It was a long summer training for Asher's first triathlon.
I signed up Asher for the race, thinking it would be a fun goal for the summer. I had no idea it would stress him out so much. The questions: "What if I don't win?" "What if I drown?" "What if I get hit by a car on my bike?" "What if I get too tired?" "If I don't win, do we still get pancakes at Silver Diner?" "What if a snake bites me while I'm doing the race?" Huh?
We informally trained throughout the summer. I had him swim a few laps every time we hit our neighborhood pool. We went on bike rides. I would have him run laps around the neighborhood before bedtime, or if he seemed bored. For most of the summer, he spent more time talking about training than actually training. We rarely made our running loop around the neighborhood without Asher chatting up several neighbors about the race.
The last couple of weeks, we stepped it up a notch and did some more serious bike rides and runs. The week before the race, Asher and I biked and ran the exact course of the race together. We talked about resisting the urge to chat with everyone he saw along the race course. We also went over transitions, which are tricky for the best of triathletes. Finally, we discussed strategies to keep going when he got tired (singing the ABC song and naming kinds of dinosaurs). I told him that he shouldn't worry about winning the race, but he needed to finish and he couldn't stop.
Race day was a lot of fun. Asher surprised us all by finishing 2nd place for his age, not so much with his speed, but with his grit. When I met him at different points of the race, I was taken back by his little competitive spirit. And most important of all, we ended the morning with pancakes at Silver Diner.
Visit Asher's blog for a "photo gallery" of the event here.