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On Brian Moorman and birthday bricks

I have to admit, I'm a bit jealous of Brian Moorman.

The Buffalo Bills punter is competing in his first triathlon on Sunday in Pittsford (you can read all about it Saturday's Buffalo News). The event is a fundraiser for Moorman's PUNT Foundation which helps children in Western New York who are facing serious illness and instead of just showing up for the festivities, Moorman and a few of his teammates are actually diving into the events themselves.

While the 15-mile bike ride and 5K run are outside at Thornell Farm Park, the 300-yard swim is in the Mendon High School pool.

Swim 300 yards in a high school pool?

Heck, I can do that in my sleep these days. I swam 300 yards six times yesterday as part of the main set of my pool workout.

Why couldn't this be my first triathlon instead of 750 meters of open water swimming at Keuka Lake where last I heard the surface temperature was 54 degrees?

Then again, I better keep my mouth shut. Knowing my tri coach, she'd have me do the Pittsford tri as a workout and the Keuka Tri as a race.

Meanwhile, I decided that I indeed am ready for my first sprint triathlon thanks to a wonderful birthday celebration. How can you not love the day when the Brickmaster and Brickmistress of the Buffalo Triathlon Club bring cupcakes to the workout?

Yesterday's brick consisted of a three mile run followed by 12.5 miles on the bike then another one mile run.

I finished the entire course, transition time included, in under 90 minutes. I was pretty happy about that.

But I was even happier about where my mind was.

See, when we started the three-mile run, I immediately fell behind the group. Their pace just wasn't my pace. And you know what? I was fine with that.

I am not running their workout or their race. Nor are the running mine. Yes, there are winners and age group trophies, but the real competition is within yourself and if you focus on the outcome, well, that seems to be the best way to bonk midway through the event.

So I happily worked at my speed, finishing the run in under 30 minutes, hoping on the bike and feeling that weird, unusual sensation in my legs. The wind picked up and on the second bike loop. I started channeling my coach who, in a similar wind situation while riding the Ironman Loop at Lake Placid, yelled, "I am a screen! Wind goes through me!"

Eventually I was back in transition and running out for my final mile.

"Do I still have legs?" I asked the official timers. "Because I can't feel them anymore."

Slowly and steadily the feeling came back and I pushed myself hard across the finish line.

Oh, I earned a big cupcake.

And I thoroughly enjoyed my birthday.

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