Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Triathlete

Here he is yesterday, my triathlete WB. The morning began foggy, wet and cool and when I awoke I worried he would drown in the lake during his swim or lose his way and be lost. I should not have worried though because the fog lifted before the race began. For those of you who don't know a sprint triathlon consists of a 1500 meter swim, 10 mile bike ride and a 3.2 mile run.

Before I tell you about the race let me tell you the events that led up to it. Way back in high school, yes I have to start there, he ran cross country and track. I've seen pictures he looks like stick with a head. You know what I mean, he was lean without an ounce of fat on his body. Then he worked on his Master's thesis for several months, cooped up inside of the Chemical Engineering building sometimes for days on end without seeing the light of day (I'm not exaggerating). Exercise was scarce, food was fattening, and his metabolism was slowing.

I'm telling you this because over the next several years he would stop running, stop eating well, and you guessed it he gained about 30 + pounds. But before the birth of our third child he'd had enough and set a goal to lose some weight and begin eating right. Slowly, he became a health and exercise nut. Where most people would have given up he persevered. Even when the weight wasn't coming off and he couldn't see much change he stuck with it. He started running again, waking up at 4:30 every morning to work out before going to work. Then a year ago his knee went out and he had to have a portion of dead bone and cartilage removed. He was on crutches for a couple of weeks, then a cane. But he didn't give up. He's taken up biking again and swimming and for this triathlon he started to run. Even though all the doctors said no, he said yes (it's that stubborn streak).

So yesterday he competed in his first Triathlon. And it just so happened it was to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network, more specifically for our hospitals NICU. A place we had found ourselves in with our first child, making it even more of a special event.
So here they are in the first leg of the race, the swimming. The lake had been turning over, I have no idea what that means except it stunk to high heaven and there were dead fish everywhere. It was yuck!! He got in the water last, veered quite a bit off course, got kicked in the face several times, but made it out alive.

There he is in the red jersey. He's out of the water and getting ready to jump on his bike for the next leg. Oh and speaking of legs I find these incredibly sexy.

Ahem, on a technical note the AG stands for Adult Group and the 39 is his age by the end of December. After I found this out I had a great time of checking out everyone's legs and finding out their age, is that shallow of me?
And he's off. Oh, and they also each had a number. They wrote it on their arms. I suppose this is a way to identify the bodies if they are found unconscious somewhere along the trail?!!Okay, where was I? I'm getting so distracted by these pictures. Anyway, even though he trained vigorously on some very steep hills around our place it was no match for "the hill". I wish I had a picture of it, but of 200+ racers last year only 15 made it to the top without getting off their bikes. WB said of the hill, "It kicked my hiney." No, he didn't say hiney. I don't think he's ever used that word, he said the "b" four letter word, but we try not to say that around here. I mean, I know it's better then the "a" word, but it's still not very ladylike for my girls to hear. And we know how they never utter any unladylike phrases.
Here he is finishing the bike leg. Notice little Soph taking a picture of her Dad in front of me. They were cheering him on like crazy!! I don't have a picture of him going off on the run because it was on the other side and we couldn't get to it. But he made a pretty smooth transition and he was off. I prayed like crazy during this leg, hoping he'd walk on his instead of blowing out his knee. I got more and more nervous as runners started coming in and finishing. But he made it, I saw his red jersey coming down the hill to the finish line and I raced to take a picture of it. Little One (who had strep and a double ear infection and was up with 104 fever most the night) clinging to me as I ran. Camera ready I paused to take the picture only to realize it was some other man in a red jersey, who looked remarkably like my husband from a distance. Bummed, I let go of my camera and started to walk away but turned and looked over my shoulder just in time to see WB cross the finish line. Darn, I missed the picture!!

Here he is with his very proud girls. And yes, Little One's fever had broken that morning and the only food she wanted was cheetos.

He finished the race in a little over an hour, which I think is awesome especially for his first time and bum knee. We are so proud of him. He sets a wonderful example for our family about setting goals, persevering and then the accomplishment you feel once it is done! We love you WB.

*I forgot to mention the race bike he was on was one he bought in high school. He spent a lot of money on it back then. It sat in our garage for ten years. I tried to sell it in a garage sale, but he put a price of 100.00 on it so of course it didn't sell. Thank goodness, because a new racing bike would cost thousands of dollars. Yes, honey I sure am glad we held on to it and apologize for any rude comments I may have made about it in the past:)


fairenuff said...

Wow, just fantastic! I am proud of you, WB.

Anonymous said...

Great job WB. Just courious- were you able to make it all the way to the top of "The Hill from Hell" without walking? You'll have to plan on coming to the one at Moody Gardens this coming spring.


Cindi said...

I'm SO impressed!

You're absolutely right about him setting such a great example for your family.

Congratulations WB!

Anonymous said...

It was supposed to be just a 400 meter swim (but the way I did it it probably was more like 1500 meters...), and I did have to get off my bike to walk on "the hill". I'll have to train harder for that next year. A new bike might help, too... Oh, I think I made up for walking up the hill somewhat by reaching 40 mph on the downhill side. That was the most fun part of the event.

amy said...

Hey I know Pat from her gym in Austin and she sent me a link to your "race report." Very awesome pictures and recap and congrats to WB! (And no it's not shallow to be checking out ages on the back of calves... that's how us triathletes know who we have to actually beat and who doesn't matter.) :)

Amy said...

Wow! Great job and congrats to WB! :)

Greg will be riding his bike 24 miles this Sunday to raise money for our Children's hospital. I'll have to be sure and show him this post! :)

Smockity Frocks said...


Karen said...

What an accomplishment! Good for WB!