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My Second Triathlon - DNF!
Posted by Eric Zane on June 21 2009
DNF. This is what you do not want to see next to your name on the results for a triathlon or any race. DNF. Did not finish. Balls. That is what is next to my name for my latest triathlon. This one was called Johan's Trifest. It's an olympic distance tri (1,500 meter swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run) It's named after a guy named Johan Visser. I never met him but reading up on him, he's a legend who helped a lot of people with advice on triathlons and life. From what I learned he did Iron Man's all over the globe including Kona. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2001 and lost that fight.

So it's cool that so many people gather for this great race each year. I was one of them. I was ready to race. I had one tri under my belt and i learned a lot from the first one. I knew what to avoid to stay out of trouble. The swim started the race off at 8 AM. This time I avoided the mass and stayed wide and to the back. It wasn't long before i started passing. I got punched in the head once. Nothing major and no panic though like last time (see blog about swim during first tri). I felt great. Out of the water with a time of 26 minutes 38 seconds (62 overall out of 252 competitors). Sweet. Up the hill to the transition area. My wife and kids got me a sweet aerodynamic racing helmet. You know, the tear drop kind that makes you look like a cock. But it makes you faster. My wife and girls were there to cheer me on. Awesome. I throw on the helmet, glasses and grab my bike. Gone (third fastest transition for my age group!). The ride was a bitch. There's some good sized hills in this race. The real problem was the wind. Shit. At times I felt like I was going backward. Awful. But I soldiered on. The good part of this bike that after the long stretch against the wind and up the hills, you get to turn around with the wind at you back going in the opposite direction. Here's where you put the hammmer down. I got into the gas and was really cookin'. Every rider going that direction was effin' flying. Despite the wind struggles that would slow down my bike time, I knew I would be shaving many minutes off my time from the previous tri. After all, in that one I almost drowned from a panic attack, had to take a leak and twisted my ankle and had to limp to the finish line. This time, I had no issue with the swim and I didn't have to pee. All I had to do was run and the course was on pavement. Unlike the last race which was like running on the mother effing moon. I arrived back to the transition area. Bike time 1 hour 16 minutes 35 seconds. I'll guess that was better than 2 / 3rds of the field. Shoes on, number belt, head band, wrist band, eat Gu, drink water, gone. This transition was much slower. My ass hurt bad and I had to tie my damn shoes. Off and running down the road. About a mile into the run, somebody says "hello" to me. It's a listener of the show. His name was Matt. We talked for a bit. We offered words of encouragement to each other and then I said "I'm taking off." He said, "Good job. You're going to do a lot better than your last time." I joked back, "Yeah only if I don't twist my ankle again." I busted out the first two miles in 14 to 15 minutes. Everything's going great.

Half-mile later. "Crack!" Same ankle as last time. Down. This time on the asphalt. Road rash all over my right side. I screamed. Dear God did it hurt. Worse than three weeks ago. Same story. Other athletes ask for help, and I decline. One guy says he'll get help at the next aid station. I couldn't believe it. Something is wrong that keeps causing this to happen to me. Very upsetting. Remember that dude Matt? He wasn't far behind. He knew exactly what had happened. I knew there was no finishing this one. My day was done. I'm laying on the side of a road. Man did that suck. A nice couple riding their car down the road saw I was in trouble and drove me back to the finish line where I was helped into the medical tent. The trainer seemed to think that it was a sprain. I think he's right. Hell, I hope he is. I was in a lot of pain. He put ice on it and wrapped it. Then he cleaned my cuts and scrapes which had bits of dirt and gravel in them. While I was being treated my girls figured out what had happened and came to the tent. They felt bad for me. I felt bad. Now I'm worried that there's some mechanical or structural problem causing me to keep twisting my ankle. On the way out of the tent I came upon a person I know from the YMCA and her husband. These two win triathlons. She's a trainer and he's an expert in bio-mechanics. I told him what happened and he gave me some great advice about shoes. He said the shoes I wear were not appropriate for me because something to do with them not having good stability. He said I should be good to go with a new pair of shoes and some rest.

But it still sucks and my ankle hurts. Next race is early August. Ok. Gotta go. Thanks for reading the blog.

Eric
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