Yes....its back! All of my sad, sad dating stories!
Last summer, I went to a "Beginner Triathlon Camp" sponsored by a local running club. I had been doing sprints and Olympic distances for a couple years, but I had never trained with a club or a coach. Plus, I was trying to recover from my disc herniation, so I thought this camp and all its access to professional coaches would be just what I needed.
It was there that I met Oliver. Now, at first, I though that Oliver was on the staff. He was a very seasoned triathlete, with over 10 years of highly competitive training for full distance ironman races. But, no... he was actually a participant in the Beginner Triathlon Camp. Which struck me as a little odd. But, hey, he was a nice guy, so I whatevered it.
(I now think he went for the express reason of picking up chicks. 'Cause not only did I go out with him, but at least 4 other participants from the camp who I talked to later during the season when I saw them at races. Oliver was either a bit of a douche bag or a genius!)
But that is neither here nor there.
The point is, he seemed like a pretty nice guy, we lived in the same town, and we talked about going on some training rides together. And maybe dinner or something. So we did.
I should probably say here, that I wasn't completely healed from my little injury and any time I tried to ride more than 30-35 miles, I got radiating numbness down my right leg. Plus, even if I rode a short 10-15 mile ride and followed it with a run, I got numbness. So my main goal at the beginning of the summer was still recovery. And maybe to get my speed up a bit on the bike.
Oliver assured me that this was no problem and that he had his share of injuries in the past and that this would really just be a fun ride; he could go out again later and get more miles in if he really needed. So we decided on a day, a time, a place, and a distance of 20 miles.
Well, right of the bat, he tried to convince me to do 30 instead. And to do a 3 mile run afterward. I just wasn't happy with that plan; we had said 20 miles; he was going to show me some good training drills for the bike and some ways to get my speed up. I wanted to stick with the plan.
He agreed and off we went.
Did I mention that he was highly competitive?
'Cause he really seemed to want to go much, much faster than me. Like, WAY faster. Like, "I've been doing this for over 10 years and I eat people like you for breakfast" faster. Which kind of irked me a bit.
Then he started yelling to "encourage" me: "C'mon! Pick up the pace! Push yourself! How do you think you're going to get better if you don't push yourself!" And I, like and idiot, tried to push myself to match his 10 year veteran pace.
Which didn't really work all that well.
Which made him ride back (from his spot about a million miles in front of me) and start yelling at me some more.
Which made me start yelling back at him: "Fuck you, jerk! Stop yelling in my face! So I'm not as fast as you, just deal with it."
Which, strangely, made him a little happy: "That's the spirit! Put a little life into it!"
Can't you just see us? Riding down this little rural road past cranberry bogs and horse farms, screaming and swearing at each other in our helmets and bike shoes and cool max clothes? Nice kids out on their horses listening to curse words on a glorious picture perfect early summer day? People all happy to stop and buy vegetables from roadside stands suddenly having their days ruined by two lunatics on bikes? Yup, that was me!
Well, of course, the inevitable happened. My leg started to go numb. I had to pull over and unclip and lie down on my stomach in the grass and do press ups until the numbness went away.
Oliver, apparently realizing I had stopped riding from his spot, once again, a million miles in front of me, rode back to where I was collapsed by the side of the road.
"What happened? Are you ok?"
I explained that my leg had gone numb and I was trying to get it to calm down.
"Oh, you were serious about that?"
GOOD LORD! Who lies about a disc problem? (ok, scratch that. I work at a hospital. Plenty of people lie about that. But I'm not one of them)
Anyway, after that, he stopped yelling and got all apologetic and was really nice for the rest of the ride (which I did with only my left leg. Thank goodness we only had a little under 2 miles left)
And then we both just decided to call it a day.
(Incidentally, I've seen him a few times since then. And I honestly think he really is a nice guy. Just way too competitive for his own good. And maybe on way too much caffeine)