My daughter races the Kids of Steel, I race the Olympic distance.
I have got in a habit of writing short and sweet race reports, so my next challenge is to fit two reports in the same space as one. Try anything once right? So here I go, KOS first, Olympic after.
They revised the course for the 7 & under as the boat ramp was pretty slippery. We would swim along the shore, up the beach, then into transition. Great, water, sand, and sensitive skin. I quickly tried to figure out a way to clean off her feet, and the wet grass would do the trick between the sand and pathway. We got in the water, waited for the start, and got our motorboat on. It was a long run, who I am kidding, walk to transition.
Once we got there, she changed and off she went on the bike alone. Before the race, she asked me to swim with her, but she could do the bike and run alone. Well after she came off the bike, she wanted me to run with her to the finish. So there I am, wet shorts and nothing else running the KOS run course with my daughter. It was kinda fun, but kinda weird at the same time.
Hit the aid station (always have to) and worked her way to the finish. The great thing about kids is that they don’t care about their time, or how they finish. Actually, I am not sure if she really knew it was a race.
No matter, we had a great time playing on the beach before and after the race, munching on post race snacks, and celebrating when we got home.
Now onto the main event.
I had a decent swim by my standards. The start was the most hectic I have been in for a while as I started near the front, smack in the middle of the pack. I didn’t get kicked in the face, but I did knock elbows, knees, and feet with most everyone around me. This lasted for about 300m, and once we hit the first buoy I was clear. Tried to catch a quick group 10m ahead of me, couldn’t for the entire 2 laps of the lake.
On to the bike. I noticed a racer that I competed against at Chinook (tough to miss a BMC Time Machine) who passed me on the bike with a little attitude. I made a point to pass him when I could, and succeeded at km 6 never to see him again. Come to think of it, I hope he is alright and didn’t have a flat or something. I crushed each uphill section, standing for the last 50m or so to keep my speed and cadence high for the flat section. Before I knew it, I was coming up the hill for the last time and heading into T2.
I was targeting a fast run, but today was not my day. Not sure if it was the effort on the bike, but I couldn’t convince my legs to keep my pace above 4:40/km after the first 1.5k. I settled in for a tough run, but was determined to finish under 50 minutes. I eventually crossed the finish line with total time of 2:23:23 (49:45 10k run split). I was a little bummed as my main rival was 3 mins ahead of me out of T2, and with a 42 min 10k, I would have raced him to the finish line.
Still, not too shabby; beat my time from last year by 8:06 and placed in the top 10.
Overall it was a great weekend. I enjoy the ability to share racing with my family and not just have them come out a watch as I race past. I may even try to convince my wife to participate in the relay next year. Stay tuned to see how good of a salesman I really am.
Question: Did you race on the weekend? How did it go?
It was a great year for many reasons.
I achieved several goals I set for myself and my family became closer as well.
In June, after a coffee meeting with a friend, I decided to give up the java for good. Based on how I felt after each day, the motivation was pretty high. I have to admit, it wasn’t easy especially with the line of work I am in, but I made it through the 30 days and have given it up for good. I feel greet now, especially in the afternoon when I used to get the jitters. I did have a couple of ‘shorts’ of Christmas Blend because, not that I am Superman, but it is my kryptonite.
Nine weeks to the day after I broke my collar bone, I stood on the shore of Ghost Dam getting myself ready for Ironman 70.3 Calgary. It was my ‘A’ race of the year, and all of my training revolved around it. Most thought that I was crazy for starting, but my family stood behind me and cheered me along the way. I learnt alot about myself, triathlon, and how your mental toughness is just as important as your physical. I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t have finished if it wasn’t for them.
It was then my daughters turn for her second Kids of Steel Triathlon; her first open water swim. I swam, ran as she biked, and ran beside her to the finish line. My favorite part of the race? When she grabbed a glass at the aid station and tried to drink while running. I think every person, including myself, were chuckling a little bit. It was so cute.
Pretty much our whole family came to watch, I think we were the annoying spectators that morning.
I said time flies, well we couldn’t believe when time came for her first day of kindergarden. We had to put some effort in her application to the school, so when we recieved confirmation she was accepted, we were ecstatic. She is having so much fun and learning alot. The best part, she is meeting other kids who share her learning style and personality.
The rest of the year was pretty uneventful. We enjoyed the fall and the changing of the leaves; we couldn’t experience it like that in our old house. I began planning my 2013 training plan and race schedule. Sounds like a ton of fun? Only a Triathlete would say “Yes”.
Hopefully 2013 will be just has eventful. Well, maybe a little less eventful.
Good luck to you in 2013.
This was KOS number 2, and the first I was able to participate in.
We had a chance to cover the course on Friday afternoon, which is highly recommended for any Triathlon, not just your first KOS. As this was her first time in a lake, she wanted me to swim beside her, and asked if I could stay with her the entire time.
The 7 and under category was to swim last and only after all of the previous age group had finished their bike leg. This meant that there was going to be a 20 minute delay. More time to play in the sand!
Highlights: As the start was delayed, we had a chance to cheer on a friend as she passed on the run course.
Lessons: Spectators can show up a little later than we anticipated, around 0930 should do.
Swim – 50m – Lake Chaparral
The kids and adults hit the water and began the swim across the dock. We decided to start mid pack, and regretted our decision as we got stuck behind some slow swimmers. So we went around, and cruised to the boat ramp.
The ramp was slippery, and the volunteers were helpful in getting us to our feet.
Once out of the water, I let her take the lead. It was up to her to find her bike, and start getting ready. She found it with ease, I helped with the socks and shoes, and I put my shoes on while she put her helmet and race number on.
After insisting that she needed her hoodie on, we left transition.
Highlights: We navigated transition like champs. It wasn’t fast, but she did it all on her own.
Lessons: Need to ditch the socks, little wet feet are not easy to dress.
Bike – 1.5km – Lake Chaparral Community
The bike course was on a parking lane, at least I think that is what you call it, so the kids did not have to worry about traffic. Awesome.
It was like a clam Sunday afternoon bike ride, no real urgency about it. She was telling me stories, checking out the park, and overal enjoying her time. Maybe I can learn a thing or two…..
Highlights: She didn’t get passed by anyone, or pass anyone.
Lessons: Continue to enjoy each bike leg.
Run – 0.5km – Lake Chaparral Park
Again, we navigated transition like champs, she found her spot, I racked her bike, and we were off to the run.
We waved for some pictures, thanks Oma, and hit the aid station just before the finish. She grabbed a glass, took a sip, and threw it to the ground like she has done this before.
I asked if she wanted me to cross the finish line with her, or do it by herself. She wanted to go it alone, so I veered off to the right, and watched as she crossed the finish line.
Highlights: She continued to run for the enitre 0.5km.
Lessons: Continue to enjoy each run leg.
She enjoyed the race, there was a smile on her face the entire time. The post race munchies were a hit, she wanted to grab some water, fruit, and bagels. Hey, we even stayted around for the draw prizes and won a pair of goggles.
It was great that we were able to share the expreince with family friends as well, it made it much more enjoyable for her to see her friends competing as well.
The differences between a KOS and an ‘adult’ triathlon are obvious, but it is the atmosphere that struck me the most. It’s not serious, it was so much fun. I am pretty sure we will do this every year.
Here is a link to some of the pictures from the day, check them out here.
Having a family, full time job, and training year round can challenging, but if you can balance it just right, the rewards are worth it.
Not that I am an expert only having been doing this for 2 years now, but here is a list of what I have found to help fit triathlon into my life.
1 Involve your family. I think this one goes without saying. Bring your kids to the race, triathlon store, or anything they can safely do with you. I involve my daughter in everything I do, and she ended up racing in a KOS.
2 Early morning training. Not quite an early bird, but I have found that hitting the gym, path, or road before the girls get out of bed allows me to give my full attention during the day and evening to my family. I also have been able to routinely compete 2 to 3 hour workouts without effecting my work hours either.
3 Proper distance. Your life can only fit a certain amount of training, for me around 9-11 hours is all about mine can handle. This equates to a 70.3 distance. Do I want to step up to a 140.6? Sure, but only when I can fit the training into my day-to-day life.
4 Find a gym with child care. My daughter would like nothing better than to be dropped off in the child care at the local YMCA for a couple of hours while I train. I can then get my workout in or head on a ‘date’ with my wife (see point 5).
5 Take your family with you. I have run with my wife on several occasions. Sure, I don’t run with the same intensity as I would by myself, fartlek anyone?, but filling the karma pool is a great trade off.
6 Trade time with the kids. Give your significant other some time to themselves. Take your kids to the amusement park, swimming lessons, or Grandma’s house and leave them to hit the spa. When I have the chance, I let my wife sleep in.
7 Head on a vacation. After race season, take a trip. Leave the training gear at home, and use that time to recharge your batteries from a long season, and enjoy your family without thinking of the next workout.
Question: What have you done to be able to fit Triathlon into your life? More importantly, what have you done to show your family that you appreciate it?
Anyone who has kids, been around kids, or been a kid at one point in their life knows that you have to watch what you say when those little ears are listening.
The greatest example in my daughters life doesn’t involve swearing (all though I am sure that is on the way) but does involve triathlon. After watching me race in 2011, two races by the way, my daughter asked when she could ‘win’ a triathlon.
I immediately thought of the Kids Of Steel (KOS) races here in Calgary, notably the KOS at Lake Chaparral and KOS put on the Kronos Tri Club. The Kronos Tri Club KOS is a pool swim, which was also my first experience in a triathlon, and highly recommended for a first attempt.
We delayed registering, mostly as we figured It was a passing phase.
It wasn’t, race day was here, and I was fresh from the emergency room the day prior with a broken collar bone.
Enter my brother, he volunteered to help her in the race by running beside her during the bike and run, and helping in transition.
It was an amazing experience. The race is for all ages, with my daughter the 5 and under age group (she is 5). There was 18 year old kids looking for a spot on the Olympic team, 3 year olds riding with training wheels, and everything in between.
She had a blast, and so did we. Watching her on the course made me smile; it hurt my shoulder, but who cares. She finished the race as I always intend to, upright with a smile on her face. Man, am I pound of her. Not for racing, but for setting and reaching a goal while having fun doing it.
Does anyone else have an experience with a child participating in a Triathlon? Was it as positive as mine?