Here at Greatist, we believe in taking a day off. Instead of our regular programming Saturdays, our writers get a chance to write about living the greatist lifestyle and, basically, whatever they want. This is one of those awesome articles. Enjoy!
Every competitive athlete knows the hassles and frustrations of having one bad thing happen right after another on game day. Forgetting your shoes. Not being able to keep food down. Not getting enough sleep. Anyone who’s ever had a race knows that the perfect race is a rare day.
But last Sunday, I was graced with such a race.
I’m an amateur triathlete. Emphasis on the amateur. A triathlon is a race that is composed of three different sports completed in this order: swimming, cycling and running. They come in varying total distances, ranging from 10 miles to 140.6 miles. I fall in the lower middle class, at just over 24 miles.
For the past three years, I had terrible luck with my races. The first time doing a triathlon, well, it was my first time doing a triathlon, so I’m fairly sure I had a confused look throughout the entire race. The second year I didn’t get to go to bed until 1 a.m. because police cordoned off my hotel room to catch a gunman. Last year, I was late and started the race 5 minutes after everyone else. Needless to say, luck has never been with me.
But this year was my year. I got into bed at 10 p.m. the night before my race, sleeping comfortably on a queen-sized hotel mattress and waking up at 5 a.m. The day before, I made sure to practice my race routine for 30 minutes. Before we left my hotel, I told my friend to set his wristwatch alarm to ring 15 minutes before our start time.
I was pretty nervous about this year since I only ran a few times a week, swam a handful of times and didn’t even have access to my bike. But the race fee was already paid and there were no refunds. More importantly, I’ve never not finished a race.
When the results came out, I found out I placed second to last in my age division. For any other racer, it would have been a blow to the ego.
But it was my perfect race. For all my weakness as a swimmer, I finished with my best swim time. Even though I didn’t have my bike throughout the year, my legs didn’t cramp up during the bike portion. And while everyone passed me up during the final run leg, I never stopped moving.
It was my perfect race.