The fact that I registered on Tuesday for a sprint triathlon on Saturday makes me feel gutsy. It’s just a fun way to cross train, right? Even when I got there and the reality of it became more real, I felt like I was in the right place. Where else should I be spending such a beautiful Saturday morning? In bed? Hitting the snooze button? Had I hit the snooze button, I would have missed this beauty of a sunrise:
When I arrived at the race site I set up my transition area, argued with myself about whether or not to use my wetsuit rental, observed other racers setting up. I decided to take a test swim to get a feel for the water temperature. It’s not bad, not bad at all. The people on the shoreline asked me how it is, I told them that I don’t think I’m going to use my wetsuit.
I walk back to my transition area to check on my stuff, then goosebumps and uncertainty begin. Maybe I should wear that wetsuit. I looked around, and there are a few others wearing wetsuits. The few others look like they know what they’re doing. I can’t even tweet my indecision because Winneconne, WI does not have any cell phone signal. Okay, fine, I’m going to put my wetsuit on.
After an hour of walking around, it was finally time to start racing and stop wondering if I really need my wetsuit or not. I probably didn’t need it. I also probably didn’t need my swim cap or goggles, considering I didn’t dip my face into the water again. It’s TOO EXCITING. I can’t help it. It’s very strange, I don’t have any fear or anxiety about the water whatsoever, I’m just so damn excited. The start of any race is too exciting to be sticking your face under water, this is a fact.
It didn’t slow my swimming down. I’m a fish I tell you. I passed a lot of swimmers and especially swam faster after the third ankle grab from the person behind me. I don’t know my official swim time because the race wasn’t chip timed, but I’m estimating somewhere between 6-7 minutes because I turned on my Garmin before starting my bike ride. The time difference between my Garmin and official race time is 10 minutes. In those ten minutes was my swim time, running from the beach to the transition area, and transition one.
The first transition seemed to take f o r e v e r. First, I couldn’t find my bike. I had bright orange wash cloths on the ground in front of my bike to help me spot it, but I was in the wrong isle. Oops. I finally found my bike and struggled to escape from the wetsuit. Then struggled to get my socks on. Then I almost had my Garmin on my wrist and dropped it. I estimate the transition taking at least three and a half minutes, but probably more.
Biking didn’t seem as awful this time around. Know what I did differently? I found a flatter race course, ha. But I also had my husband check the tire pressure the night before. The tire pressure was very low, I wonder how long they’ve been so low? I still very much dislike the bike. For the first third of the ride my thighs fill with lactic acid, it burns and I don’t like it. The course eventually turned onto a country road was that brand spankin’ newly paved, and I found a rhythm I never knew I had. For once biking felt effortless, I could almost hear smooth jazz music in my head. Then we turned onto a rougher country road and I was back to hating my bike again. According to my Garmin the bike took me 52 minutes for 15 miles which is 17 mph, my best bike time to date.
When I got back to the transition area some ASSHOLE put their bike on my spot. Spots were not marked, but I had towels, gear, and a wetsuit under that spot. I wasn’t about to waste time trying to find a different spot to put my bike, so I just threw it on the rack, on top of other bikes. This transition took 51 seconds according to my Garmin.
Finally I got to start the run, my strength. The first quarter mile is on grass, which is hard to run on when your legs are wobbly. It’s amazing how the run is all mental will. I would think about taking a little walk break, but do I really need it? No, keep running. Go. Right, left, right, go, go go. Pass this person, ooooh, catch up to that girl and pass her too. Oh, and hey, what’s up with people needing their iPods for a THREE MILE RUN? REALLY? SERIOUSLY? THREE MILES, YOU NEED YOUR IPOD? I like being without my iPod so I can hear the footsteps behind me, if it sounds like someone is about to pass me, I speed up. Why let Lady Gaga let someone pass me? Even if I am on the right track baby.
My Garmin read 24:18 for those long, grueling three miles. I found the finish. It was a yellow line SPRAY PAINTED on the grass. No joke. I crossed over the spray painted yellow line and looked at the volunteer, “Did I finish?”
She nodded yes. My gutsy last minute triathlon was a success.
Oh, hey, look at how neat my bib number and finish time correlate: