Coming around corner two in the third lap of my first track race I looked down at the competitor to my right. In that brief moment it was as if time stood still. "This is incredible," I thought to myself.
The first race of Friday night was an "unknown distance", a purely sick and twisted way to start. The race turned out to be eight laps, none of us knew how long it would be until the bell lap. I ended up getting second in my first race.
Every Friday at the San Diego Velodrome there are C and D level races. I'll let the reader guess if you start in C or D.
I loved the adrenaline. The adrenaline did not like my diabetes. My blood sugar spiked after the first first race to 280. I gave myself a unit of insulin knowing it wouldn't do much.
The second race was an eight lap points race. I won a lap for a point and got second on the fine lap for two more points, three total for the race. Ended second in that race as well. Confused yet?
My legs shot like I haven't felt since college, when coach was really [really] mad at the baseball team. Slow triathlons are about cramping, this was about full pounding lactic acid. I checked my blood sugar again. Well over 300. I could feel the cotton mouth. I gave myself two more units while letting my legs rest.
Triathlon is so different than this. This isn't participation, no feel good pats on the back, it's actual racing. Once the race starts there is no more time to think about how your legs feel. Time passes like a chess match, each player pounding the clock after a move.
The last race was an eighteen lap points race. Points every six laps. This was more fun than points every lap. I won the first points lap. Sat down on the second points lap without juice in my legs. On the final lap I ended second, eight total points on the race.
The tired feeling felt wonderful. My cotton mouth from a high blood did not.
My blood sugar ended near the same place it started in the final race. I learned a lot and sure won't let high blood sugar slow me down.
The resulting blood sugars reeked havoc on my weekend and sleep. I spoke with the legend himself the following day, Bill Carlson. He gave me wise sage advice on how to keep the blood sugars down this Friday.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Jamie opened the freezer to find my running shoes in plastic bags. Taking a step back and giving me a dirty look, “what are these?”
Her eyes looking through me, I knew exactly what she was referencing from across the room. My head down I gave a quick rebuttal, “I heard it gets the smell out, we’re the weird family, we all just have to accept that.”
Keeping her eyes glazed through me, “yeah, I realize that already.”
I found out this week that only 1 in 5,000 people in America have completed an Ironman. I’ve heard marathons are around 2% of the population. Every Monday my boss asks “what did you do this weekend”, each Monday the reply, “rode my bike.” Once he asked how long, I told him seven hours on Saturday. The look on his face said it all. I’ve haven't been asked how long since.
Jamie has talked about trying paddle boarding since we moved to San Diego. She recently started to go to group workouts with a club that does prone paddle board, basically laying on your stomach (or knees) paddling like swimming. If stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is niche, this is uber niche. Everyone in the group is a former high caliber athlete.
That’s why I give her credit for showing up in the first place. It’s not easy being the new person in a group of athletes, even when you’ve been an athlete your entire life.
Last week I finished my six week track cycling class. If road cycling is niche, track cycling is uber niche. There aren't that many velodromes in the country in the first place. I guess that’s the way Jamie and I like it. Thanks to a friend helping me get a track bike I’m going to give racing a try. I love the track; the speed, the contained area, how the community has been so welcoming.
San Diego, the whole area is full of people like Jamie and me. If you want to get outside and make friends doing it, this is the place to be. It’s nice to know you can be part of the niche and not simply be the only weird ones.