16 Sept 2015 – The Crazy Ones Tackle a Tri

"The support from many of the other athletes and the crowd was great, but the most enjoyable part was travelling with my two friends and sharing the worries and fun, knowing that you are not alone." - Luke

On the 6th of September, the three amigos - me, Panos and Luke - took on the Bosworth Middle Distance Triathlon. 

Panos first suggested doing a Triathlon as a year-long training goal and I suggested we do it sooner rather than later (really, I was just joking!). This all escalated very quickly and my joke became a reality when Luke bought a new bike... I should have just kept my mouth shut. 

"The morning before the event, the three of us were trying to convince each other that we were cool and we could nail it, even though our training was less than 4 full weeks and mainly focused on swimming." - Panos

Our training in the run up to the event was limited at best. We had less than 4 weeks to prepare! While Luke and Panos got a couple of trips on the bike, made numerous visits to the local pool and even commandeered the help of a former semi-pro swimmer, I preferred to take the more laissez-faire approach, and did no specific training.

This was not through ignorance... I fully understand and appreciate the physical effort and mental determination it takes to complete such an event. Instead, I actually enjoy taking on non-CrossFit challenges using nothing more than my regular CrossFit sessions as training. If CrossFit does what it says, then I should be prepared for pretty much anything, right?  

"...The only change in nutrition was carb loading the night before and taking very high carb supplements race day. Oh and let's not forget the two pizza celebration".  - Luke

The event began with a 1.9km swim around a very chilly, misty lake. I found a steady pace breaststroking my way through the water, watching everyone else's heads bobbing and turning as they front crawled. I knew that Luke and I were taking a quiet comfort (and having a good lolz) in the knowledge that Panos would be struggling with the seaweed and reeds tangling his fingers and tickling his legs... He had previously expressed a serious concern at "not knowing what lives in the lake".

We all finished the swim much faster than we had anticipated during our 'training', and we were far from the last ones out of the water! So far so good...

[My favourite part of the event was]"...the cycling. You have the opportunity to set small targets and beat yourself on each lap. Any bike with more than 14 gears will make the game even more exciting!" - Panos

Next up saw the meat and 'taters of the event, the monster 84km cycle. Whilst we had glorious sunshine the whole day (I even got a tan!), no sunshine can help the butt numbing soreness you experience on over 3hrs of cycling on bumpy, windy country roads. Whilst Luke was beginning his battle with the cramp demons, Panos just seemed happy he was safe on dry land and could clearly see exactly what wild creatures would be in his immediate surroundings. Lolz.

The cycle was actually fun, for the first hour or so. You had great weather, crowds on the roads cheering you on, you're moving at a fast pace, even the small hills were not that bad. Two hours in and that delight soon changes. Your legs start to ache and you begin to recognise every turn of the 89km route (it was 4 laps of a circuit). The unpredictability turns to boredom (and butt soreness) and you just want off the bike!

The transition from the bike to the run can only be described as 'interesting'. Your legs suddenly take on a mind of their own! I could not keep pace with my legs, nor stop them moving, and I marched my bike right through a steward. So began the final piece, the half-marathon (21km) run.

Running has never felt so cumbersome. Because you are moving at such a plodding pace your heart rate is low and your mind is urging you to pick up the pace, but your legs just ain't playing along. It's an odd feeling of powerlessness. 

"...I found [the run] the most challenging, my muscles were very tired and the pain on my legs followed me from the beginning until the end." - Panos

Panos and I kept passing each other on the running route, each time with decreasing enthusiasm. During our first pass (the first time we had seen each other since beginning the Triathlon) we almost had a bro-hug. The second occasion, we exchanged a high five and some motivational yarn. The third meeting was a missed fist-bump (no words exchanged) and by the final pass we could barely muster a head nod.

[My most memorable moment]..."was looking down at both thighs and seeing what I can only describe as aliens moving under my skin and then the realisation that I had 20km to go." - Luke, on his cramp issues.

At this stage everything hurt. I suffered from brief bouts of cramp at the start of the run which soon passed. Luke, on the other hand, was not so lucky. Despite being in clear discomfort and considerable pain due to massive cramping, Luke showed great character and determination to finish the event. He knew he just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other to finish, and that is exactly what he did. 

We actually completed a Triathlon! 

Panos finished in 6hrs and 39mins, Luke was 8hrs 9 mins and I was 6hrs and 2mins. It was a thoroughly impressive and determined effort by both Luke and Panos and I could not be more of how they both handled themselves, the event and the unfolding mental and physical challenges.


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) EMOM x 10
Front squat: Perform 3 reps

B) 7 rounds for time of:
7 Push Jerks (70/47.5 kg)
7 Chest-to-bar pull-ups
7 Burpees