Did it turn out the way I planned?
No. It almost never does.
Plan B was in full effect Sunday, along with the 100+ degree heat. But as with any Guatacular adventure, Plan B is always in effect, always making an appearance. It’s just the nature of the beast.
Sometimes Plan B ends up being even better than the original.
Yeah … this wasn’t one of those times.
In truth it wasn’t all bad. It provided me with some stressful situations that turned into comedic moments, which turned into great stories. I think that’s what Plan B is about … providing writing material. And it all starts with your plans … your goals.
Don’t fall and crack your head open, ambulances are expensive.
Don’t get a cramp and drown, it sounds like a painful way of dying.
Don’t let the Cha-Cha girl wearing make-up beat you.
Keep up with the 60-year old IronMan lady during the run.
Don’t use all the IcyHot on your quads the first night, your butt muscles could probably use some from all that bike riding.
All pretty high-achieving goals. I know. And this year an added bonus: Conquer Devil’s Canyon. As you might recall last year this bitch got the best of me and my back. It kicked my ass. This year however I swore I’d make it to the top without stopping and I had more than my pride and two months of yoga pushing me. This time I had extra motivation. I had to make it to my son’s race before it started.
So it was on.
The running went as expected. All the cover models wearing the right clothes, fancy triathlon watches and other expensive gear hauled ass at the sound of the starter’s pistol. By mile two, me and my Costco t-shirt and shorts made our way passed them.
I was doing well. I thought I got this! I made it to the bike transition, no worries. And then about five minutes into the ride, it happened. Plan B provided me with good writing material.
I mean how could I not write about how I almost fell off the bike and ate it because my dude actually did something nice for me. How does something nice go bad? When it’s too nice. He washed the bike the day before, but washed it so well that all the oil practically came off the chain, which then caused the chain to get jammed as I tried to shift gears. It was in a serious state of adhesion. I mean if I went up or down Devil’s Canyon like that, it would have been IT for me. Call the ambulance.
Luckily it happened early on. And I guess if it wasn’t for Plan B I wouldn’t have been reminded of random acts of kindness.
I didn’t even know her, but there she was … my savior wearing aqua blue nylon running shorts, a white breathable cotton tank top, shades, and sporting the 166 ink on her triceps.
Angie. Oh Angie. My savior. Miss 166.
Since everyone was zooming passed me without giving me a second glance I thought I would jog with my bike to the water station and hopefully one of the sheriffs or volunteers would help fix the chain. You know, help me get back on track, because my grease stained hands were making no progress. But on my way there, I ran across Angie, who opened up her MacGyver tool belt to help me. I’m not mechanically inclined, so I had no idea how to unstick a jammed bicycle chain. But apparently the “right way” was easier than the 15-minute method I tried.
But nevertheless Angie and I persevered. I gave her a Woo-Hoo high-five and promised to buy her a cold one once the race was done.
This 15-minute pit stop allowed for a lot of people to pass me, including some Cha-Cha girls in pink. It felt like last place had my name on it. However, this little setback inspired a comeback. But I was a little worried because I hadn’t even encountered my nemesis yet: Devil’s Canyon.
However, setbacks have a way of pushing you so that you make it to the top, even without your Gatorade, which happened to spill everywhere during your pit stop. This setback pushed me to race up Devil’s Canyon in all gears — no stopping this time. And as I passed all the bikers walking up the crazy hill all I could think was … Yoga, you rock! My back made it.
As I reached the top I was so happy to see Harold The Rotary Club volunteer handing out water. I think everyone was happy when they saw Harold and not just because of the water. Harold meant the end of Devil’s Canyon.
After this sweet victory I could tell I was on empty and in desperate need of a banana or orange. So I zoomed down because I knew something would be waiting for me when I hit the transition area. As I approached I noticed the wall clock … I had ten minutes before my son’s race. And so when I dove into the pool it hadn’t even occurred to me to remove my trusty non-waterproof, non-water resistant Canon Powershot.
No it hadn’t occurred to me. All I was thinking about was my son’s starting line.
So after 25 meters in the pool it was done for, in truth after one meter it was done for, resting in peace. All I could do was take it out of my pocket, put it on the pool deck, and just keep swimming. The lifeguard assured me that it happened often, however I didn’t see any other water-soaked cameras dripping dry.
But regardless of my camera’s demise the swimming happened to be the best part that day. I wasn’t Michael Phelps, but I made it through without having to stop. The backstroke rocks. I know normal people enjoy freestyle, but as you all know backwards is the way to go for me.
However the best part … the best part of the whole day was not conquering Devil’s Canyon or crossing the finish line. I know I had made it and it felt good. But no that wasn’t it. The highlight of the day was watching my son cross the starting line. It was cheering him on as I ran alongside him. It was helping him during the bike transition and having him tell me “I got this mom,” as he pedaled away. It was helping him be the best Aquaman he could be in the pool. It was seeing his smile as he sprinted across the finish line. It was the hug and the high-five that I gave him as he got his medal.
Yeah … these were definitely cart-wheel worthy kind of moments that lasted all day.