To be honest, the bike time trial was a blur. How can you put into the words the emotion that goes on for seven minutes? That’s 660 seconds. I was the second last person to start the time trial. It is a 5 km course along the river. Relatively flat.
As the day comes, I put those thought away. I thought about the reason why I come to this event. To just go hard and have fun. Crank it like it hurts :)
They had a ramp set up for us. That was cool. I felt like I was at Tour De France. The guy was holding on my bike while another guy was counting down for me to go.
As I was about to start, my bike slowly slide to the side of the ramp. I was about to fall off even before I begin. Great!! I told the guy to let me good. He did. I straightened my bike and went down the ramp. I laughed and said, ‘geez..what a way to start’.
I was off. The distance is 5 km. That’s a short distance for a bike ride. My goal was to go as hard as I can right from the start. Don’t hold back. As I like to call it. Hold on to the pain for as long as you can.
And this is where my weakness lies. The mind gets scare and tell me I should slow down. I never gone this hard before.
I did a little warm up at the course so I know what to expect. I zip around the course as fast as I can. I lean forward. Keep my arms and shoulders relax and focus on pedaling each stroke.
Cliff, can you go faster? Yes, then change gear and hammer. No, keep at pace. DON’T SLOW DOWN.
I do not know how fast I was going. I didn’t wear a HRM and duct taped my bike computer. I don’t want my mind to fool me that I was going too fast and need to slow down. Just go by feel. Boy did it hurt.
The last few moment before hitting the finish line wasn’t a pretty sight. All I remember was head down and hammer. Mouth wide open, saliva was coming out and I was sucking air.
I don’t remember how I manage to stayed on the path with my head down most of the time. They didn’t close the path completely and there were pedestrians and other cyclists.
As I reached the finish line, I was done. My quads were shaking. I spent a few minutes riding around to cool down. A father came and asked me about my bike. I explained to him the difference between a tri bike and a road bike. His daughter had a transplant a while ago and was riding as well.
As I got into my car, I was coughing like there is no tomorrow. I quickly drove and head to the transition area. I have a 5 km run race soon.Afterwards: They post the time and I finished with 7 minutes. That’s 42 kph. Fast on my end. Right after the bike race, I asked myself...can I go faster? You bet ya =D.
5 km Road Race
The 5 km run race is along part of the course of the bike time trial. As I was riding the time trial, I saw the 3 km turnaround and the 5 km turnaround. The 3 km is for the females and the males run the 5 km. Since I’ve been training for marathon, I haven’t done any tempo runs or fast runs. Like the bike time trial. Not sure how I will do. I figure I will be around 20 min or so.
The strategy is the same as for the bike time trial. Go hard from the beginning. Don’t slow down. Simple huh? I didn’t know what sort of competition I will be expecting. I know one guy runs marathon and not sure if there any fast guys among the pack.
No one was lining up at the front line so I decided to take the lead. It started rather quickly and I was off. For the first few minutes, I was wondering where everyone is. I didn’t hear anyone running behind me. I don’t want to look back (it is a sign of weakness). I just kept at it. There were a few photographers along the race. They cheered for me as I passed them. I was hoping I can hear them cheering for the second person so I can at least gauge how far I was ahead of others.
I never lead a race before so I thought someone is just sitting behind me and ready to surge at the end.
I kept the pace up. Or at least don’t slow down.
There are two water stations and as I head to the first station they were just setting it up. The guy asked if the race got started and I nodded. I hit the 3 km turn around (which will be 1.5 km) and I thought, boy was that a long 1.5 km.
Someone yelled at me, 800 m to go. The thought of someone creeping up behind me is still there. I break the race up into lamp post to lamp post. I hit the finish line. Got a drink and lie on the grass for a while.
I had a 20 km bike group race afterwards but my calves were cramping so I decided to take a break. After a few minutes of lying on the grass, I got up. And cheered the rest of the runners. There was a kid who had transplant. He was suppose to run 1 km and ended up running 3 km. Strong kid.
The people in the green are donor family. One of their love one passed away and they gave the permission to give the organs to people like me who need them. The kid ran 3 km. He also had a transplant.
The 20 km race was 15 laps. I went to get a massage. My calves were killing me. Today I felt good. The 20 km bike race, there was a kid, had a heart transplant, riding with his dad. He must be not more than 8 years old. My first transplant game was in 1992. My dad signed me for a bike race. It was my first medal ever. Seeing how his dad and him race reminded of myself. We cheered for them every time they finish a lap. I cheered for every cyclist. It was a hot day. I even remember a few of their names. Bill, Geoff, Amy, Lynn...t was a hot day and I was happy to see all of them finish.
Two gold medals and Harvey's for lunch. I know it ain't healthy but I figure I treat myself after a hard race. :)
Opening Cermony. Transplant Athletes from Ontario :)
Random craziness. Me and Gary. He had a kidney transplant and lives in my city.
Edward and I. He is a fast swimmer :)
I got more stories to share. Others who had transplants. Very inspiring. And yesterday was also my swimming events. Did Cliff drown? Did his arms fall off? To be continued :)
What's the deal with this picture? Who say Transplant Athletes can't have fun? (I got fat quads =D).