Photo: ToniVC, Flickr Creative Commons
Shit. I suck at not being depressing. How do I even have any friends?
Okay. Refocusing. Ignore that you're surrounding by a jumble of desks and unpacked boxes full of textbooks and office supplies. Ignore that you gained 10 pounds this summer because you're a fucking lazy bastard who can't manage to stick to a training routine when you're not forced into a schedule by work. Ignore that some people won't get that these first three paragraphs are tongue-in-cheek, intended to cheer yourself up. Ignore that they're also heavily based in the truth of your personal experience.
Moving on. Instead of whining about work, I'm going to talk about a few of the highlights of my summer. My summer break started off with my winning my age group at my first triathlon of the season. It was an interesting day, actually. Most of the sprint distance races I do have quarter mile swims or something similar. That's 440 yards. This race was 650 yards. I had not realized that when I lined up at the starting line, so when I stepped out of the water heading into transition and looked down at my watch and saw a time well into the double digits, my heart sank. I'm not the fastest of swimmers. I'm usually middle of the pack. I'm okay with that because I'm above average on the bike and run and the swim is the shortest, least important part of the race. It's just not a good way to go into transition thinking that a performance you thought was solid was actually a disaster. Turns out that it wasn't a disaster. It was exactly what I should have swum over that distance, but I didn't find that out until later the next day. I overcame my disappointment, and I flew on the bike, my fastest bike leg ever. I did okay on the run. Looking at the preliminary results, I thought I was probably getting 3rd place in my age group. That was cool. This was a much larger event than the race where I won Clydesdales and my age group last year so third place was solid.
The problem was that my name never appeared on the preliminary results. When I realized they were posting names of people who finished well after me, I talked to race officials to see what was up. Apparently my timing chip didn't register at the finish line. Luckily, races have a backup system of a pair of volunteers with stopwatches and pen and paper who spot racers as they cross transition area boundaries and the finish line. They found that and told me they'd get it figured out. The only problem is that the preliminary results never included my name, even when they started the award ceremony later that morning.
I walked over to where the awards were being given out and waited for my age group. That took a while. The women's categories were awarded first and then there was a long pause as they waited for results before announcing my age group. Was that my fault? Maybe. They announced the third place in my age group. Not me. I couldn't help but be disappointed. I could have sworn there had been two times faster than what I had on my watch at the finish line. Second place. Still not me. I started to stand up to get my bike and head back to the hotel. First place: Jacob's LandofBlissandBlisters! I still have no idea what happened to the two faster times. Had I looked at the wrong age group? Were the the two faster times mistakes? Did I just read them wrong? The time I was given was almost identical to what I expected and almost 2 full minutes faster than 2nd place. Not a bad way to end a race.
As for the rest of my summer, this is getting long. I'll finish it tomorrow.