Needless to say, I was frightened.
His age category was required to swim 6 lengths of the pool (150m), bike 4 miles (YIKES), and run 1 mile. I took him to the lap pool for the first time 4 days before the race and he struggled to swim one lap, down and back. I coached him to just pace himself and take breaks in between each lap. He laughed extremely hard when I told him I was on the swim team my freshman year of High School. He laughed even harder when I told him that my coach hated me simply because I sucked. He told me there was no way he was going to do this race if he needed to take "breaks." Easy, "Mr. Awesome-sauce."
Two days later, he was swimming 150m with NO breaks. His determination kills me. The first time he did it, he gave me a giant fist pump and yelled "VICTORY LAP" and off he went. By the 3rd day, he swam 500m with ease. I think we may have found our winter sport. He's already better than I ever was.
|I don't know when he became so competitive but I kinda like it.|
The bike portion of the race was definitely the most frightening. Since his bike is a few years old and the chain has a mind of it's own, he borrowed by dad's. He learned 3 days before how to switch the gears. He rode the bike twice for about 10 minutes each time. I tried to gently let him know that 4 miles is a REALLY long distance and since he's never rode for that long before, he needed to just pace himself. In fact, I told him to pace himself about 100 times last week. I think it had sunk in, but for no good reason whatsoever. THOSE KIDS WERE INSANE! They laugh in the face of pace.
I titled this post "tri-mom" because apparently that's what these nut jobs call themselves. I like to let my kids try new things and do fun races, but only on a healthy level of competition. I loved watching him train himself and get so excited about his accomplishments. He went to a CWS game the night before and told me he couldn't even focus because he had butterflies in his stomach the whole time. The good kind. He said it felt like Christmas Eve.
When we arrived Saturday morning, he was 1 of maybe 10 kids wearing an actual swimsuit. The rest had on those bike short speedo things. That stressed him out of course, but he got over it. (Note to self: dress your child like an Olympic athlete next time). We set up his stuff in the "transition zone" and had no clue what we were doing. So we just copied the kid next to us.
|The gate out of the pool into the "transition zone"|
|Sammy watching the 12-16 yr old race before his.|
Since there are only a few lanes in the lap pool, they jump in one at a time and it's a race against the clock. They put ankle bracelets on them before they jump in that times everything they do. Sammy was 3rd in the pool. Competitors came from all over the Midwest for this race and the majority just follow the triathlon around the country! He got lapped by 2 girls. Two crazy girls. When he got out the pool, I could tell he wanted to trip them but he refrained. He hopped on his bike and away he went.
|Nice suits, boys.|
|Good thing he wore orange socks. Only way I could tell he was still alive.|
THANK THE LORD that the weather was starting to get bad because they could only do ONE bike lap instead of 4. Those clouds rolling in were a gift from God! They ended up only biking 1.3 miles. It was by far the hardest part for him. The running mile was a cake walk.
There were only a very small amount of kids that were competing in their FIRST triathlon. Several of them had already done 2 or 3 this summer and still have 8 left this season. Sammy finished the race #79 out of 140 kids. That was 4 minutes behind the 1st place finisher and 12 minutes ahead of the last place finisher. Not bad at all considering zero kids paced themselves! Little shits. Would have been nice to know before I created the moto "pace yourself." Kind of an embarrassing moto when the "tri-mom's" are all yelling "CATCH UP!"
As of now, He's not so sure he would do it again. He said it was the hardest thing he's ever done. The race he did in the fall was such a positive experience and he finished 1st in his age group. He plans on doing many more 5K's and hopes to run the 10 mile next year. The triathlon? Now that is just an accomplishment. Something he can say he did. Something not too many kids his age can. I'm so proud of him.