering why did I sign up for this. Night before race, the typically very quite town of San Carlos, Panama we currently live in was far from this. Around 8 pm as we were laying down in bed since we were getting up at 5AM!!!! the party started, no really a very loud Panamanian party just a few doors down from our place. Walls were shaking and music was coming in the partly open windows that don’t shut tight like it was in the house. Seriously, the night before the triathlon of all nights, figured it would be over around midnight, fingers crossed. Well the party and extremely loud music along with the DJ’s random tid bits every few second and screaming, sleep didn’t really happen. So as we are about to leave just after 5AM to head towards course, the music stops, ha ha, of course.
Its getting real now, bicycle is in the car, swim cap, goggles, shoes and I am wearing those sweet bicycle shorts somehow. We arrive and get situated, then head to the beach where I see the buoys for the first time, hmmm, they seem really far away, and we do two laps, for a total of 750 meters. After a few photos and some spanish announcements that I understand little of, everyone in the triathlon heads to the beach front to begin. Giant group of people swimming the same direction all at once, a bit intense for sure. I would say getting back in the water after the first lap and swimming towards the buoy was the hardest part, once around the second one, all I was thinking is land must get to shore.
I survived the swim, now time to run up the beach to get on the bicycle, uh run? Somehow I managed to jog up to the bikes, now this is my first triathlon so in hind sight I would have skipped this next part. I decided to take a shower and get the salt water off, after waiting in line for some little girls to finish rinsing off. I would have saved several minutes if I would have skipped this part, oops.
So I finally get to my bike and throw on shoes socks and shirt, and I am off for the 20km (about 10 miles) ride, this is my favorite part. However I haven’t done the ride after the swim during practice. I kept a good pace and never stopped, saw a few spills of others along the way and broken bikes, including a guy who broke chain and improvised by borrowing a pink womens beach cruiser to finish ride on, that was quite humorous. I power through to the finish and kept a good pace, especially considering I haven’t rode a bicycle for more than a couple miles in well over 8 years.
Now the most dreaded part the “Sprint”, for me more like a jog or fast walk at this point. Keeping in mind I haven’t jogged in well over 8 years as well, I even skipped training for this part cause I dreaded it, hind sight not the best idea. I was able to jog over half of the 5km and walk the other, with a few short burst of sprinting somehow. I was getting passed by some very athletic people, mostly women at this point as between the bike and swim, I was in the female part of the athletes pretty much. I would try to maintain pace with them and then they were gone. I fight the urge to walk and continue to jog as much as possible around 3/4’s into the jog I see a friend and this motivates me to give it more. She eventually spots me and this urges her to give it more as well. Darn shower, I would have finished well before her, argh. I push hard until the finish and boom, I just finished my first Coronado Extreme Triathlon. Wow, I did it!!!!
I have always struggled with completing things in my life, a lot in part due to me starting so many project and desiring to do so many things, finishing this was something I was determined to do for myself. The sense of accomplishment is tremendous, I couldn’t be more satisfied, tired sore and a bit raw, but very satisfied.
The crowds including many great new friends were cheering the entire event, Vamos, Vamo, Andale, Go Todd, You’re doing great, keep it up, your a stud Todd, you got this, wow Todd, and the list goes on. Including Tiffany after the first lap on bicycle, “yeah he is still alive”, lol, along with other encouraging things. I can’t say thanks enough to these people, that cheering helped tremendously to keep my spirit up and push forward, Thanks everyone.