I did my first triathlon when I was 22. Even then I really, really did not like the run. Running was and is the primary fitness activity in the military. When I got out of the military, I promised myself:
Run only when chased
That lasted until I was in my early 40’s. Having a largely sedentary job, I noticed a lot more aches and pains, along with the onset of the commonplace 40 year old low back pain. So I decided to get more active, while I still could. It sure beats watching your body fall apart. I returned to triathlons with the Surf City Sprint Triathlon in 2011.
I’ve always been a strong swimmer but I never would have imagined I’d be the second one out of the water on an ocean swim. This was behind a teenager named Hans. Seriously, his name was really Hans. It’s hard to be upset about coming in second behind an adolescent triathlete named Hans.
My lead quickly evaporated as I was riding a mountain bike with knobby tires for my first race. I was just in it for the experience and did not expect to be competitive at all. Aero bikes were passing me with bittersweet comments like “way to go mountain bike guy”.
I placed second in my age group, which was a shocker since a plastic bag in the wind passed me on the run…twice!
I continued training and learned a fundamental truth of a middle age athlete.
There will always be training injuries
Three sports allowed me to shift emphasis when an injury reared its ugly head in one of the 3. I liked the way I looked, felt, and it was great for stress relief.