Walking into the Atlantis club in Encino tonight for the LA Tri Club's monthly First Thursday social, I realized that this would be the first time I'd be seeing many of my friends with "real" clothes on. No lycra. No goggles. No swim cap. Just real, honest-to-goodness denim and dress shoes.
Turns out everyone cleans up pretty well! About 20 TriClubbers attended the Valley event, shared a few drinks, ate fried bar food (irony noted) and traded stories about life and training. Some club members had only completed one or two triathlons. Others had completed multiple Ironman events. There were plenty of inspirational stories to go around, including Greg, an actor/triathlete (take that, Zoolander!) who has lost 100 pounds in 10 months and plans to win a Clydesdale weight class event by the time he's 50. And Mike, who, after one sprint triathlon has decided he's going to do a Half Ironman this summer at Vineman. Impressive (and a little crazy)!
Anat rallied to join me, and for her efforts, was rewarded with a pair of socks she won in the raffle. You can see her elation in the picture. As is usually the case, I didn't win diddly-squat. I've never been lucky with raffles. But, that's cool. It was great to connect with fellow triathletes in a non-training setting. With real clothes. That's enough of a prize on its own.
Today's training session turned into a brick due to a busy work schedule. I swam for 45 minutes, which was supposed to be an easy workout. However, a fellow triathlete shared the pool lane with me and started using me as his pace partner. So, I got a little competitive. And then so did he. The easy workout turned into sets of interval sprints. At the end, we laughed about it, acknowledging that we were essentially like two rams locking horns in a silly swimming pissing contest. The funny part though is not being able to speak during the workout since we're both underwater, yet knowing what the other was thinking the entire time. Following the swim, I had race-pace run intervals for 45 minutes on the treadmill. No competitions to be had though.
Before signing off tonight, I just wanted to thank those of you who commented about the new IronMadMan site either on my Facebook page, Twitter or here. Getting that kind of positive feedback really meant a lot. I hope you'll stick around for more adventures.
292 days and counting.