Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Duathlon Rembered

It's been over a week now since my Duathlon. Later that evening I set out my favorite coffee shop and had some notes to make. I remembered the fun I had talking to other newbies before the race; moments of wonder as I crossed the Mississippi River; the self-satisfaction at age 62 of crossing the finish line. The word I use to describe it was peaceful -- and inner peace.

I was actually surprised, though, when the next morning at work several people said to me that there was something they could see that was different that morning. I kind of laughed it off but they said, "No, really. You seem like you have serenity."

Looking back, I still have those same feelings. It actually amazes me that I did it and, even more amazing, I enjoyed it.

So, here's what I wrote about the Duathlon on the evening after:

Waiting, watching, walking
13 waves ahead of me-
people smiling, talking,
listening to their iPods.
Getting psyched.

where cars should be crossing-
as police direct and
volunteers cheer.
Downhill in the shade, then,
back across the river in the sun.

Transition to the bike and
a feeling of ease while
catching my breath and coasting




under overhanging trees
before a climb while
other bikers pass me-  but I'm in no rush.
Reaching the turnaround and getting a
second breath.
Sailing, then,
actually passing other bikers myself,
The Uphill Mile,
struggling in
lowest gear with
deep breaths and
Finally flat and easy. Sprinting
by the Guthrie Theater
to dismount, 
legs barely holding.
Walking to rack the bike
drinking water
feeling worn.
A mile and a half to go.

Up to the Run-Out-Aisle and
once more across the river,
once more downhill,
but now with less shade
quickly once more to cross the stone arch bridge
hearing the announcer at the
finish line
half a mile away;
a quarter-mile;
then across the finish.
Time is up.
The race is over and
snacks are waiting

Cheese, water, corn chips
replenish the body
but the soul knows
it has been challenged
and made it!

The world's largest.
And I was there.

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