John and I after Ironman 2009
I've gotten a few questions from my last post about my background in triathlon. So here is the story of how I got started.
This whole adventure into the world of Ironman started back on June of 2008. My wife and I decided we would head down to CDA to watch our friend Kam Murphy compete in his first Ironman. I remember thinking that these people were absolutely CRAZY!! Who is there right mind would want to do this to their body? I had no background in any of the three sports and I barely even knew what it was all about. I didn't even know for sure what order the events were done in. Well.... we watched, and watched , and watched, and to be honest I wasn't really sure what I was watching. I'll admit I was a little surprised to see people of all different shapes and sizes cruising around on there bikes. However, what was even more surprising was how much everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
We stayed for a few more hours, and we didn't even watch anyone finish. I left there still thinking that was something I didn't think I could do. It only took about 3 hours of talking with my wife and thinking to myself "I wonder if I could do that?". By 8:00 pm I was online looking at bikes. I had no idea what I was looking for. All I knew was that these bikes looked more like space ships than bikes and they seemed to cost about as much as a spaceship. I had to work the next day, but somehow my mind was already made up. I signed up at noon the next day with no idea what I was doing. I didn't know how to swim, I didn't have a bike yet. About the only thing I had done in the past was run. I guess you could call it running. I would do Bloomsday every year without really training. "For those that don't know Bloomsday is a huge 12k run here in Spokane." Something inside me told me that this was something that would require a little bit of training.
After I signed up I frantically called my friend John Gavin. "I just signed up for Ironman and now you have to train with me". He gave me some lame excuse like "I don't know how to swim or ride a bike". I knew it would only take about 5 minutes of convincing. You see John is well known as the guy that you can talk into anything. You can call him at 1 am and wake him from a dead sleep, and he'll be at the bar in no time. This was a little different. Having slightly underestimated my ability to talk him into it, I turned him over to my wife (who can talk anybody into anything) called him and about three minutes later she was on Active.com signing John up.
This is what John and I were doing for exercise before we found triathlon.
Notice I had a few extra pounds on my frame then.
Two days later I was in Fitness Fanatics buying a bike. I showed up in basketball shorts and a t-shirt and told them I wanted the cheapest triathlon bike I could find. I'm sure they thought I was an Idiot!! They put me on a yellow Cervelo P2-sl :(. I said cheap, I did not say a girls bike. I got on the thing and took it on a 8 mile test ride (longest ride of my life) in my basketball shorts. I made it back with a sore ass and neck. Well since a "girls bike " was pretty much all I could afford anyway I slapped down the Visa and rolled it outside to my car. There was one problem. My car was a Mini Cooper. I guess I hadn't thought that far ahead but, who was I kidding I hadn't been thinking clearly for the past 3 days now. Somehow I managed to pack it in there and off I went with my first real bike $1800 lighter in the wallet.
The yellow machine
The first trip to the pool is a whole other story all together. We'll dive into that next time.