Insomnia and the Letdown
I didn’t sleep last night because I was still buzzing from the 70.3. I can’t think of an athletic event that has meant more to me personally than that one. High school swimming just doesn’t compare, and I haven’t been training this much since then. The day after an event like this can often be a letdown – you have to go back to reality where you try to contain the feeling you had when you crossed the finish line. Sitting down in front of my laptop and mac mini just don’t seem to equate, and despite the calm of the day, you miss the cowbells and chaos of the crowd. And at the same time there’s no way I’m running 10 feet today. I did get a massage which felt okay but didn’t really change the way my body feels. My appetite did return and I ate a blue plate plus two extra tacos at Taco Deli (total of four tacos, ahem).
Despite applying sunscreen three times, apparently I missed the spots on my shoulders at least once. I have two half-moon sunburn marks where normally a shirt would cover your shoulders but a tri-jersey does not. Even better, Maurice put a temporary T3 tattoo on my shoulder at the beginning, so there is a white spot that now says “T3” among the sea of red, agitated shoulder flesh. Kind of an inverse tattoo. The Rollins have lots of Aloe now.
Today, I reflected back on my last three months, and one of the best parts of my training has been getting to know Chris. I had met Chris a year ago as he was recruiting for a ride in Austin, and then ran into him a number of other times at athletic events in Austin. While I’m a reasonably non-de-script individual until I open my mouth, Chris is hard to miss. I noticed Chris the first day I came to T3 practice, and he let me know after my first couple of weeks that he had been assigned as my “ambassador” to T3, basically someone to help a newbie like me through the hurdles of triathlon training and all that is T3. In the small world that is Austin (and even into Galveston), Chris and I must have run into each other 5 times outside of practice – at Jack and Adams, at lunch the day before the Lonestar, and other places. Chris always has a smile, and his positive attitude, and works unbelievably hard at being the best he can be. Chris went from never really doing any kind of endurance event to doing duathalons, then added swimming to do triathlons. Chris is a big guy, racing in the Clydesdale division. Today I realized that Chris switching to triathlons would be the equivalent of me shifting to power lifting. The uphill battle to completely change how you’ve crafted and shaped your body cannot be an easy one, but if there’s any one who I would never bet against, it’s Chris.
Chris has made a huge impact on me in a short period of time. I volunteered at my first event (a duathalon) because of Chris. I started getting to know more of T3 through Chris. I started seeing the team workouts as more than just a convenient place for people to assemble. And most of all, Chris kept encouraging me. It was great to have an ambassador who knew T3 but who was also doing their first half – so he knew what I was going through. And I knew I could always call Chris and he’d pick up the phone (and I never worried about waking him up because he gets up about 2-3 hours before I do many days).
I wouldn’t have crossed the finish line like I did yesterday without Chris. Chris, thank you.
Did I mention I was sunburned? And that there’s the T3 logo in white on my shoulder? Ok, I thought I did.