Sunday, September 23, 2007

Summer Winding Down

Fall has arrived on the calendar, but in Mississippi it's still summer for a while. We had a nice cool spell last weekend, which was great timing for the my second Delta State Triathlon. Cool weather allows me to run a little faster and not overheat.

I actually won 3rd place in my age group, and there were 6 of us. Jeff Skinner of Memphis won the overall male masters and he's in my age group, so there were really 5 competing for the 3 places. I think maybe someone was racing with his 13-year-old daughter, so maybe I only beat one guy. Whatever.

Something I discovered while looking at the pictures Wifeunit took of me at the race has got me puzzled. This triathlon included a 500 yard pool swim with a person counting the laps signalling with a red card when the swimmer made the final turn, or 19 laps. I am a faster swimmer than the person who shared a lane with me, and he was behind me each lap. But when I saw my red card and finished the swim, he was already out of the pool, and his bike was gone from the rack in transition. I wouldn't have noticed but for the pictures. Who knows what might have happened, but I'm thinking the girl counting our laps gave me my red card on lap 21. I was looking for it when I thought I was on 19, but it's easy to get confused in a race.
It's easy to get confused in a race and do stupid things, like the time I put my bike helmet on backwards. Fortunately, a transition worker saw me and I got it turned around before I mounted. At this last race I did one even better. I took off on the bike and started getting comfortable when I felt that my helmet was too tight. I checked for the pointy end being in the back, and it was. There was no way to take the helmet off without stopping, so I just tried to forget about it. When I finished the bike leg and pulled my helmet off I discovered I still had my swim goggles on. Fortunately, the red rings on my forehead went away after 10 or 15 minutes.
Wifeunit and I had a great time getting out of town for a change. We stayed in Cleveland Friday night, did the triathlon Saturday morning and drove to Rosedale, Greenville, Leland, Indianola and Greenwood. We stopped at the Greenwood airport to visit an old friend I worked with for 20 years in Jackson. We took the back roads, as usual, and wondered what it would be like to live way out in the country. Where do you go for groceries? Twenty miles away?