HIV Longevity Still Fighting…


Ninety-Eight More to Go!

A year ago I set a stiff goal for myself ... I decided to complete 100 triathlons in my lifetime. Well, I just came back from number two.

This was the Summer Super Sprint in Manassas, VA. The distances broke down like this:

Swim: 400 yards in a pool (16 lengths)
Bike: 8 miles
Run: 1.8 miles

Like many of my stories, this one had some tribulation and adventure to start it off ... I was working on fewer than six hours of sleep, which is fairly normal for me, but I could have used an extra hour or two before a race. Sleep aside, everything was coming together nicely. I felt strong and ready to crank this bad boy out!

On my drive to the race I started feeling a gurgling in my tummy ... As a professional diarrhea experiencer (is that even a word?), I knew precisely what my intestines were telling me. They were saying, "um ... prepare for battle, bitch!" I groaned and popped two Imodium AD pills. Inwardly I prayed that this was a sick joke, and the bowel problems would pass by this time. Six minutes later I knew that this was not a drill, I was going to explode, and do so sometime very soon. Panic gripped my thoughts as I tried to find a bathroom. I knew that it was going to be another ten plus minutes, before I got to the first gas station in Leesburg. I also knew (from MANY previous experiences) that I had fewer than seven minutes before I started churning out an unmentionable.

Clenching my butt cheeks extra hard I could feel tears welling at the edges of my eyes. I struggled just to keep the gas pedal pressed while holding my body rigid. The pain was unbearable (considering I beared it, I guess it was more "close to unbearable"). Finally the Sheetz loomed in the distance. I could not get there quick enough.

Parking and gingerly climbing out of my car with my butt tighter than a boa constrictor wrapped on a bunny rabbit, I limped into the station. Dispensing with pleasantries, I ignored the lady at the counter who said something like, "Welcome to Sheetz, good morning." Praying that the stall was available, I pushed my way into the Men's Room. Barely making it to the throne, my bowels unleashed Hell.

Was that a detailed enough diatribe for yaz?

The rest of the trip was uneventful, and I arrived 92 minutes early for my pending race. Strutting up to the race packet pick-up counter, I put a "I'm gonna kick some ass" grin on my mug and sauntered up to the counter. The lady asked for my driver's license and USAT card.

PANIC kicked in, as I realized that I had left my wallet at home. Ooooooh noooooooo!!! I knew that races required a photo ID to pick up your bib and other goodies

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Knocking my cocky look off my face, I quickly changed to "poor me" mode and hoped the woman hadn't seen me walking up like John Travolta in Saturday Night Live only moments ago. I chuckled nervously and explained that I had forgotten my wallet. I joked about knowing I would forget something, but thankfully I had remembered to bring my bike. She was about to tell me to take a hike, when I remembered that I know the race director, Ina. Ina would surely remember me, and I said so. The lady was kind, and believed my silly story. She slipped me my goodie bag and waved me on.

Problem two tackled and solved!

Now I only had one problem looming ... My race!

I prepped my transition area and got ready to boogie. The pre-race talk was given by Ina, and we were ushered indoors to the big swimming pool.


The swim was done in waves adding a new person to the lap lane five seconds after the person in front of them. The guy up front started by doing an odd version of the breast stroke ... Racers murmured ... Then, he doggy paddled for a bit, and then went back to his breast stroke. He was getting passed by every racer as if he was sitting still. Many of the racers asked, "WTF? Did that guy already get injured or something?" I was dumbfounded, until a girl a few racers up explained his story. Apparently he had given the time he could complete 100 yards in, instead of 400 yards ... I imagine the race directors thought he was Michael Phelps or something, with a time like that. HA! Poor guy struggled as racer-after-racer pummeled past him. God that must have SUCKED!

When my time came to get in the pool, I fought my way through all 16 lengths, passing several people and being passed by a few.

Out of the pool I jogged to the transition area and quickly found my bike and towel. I donned my gear, grabbed my bike and ran out to the street for the strong part of my race. When I say strong, I mean it. I crushed the bike ride by averaging ~24 MPH and was not passed by one single person on the entire eight mile trek. I probably passed 15 or more people! CRUSHED ... IT!!! Boy did I feel great.

Did I say that I felt great? HA! That all ended as I pulled into transition and switched my bike shoes for running shoes ... OUCH! My thighs were balloons, my lower back was stiff, and my calves felt like they were torn! I limped out of transition and tried to find my groove. Well ... My groove looked like a broken man limping home. HAHA! My calves were screaming and I was running like I'd been shot in the hip. Pathetic is an understatement. Fortunately I had my age (44) permanent markered onto my right calf to notify people why I looked so broken ... hehehe.

My run actually picked up and my limp went away after about the first 1/2 mile. Then I fell into a semi-lucid groove and started running more normally. Funny thing is, I was only passed by two other racers, so the others must have been feeling like me! Good!!!

I ran my run and finished ... I felt good about my race, even though I think I was robbed in my run. Next time ... oh yes ... next time!

I always seem to pull a funny and exciting story (or two) out of each of my silly events. This one was no different. I hope you enjoyed my loquacious dribble.

Here are my numbers:
Overall Race Time = 47:51 - I finished in 30th place out of 210 racers, and finished 4th in my age group out of 9 guys my age.

Swim (400 Yards) - Ranked 76th (oops)
7:26 (pace - 1.8 MPH/30 min-mile)

Transition One

Bike (8 miles) - Ranked 22 (boom!)
20:22 (pace 23.6 MPH/2:32 min-mile)

Transition Two

Run (1.8 miles) - Ranked 38th (so-so)
16:24 (pace 6.6 MPH/9:06)

This was a blast! I can't wait for my Olympic distance race next week!!!


Posted by Vaughn Ripley

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