My birthday is Saturday (turn 55), and my wife keeps asking me- what do you want for your birthday? And I keep saying, my first triathlon of the season this Sunday. That's it. After losing my father to prostate cancer last summer, and my diagnosis in September...I have new respect for being able to train and compete in this wonderful sport. I do not take it for granted. It is a gift. Yes, I have worked hard since my surgery in December to return to racing shape. I don't know if I am even close to my pre-op conditioning, but I will find out soon. Just competing, racing, and going as hard as I can is enough. I am excited like a little kid. I have not raced in a triathlon since Worlds in Budapest in September. That was exciting. This sprint tri near Chattanooga is a different type of thrill. It will be the first triathlon since my cancer diagnosis and surgery. I have started a new chapter in my life journey, and that's exciting.
Noelle is also going to race Sunday. We enjoy travelling to races, and trying new events. This is a 600 -meter, open water swim (wetsuit), 15-miles on the bike, and a 5K. We have never been to this venue, and will be scouting out the course on Saturday down in Hixson, TN. Part of the triathlon experience is also seeing new places. We have driven thru Chattanooga many, many times, but never stopped. This time we're spending the night there, and will do some exploring Saturday night. Then bright and early it will be race day. I don't know what to expect with the other racers. I have moved up into a new age group. My goal is to race smart, and hard.
I will be on a new tri bike...the Cervelo P3. I have not had a chance to spend any time on it so I need to get it out before Sunday. I am also running stronger now...maybe my best ever. The Newtons have been great on my feet, and I am looking forward to seeing how I do in the run portion.
Bottom-line- it's great to be alive, healthy, and racing. Christmas has indeed come early!