Sunday, June 05, 2005

Pigman IV

Well, today was the fourth Pigman sprint triathlon that I've completed in my newly-healthy life, and I just love it. I have a new PR under my belt, knocking a good three minutes off my previous PR. Sure, I was hoping to shave a good 10 minutes off my time (it's the perfectionist in me), but all things considered, I'm still happy. My swim was fast and strong, my bike was as good as can be expected with 35+ mph headwinds, and my run was consistent. Pretty impressive, since I was up until 1am with tornado and thunderstorm warnings all night. The beauty of living in Iowa is the unpredictability of the weather.

The other beauty of living in Iowa is the people. For those of you readers who live elsewhere, I hope you encounter people half as cool as the people here. The reason I do the Pigman (and will continue to do it until I physically can't) is the overwhelming comraderie of the participants. It's like a cult of triathloning, I tell you. Sure, these people aren't my best friends, and I don't even know most of their names, but I know them, and they know me. Almost all of the regulars were there: "Red Shirt Guy", "Tall Michael", Eric, Greg, "Minneapolis Girl"... y'all did great. ("Pirate Lady", where were you this year?) Familiar and encouraging faces are everywhere, and we cheer each other on, because much like life, we're all in this together, just trying to make it through and do the best we can.

My personal favorites are the newbies. They're as easy to spot as a Republican at an Indigo Girls concert. They have that "WHAT THE HECK DID I GET MYSELF INTO" look all over their faces. There were a lot of those faces today. Once they feel the overwhelming pride of crossing that finish line, they catch the triathloning bug, just like I did. Trust me, they'll be back.

Blue Shirt Lady will be back. She was struggling with the last leg of the run, with only a mile to go. As I was approaching her, I did my typical, "Hey Blue Shirt! I'm on your tail! You don't want to get passed by a fat man!". She was able to laugh through her laboured breath, and we ran together briefly, while exchanging training horror stories. As I was pulling away she yelled, "You're awesome, Fat Man! You're the fastest man out here!"

You're damn right, Blue Shirt. And for about ten seconds, I felt like I was the fastest man in the world. That was all I needed to hear to kick it in and really fly. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to keep up with me, but she finished strong with a huge (and well-deserved) smile plastered all over her newbie face. She'll keep up with me next year.

So the next time you're completing a triathlon, running a road race, or just sitting at work... why don't you take a second to give the person next to you a word of encouragement? It might just be the boost they need to finish strong. Who knows, they might just return the favor.

All in all, it was a good race. No, it was a great race. I don't even care that a thirteen year old girl beat me. She was a total rockstar. If you're reading this Alison, way to go!


Blogger Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Congrats on the PR, Mateo! Sounds like a great race. The Pirate Lady? :) And those 13 year olds always go too fast for me.

Congrats again!

5:08 PM  
Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Way to go Mateo! I'm not sure what upsets me more, being beaten by a 13 year old or a 70 year old and both happen to me all the Good job on the PR. Maybe someday I'll try a Tri, but for now I'll stick to running.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Jay Diers said...

You are the coolest Mateo. People should be so lucky to have you for a friend.


8:37 AM  
Anonymous Mary said...

I am one of the lucky ones. I am friends with Matt. Congrats on your PR - I am so proud of you!

2:54 PM  
Blogger anne said...

well, you have made me cry twice today! wow- what a fantastically-written entry! i cant tell you how amazeding i think you are, and today, have learned just how loving you are as well. . . though i had an IDEA! thank you matt, for simply putting generosity at the forefront.

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Congrats, Mathieu! Let me know the next time you're running a race in Chicago! I'll be sure to cheer you on (from the sidelines. with a beer in hand.)

Way to GO!

6:22 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Congrats on the PR! I'll be back here taking notes as it sounds like you've got it down! Very cool!

7:59 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I appreciated your comment on the Iowans. I just recently moved to Iowa in Dec. of 2003. I have grown to LOVE the area that I'm in. I moved here because of the people and the beauty of the area. By the way, congrats of the PR.

12:57 PM  

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