Triathlon Jammin’

pre start

June 8: wotta day. Betty and I hadn’t done a joint ‘athletic’ venture for many years. Officially, that is. This morning we participated in the local ‘sprint’ TRI, put on by the city of Grand Junction Rec. Dept., and they do a good job. Now, there’re TRI’s with many hundreds of participants or more, but this local one, with 150-some, is, as Goldilocks might say — “just right.”

Below, even “the Monument” looks bleary. But coffee-fueled, we were quite awake.


Deliberately waking up before 5 a.m. goes against whatever religion I’m following, but heck, WE’RE ALL SINNERS sometimes, aren’t we? I let her sleep in an extra 25 minutes, fed the ‘mules (what I call the animals) and we were off to Highline Lake before 6.

My beautiful picture

When I suggested she do the swim portion, in open water, she readily accepted. Heck, our life is so boring, if I suggested we go out and shoot tin cans off of fence posts, that might seem like a good idea to her. (I might suggest THAT next weekend).

swimmrs uhweigh

She bought a wet suit! and practiced a couple of times in some local big ponds. I think she was taking this more seriously than I, though when I entered us as a team a few weeks back, I knew I had to “ramp up” — as I am way out of bicycle shape. Today’s ride of a mere 16 miles was further than I had ridden since last year! And then I had to run …

swimrs ready to start

Betty, above, awaits the swim start. An acquaintance pointed out the lady off by herself (to the right), saying that that was smart — don’t get caught up in the frenzied group combat. Choose your own course. Start slow and gradually become part of the pack. I told him it was Betty. His girlfriend was in the thick of the mix.


Those’re our bikes. I’ll betcha mine, valued at about $300, had to be the least expensive one there. Betty’s, the white machine to the left of mine, cost 2.5 X as much. We brought it so she could get some miles in while waiting for me.

Triathlons are, of course, a lot more preparation-heavy than a mere single-sport endeavor. I had my running shirt with number pinned in place under my bike shirt, and decided that my minimalist Skora shoes would suffice both for riding and running. I had done the last two bike training outings with those shoes. I learned that I shouldn’t wear thin socks, for example. However, less than 1/2 mile into the run, I realized I had my bike gloves on. I complained (jokingly) later that they weighed me down, I would-a gone a BUNCH faster.

betty rosco

We were “Team 188”. Our combined ages. If we were transmogrified into a single person, we would have been second 60 and over! and 3rd in the 55-&-up category.

We survived the thing, in fact, predictably, a half-mile into the ride I was manic at just “being out and doing stuff.” Then there was the depressive side of manic, mainly, when I transitioned from the bike to the run. Though the run SUCKED, and I didn’t have a lot of fun, in retrospect, I had lots of fun in that I PASSED 15 PEOPLE (10% of the field) and no-one passed me. At about mile one (of 3.5) I envisioned a can of beer suspended from a string on a stick just in front of me. I ran after this imaginary can. Hours later, as I type this, I still haven’t had “enough” beer.

I was somewhat heart-broken a couple days later when I was able to view the results and splits. I figured I had to have gone faster than the report said I did. But when you start far from the front of the pack, a mediocre runner looks good. Now, if I started with the front-runners out there, and people not even in this triathlon, people like those who ran a desert 5-mile course the same day, or fast runners we know like Kara Goucher or my daughter or Vanessa Woznow or Ryan Hall or anyone named Komen or Bikela, well, I’d look (and feel) pretty slow.

rosco mike & betty's thumb finish

Rosco caught up with Mike from Newcastle a quarter mile from the finish. In an uncharacteristic fit of sportsmanship, I pulled up alongside and said we’d finish together. He was struggling (heck, he had done the whole thing) and I figured that not having to speed up or ‘jockey’ or just plain worry the last bit would be a small measure of relaxation for us both. WE were going to just stride on in but towards the very end A GIANT THUMB was gaining on us, so we had to sprint to finish ahead of it.

Runners will tell you that however they feel after the race wipes out whatever negativity experienced during the effort. I had fun. The run didn’t suck.

remove the anklet

The prisoner has his ankle-bracelet removed. I was too tired to bend over to do it myself.

June 8 was to be a sort of sandwich — the TRI to start the day, and, in the evening, our first ‘serious’ public musical performance after about 4 or so years. But in between we had a ‘last minute’ (well, three days notice) invitation. A birthday party for a work mate. Good thing, neither of us wanted to cook dinner. Chuck was turning the “double nickel” — the kid, and we were happy for the change of pace. Besides, Betty liked the tour of his house (southwest/mexican-style stucco) and I liked the neat and easy-to-maintain ‘minimalist’ yard outside. Wish ours was like that.

Then out to Fruita (Colorado) Cavalcade Music Hall to be the opening ‘act’ for the monthly “variety” (talent?) show.

Fortunately we forgot our cameras, and so far, haven’t seen our group in the venue’s on-line photo albums. Didn’t help that the Cavalcade’s “official” photographer was recruited to be our drummer, so if any photographic (w)record was attempted, it wasn’t by Thad V’Socke.

There were about a dozen “acts” and each played just one song. The one song we were to play, “Know You Rider”, we’ve played for so long and so often that I go “a little crazy” on it. In retrospect, I should have been less, uh, “show-boaty.” I overheard Betty telling someone she thought I acted like (for lack of less-polite words) an anal-orifice. She wasn’t mad or upset or anything … perhaps I could have been a little bit more subdued. Next time.

5 thoughts on “Triathlon Jammin’

  1. DUDE. Awesome race! You had me cracking up the entire way through, as per the usual. Definitely lost it at “our combined ages.” HAH! Good grief…

    Sounds like the day was truly awesome, and good to hear that you weren’t beat out by the giant thumb. :) Oh, and speaking of musical anuses – did you know that the trombone was originally known as the “sackbut”? I learned this the other night listening to the CBC. The more you know, eh?


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