My path towards the 2010 Greater Cleveland Triathlon started sometime mid-to-late 2009 when a little bird told me that it would be included in the summer 2010 Team In Training schedule. I have been a run coach with TNT for the past 3 years but have been wanting to fundraise again and since I've already done a marathon with TNT, I figured a triathlon (especially a hometown triathlon) would be perfect.
The day turned out to be great! Competing while wearing TNT purple is like nothing else. The course was littered with cheer squads (scream teams) wearing purple and urging, not just us, but everyone on (props to Mentor High cheerleaders for ditching the red and donning the purple).
SWIM - What can I say about the swim? Yikes... really. I am a horrible swimmer. I can't figure how I have a god-given ability to run and can hold my own on the bike, but am so incredibly slow as a swimmer. For some silly reason (more mental than anything) I decided not to wear a wetsuit. Who knows how much time I lost because of this but I was 10-15 minutes slower than my previous swim times would have predicted. Oh well. I didn't drown and I wasn't the absolute last person out of the water so... on to the bike.
BIKE - As much as I want to get-up-and-go on the bike, I am still fairly winded from the swim. Plus, and maybe it was just me, I felt a fairly strong headwind when heading south on the bike course. Still, I have a lot of fun on the bike. I did good negotiating the hills and a few of the more technical sections of the course and managed just under 18 mph as an average speed.
RUN - Normally I love hitting the ground running. It's my chance to pass everyone who treaded over top of me in the water. Not on this day. I was looking for any excuse to rest at T2 and was fortunate to find 1/2 cup of Gatorade next to my bike. Three seconds later I was out of excuses and was on the go. My average pace was consistent but slow for me. I knew this would be the case as I've run only a handful of times since the Pittsburgh Marathon in May. Plus it was really frickin' hot and I hate running in hot weather.
FINISH - As I neared the finish line I saw my family, friends, TNT posse, and my honoree, Page. I took my medal and put it around her neck for keeping. Her bravery and spirit over the years is enough to warrant all the medals in the world.
Afterwards, I hung out on the beach with the family and a high school friend of mine and her family. An amazing day all around.