“New Orleans is the only place I know of where you ask a little kid what he wants to be and instead of saying, I want to be a policeman, or I want to be a fireman, he says, I want to be a musician.” – Alan Jaffe, Jazz Musician and Founder of Preservation Hall
Next weekend, is a culmination of love – favorite city, great music and clarinet playing, triathlon, my best friend, and my bicycle.
It’s been a quiet year blog-wise. I took a lot of the year to regroup and reflect on triathlon. My goals this year were to just have fun and enjoy training again. It was another year that I couldn’t quite afford a bike and mine is on his very last legs. I am eeking out everything he has for this last race. After cutting last year short with surgery, paying for said surgery, I just needed a breather year. So I spent my money on a destination race for fun and left out all gadgets.
This was that year. I chose races that looked fun – races that were new to me. Destination races and races with new faces. Races that took me to unfamiliar courses. I also chose races that would challenge me and embraced the suck with my friends at Triple T. I had fun at every race.
There is one more. As I head to New Orleans next week, I am looking forward to my final triathlon of the season. I am looking forward to racing with strangers, looking forward to being in the city that I love. I’m racing with shoes that have too many miles on them, a bike that could fall apart at any second, a wetsuit that has seen better days, and goggles that are so scratched it is a wonder I can see out of them.
But none of this matters. I have no worries about making cut-offs like I have in the past. I’ve been racing for years. Experience has taught me to control what I can and leave the rest to mother nature and whatever else. My race sim day I split a tube and had to rethink my whole plan. My rear tire tube blew to bits. Like butter…I just readjusted my brain and timeline and went out and did the sim like nothin. No poo-pooing, just onward. I am a poor (monetarily-speaking) triathlete. This year has taught me to work with what I have. I can’t train with power. I have to spend my money smartly. I still go out and race with everyone else and I love it. I work my butt off out there, and I do just fine with what I have. My body gets me through each course and my gear is just along for the ride.
I’m finally managing to scrounge up enough to get that elusive bicycle next year without using credit, while at the same time making sure I can also get the “extras” that go with it. I plan to spend modestly on a bike instead of the “dream bike” so that I can also get a power meter, pedals, new shoes ( I have never EVER had new bike shoes since I started tris in 2007), a professional bike FIT, and hell maybe if the cards are right – a new smart trainer. Hopefully, there will be $100 left over to get a new pair of running shoes.
Thankfully, the gym at my apartment just got brand new cardio equipment (which includes spin bikes with power meters) so I can train all winter with power and hope to pick up in the spring with new wheels and power meter.
Pictured here – Me and Oliver. Oliver’s first race. Look at that set-up! HAHA. Look at that WATER BOTTLE. Very aero. 🙂 I love this.
I’m so looking forward to the race-cation. But really, the race is one day. The culmination of this season is to go relax, eat amazing food, vakay, listen to some fantastic clarinet playing, spend some much needed together time with Eric, and spend 6ish hours pumping out some enjoyable swim, bike, run action and the last 56 race miles with my beloved bicycle, Oliver – with me since my second year of triathlon. It will be amazing to be out on a long(ish) course again, smiling, waving, salting, and making new friends while we all love the pain together.
In New Orleans.
I can’t wait.
Dreams do come true in New Orleans.