Lake Tahoe Triathalon
After our first week of raising money we are ahead of our dollar per mile goal. We have raised $150 and I have trained a total of 80.78 miles. We hope to keep ahead of the goal, especially since my miles will be fewer in the next couple months until the training plan starts in November. Until then, I will be training for a half marathon in October and doing some cross training to strengthen my body for the beating it is about to endure.
I owe the majority of my mileage so far to the Lake Tahoe Triathlon. I came back to work answering many questions about how the triathlon went and what it felt like. It might be hard for most people to comprehend but I figured I would explain my experience to help people empathize with me over the next year.
The 1.2 mile swim started at Sugar Pine Point at 7:00 sharp. This was by far the best part of the whole race. The water was 61 degrees and clear. The buoys were too far away for me to sight so I just followed the other swimmers. After coming out of the water fifth, the real fun started. I was determined to not let Janelle beat me on the 56 mile bike ride (which turned out to be a big mistake). Putting on my bike shoes was a challenge, my feet were so numb from the cold that I couldn’t tell how loose or tight they were. I got geared up and headed out for my ride.
I rode from Sugar Pine Point in a mad dash towards Tahoe City. On my way back to Sugar Pine Point I saw Janelle riding through Homewood. It is always a special moment seeing her out on the course during a race. It always reminds me how lucky and proud I am to have her in my life. After passing Sugar Pine Point I knew that it was about to get real, the ride to Camp Richardson and back was nothing but climbing.
It was nice that everyone out there was as miserable as I was. Everyone that I passed going up a hill would chat with me for a while. I ended up seeing Janelle for the last time on the bike right after I had made the climb up the dreaded switchbacks by Emerald Bay. After Janelle had passed, my quads couldn’t take it. I had eaten all of my fuel and was short on fluids. They both cramped up at the same time and had me keeled over my handle bars, scooting along with my feet. Somehow I got back in the saddle and gimped to the transition area for the run. Maybe I was low on potassium. My cousin Sara was gracious enough to throw a banana at me while I was putting on my running shoes. I headed out on my 13.1 mile run, eating the banana.
Within the first mile of the run my quads cramped and I was kneeling on the ground, punching my thighs and yelling at my legs to work for only two more hours. It seemed to work, I was able to get up and keep running. I got to an aid station where I saw some of Janelle’s friends from work. They gave me some words of encouragement and cheers. I made my way around the first loop on the course and was surprised at all the athletes that were walking. When I made the turn for the second go round of the loop, Janelle’s friends told me she was six minutes in front of me. I tried to catch her, before I fell to my knees again from cramps. I was starting to feel defeated and didn’t think I was going to see Janelle on the run. At a certain point I could see Janelle’s grey jersey through the trees.
I told her that I was feeling defeated and was getting desperate to finish. She gave me her usual motivation and I kept going. It was becoming a mental struggle to just keep moving. I was so exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally that one point I would be laughing, the next singing a song to myself, and then crying after that. Was I losing my mind? I finally could hear people cheering and music ahead, I was almost there. I finished strong up the last steep hill to see my family and friends cheering me on. I was so emotional I couldn’t say a word or I would have been bawling. I gathered myself and took Bella down the hill to watch Mommy finish. Seeing her run up the hill was a proud moment in my life. Bella ran to her with excitement.
These are the things that my family does for fun. We know that we are fortunate to be able to do these things, especially together and will never take advantage of that. We will carry these emotions during the next year and use them as motivation to help children in need and those who may never get the chance to share these precious moments with their family.
8/31/2016 08:41:56 am
Eric, You are amazing and your wife is an inspiration.
8/31/2016 08:46:37 pm
Thanks Leslie. We just want to make a difference
9/3/2016 12:21:37 am
I completely agree. You both are amazing!
8/31/2016 07:51:51 pm
Eric, both you and Janelle are very special people! Do you know how amazing it will be for Bella to grow up thinking that what you do is normal? 😆
8/31/2016 08:47:49 pm
Thanks Rocky. We think it will be a good lesson for Bella and a great effort as a family to set an example for her!
8/31/2016 08:42:12 pm
Son, you never cease to amaze me with your strength, courage, and humility! I am so proud to be your Mom!
8/31/2016 08:48:40 pm
Thanks!! Learned from the best!
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A blog about my journey as I train for Iron Man to raise money for pediatric cancer research.