Team Limoncello Survives Triathlon, Wins Trophy!

We ran… We biked… We swam… and we lived to tell the tale!
With two new members, Team Limoncello finished the Anthem Sprint Triathlon on Sunday, September 10 in rousing fashion, claiming one second-place trophy (Kristi “Duct Tape” Olson), avoiding humiliation at the hands of a girl (Mike “Crone Dog” Cronin), achieving a personal-best time (Terri “Carrot Eater” Karl) and managing not to finish last (me). Sadly two of our Team Limoncello training buddies, Kellee (knee) and Pat (calf), were on the disabled list and did not make the event.
Though your adulation is deserved (and Pat and Kellee are wimps), you might temper your praise when you learn the actual distances involved: A 5K run (3.1 miles) followed by a 14-mile bike (two 7-mile loops) capped with a 400-meter swim (16 laps in an Olympic-sized pool). For you purists (who probably have single-percentage body fat), the vast majority of triathlons start with the swim, followed by the bike, finishing with the run. Being held in the desert during the summer, the kind folks at the Anthem Sprint Triathlon decided to reward us with a cool 400-meter dip in the pool at the end of the race – overlooking the fact that they were finishing said event with the part that would be MOST LIKELY TO KILL US.
So, with our bikes and gear loaded in the transition area and our ages marked on our shoulders, calves and hands (so as to identify the bodies) and Terri returning from her 12th trip to the loo, we took our marks on the starting line. Actually Mike, Terri and Kristi took their marks, I just stood there complaining about how much I hate to run and how all these nice hard-bodies had to feel real proud about kicking my lame 34-year-old butt. (In truth, I think the 64-year-old felt really good about kicking my 34-year-old butt, as did the 11-year-old, the 13-year-old and 46 other people ages 40 and up that gave me a real drubbing). But I wasn’t competing against them: I competed not in a measly age group but in a meaty weight class.
I, along with Kristi, entered the Athena Division, which is for girls who weigh more than 150 pounds… no, I’m not telling you how more than that I weigh, and no, they didn’t write it on my leg… My rationale was that all my beer-drinking and bacon-eating should count for something. I finished fourth in my group… out of five. Kristi finished second – but before you discount her effort, consider that her finishing time of 1 hour, 27 minutes, 54 seconds put her at 35th overall among the women and within 90 seconds of Crone Dog (1:26:25) who put his body on the line in a valiant effort not to get beaten by that girl.
Please check out this fabulous photo of Kristi closing on Mike during the grueling run –
In this moment, our brave Team Limoncello members are about to turn for the transition area, and as Mike is thinking he is home free, Kristi says, “Hi Mike!”
With the sound effects from the Bionic Woman cha-cha-cha-cha-ing in the background, Kristi proceeds to pass him, leap on her bike and take off. At which point, Mike utters a string of profanities that would make me proud and proceeds to sacrifice his left lung in a vain attempt to catch her. He trails her heading into the swimming pool, when he screams “Nooooooooo!” in a really deep, slo-mo voice that has clearly been disguised to protect his identity (just like in the movies). He churns through the water, passing her at the very last minute, and staggers from the pool triumphant (you must be so proud, Mike, you beat a girl – but were beaten by 32 others!) at which point a race volunteer offers him “Gatorade?” His heartbeat pounding in his ears, Mike replies, panicked, “First aid? You think I need first aid?”
What he needed was an ass-kicking, which Kristi provided, handily. So as Kristi and Mike continued their bickering, our Terri – in her FIRST EVER triathlon – clobbered the run in a cool thirty minutes, spanked the bike and glided through the pool for a most respectable 1:39:23 – good enough for 45th overall. Her sweet husband (and official team photographer) Ted captured her triumph for posterity… and then promptly put his camera in the microwave, wiping all records of our victory, including our post-race team photo where we all posed with Kristi’s cigarettes. Still, the race organizers were kind enough to supply photographers (who managed to capture all of us at our grueling, grunting worst) Here’s Terri!
Meanwhile, out on the course, the Moronic Woman (me) continued my slog, er, jog through the so-called run. Having watched the waves of fit bodies surge past me as though I were a pear-shaped rock in an on-rushing stream, I knew of at least one girl behind me – and I knew she was in my weight class. So I quickened my pace (as you can see in this graphic photo)…
… and she still caught me, passing me on the last turn, where I entered the transition area, triumphant in the knowledge that I was in LAST PLACE. Ted claims there was another person out on the course, but I saw only one bike in the transition area… mine. And it was BROKEN!
Yeah, that’s a fun surprise: I couldn’t shift out of the hardest gear, which made the long, sweeping hill on the 7-mile loop QUITE A CHALLENGE. So after a few choice words (if you read this blog, you know my vocabulary is limited), I started mashing the pedals – so well in fact that I re-passed that girl, along with six or eight others, until I got to the hill where I tried to fix my chain and watched them re-re-pass me. And the chain still wasn’t fixed… so I remounted my bike, stood up and re-re-re-passed them, returning to the transition area triumphant in overcoming my adversity… only to find my teammates soaking wet and FINISHED and earnestly encouraging me. Bastards.
After trying four times to put my damn bike back on the stand, I stumbled in slow motion to the swimming pool – remembering to take off my socks when I was halfway there. Terri, Kristi and Mike cheered and cheered, reminding me of how cool the pool was going to feel after my long bike ride. All I could think about was Dave Munsey on Fox News at Nine, reminding you to watch your kids around water, and deciding he probably had me in mind.
With my legs dragging like rocks, I crawled through the water. Apparently, if a fellow competitor touches you on the foot, you’re supposed to move over and let them pass. I did… twice. At each lap, I could hear Mike, Kristi and Terri encouraging me onward – “Just a few more laps! You’re almost there! You’re doing great!” – until I came upon an old man doing the breast stroke – THE BREAST STROKE!?! – though I wanted to curse, I figured I’d swallow too much water in the effort and drown, so I just put my head down and passed his slow ass.
I’d like to say it was heroic, but watching from the side of the pool, I’m sure I looked like a turtle dragging a parachute through oatmeal while overtaking a salted slug on a hot sidewalk. Nonetheless, I made it to the end of the pool without becoming a statistic, finishing the race in 1:45:54… and all I can say is, I wasn’t last.
Now, where’s that bacon?

8 thoughts on “Team Limoncello Survives Triathlon, Wins Trophy!

  1. Wow, Stacy. You have really encouraged me to enter a triathlon. Really. It looks and sounds like such fun.
    And regarding the photo of you: When running, I don’t believe it’s the norm for both feet to be touching the ground at the same time. Just trying to help. 😉 (Feel free to point out my lazy butt hasn’t been in a track race since 10th grade.)

  2. As a spokesman for The Bacon Council, I commend the team’s athletic prowess, which as we all know, starts with a hearty breakfast.

  3. I think that 1:45:54 is an excellent time! Considering that I was at home, trimming the Queen Anne palm tree and then having a beer, I commend you for pushing your athletic prowess to the next level!

  4. Stacy, As usual you are a rock star. Taming a triath and then heading to the bacon trough for a little light victory meal. Very, very impressive!

  5. You, my fellow Athenian goddess, are absolutely hilarious! Thanks for making me laugh so hard I cried – it was just what I needed today.

  6. Stacy,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    We missed you guys yesterday, it wasn’t the same without the two of you.
    Church (Star Spangled Tavern) will be open for tonights SAINTS(-5) game (5pm/MNF). Afterall, Bloody Marys aren’t just for breakfast anymore…hope to see you there. First couple of rounds and BACON are on the house. Please bring all your Mardi Gras friends! We would love to have a good crowd for the game/re-birth of New Orleans. Keep up the good work, LOVE the blog!

  7. She eats pork unbashedly, cusses like a sailor, drinks beer, watches AND dicsusses sports, proudly shows her flesh wounds (LOVED the nailless big toes, Stac), laughs in the face of death and a sexagenarian breast stroker. I think I am in love….

  8. You are by far my favorite short story author. I for one, look forward to your next race…and am sure you’re prepping for it now. Go Stacy!!!

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