well it’s official. i’m what you might call a “triathlete.” or at least i’ve completed my first triathlon, and it was fun! it all started about a year ago when i first moved to the area. one of my first friends was getting ready to run his first ironman triathlon, which is a little ridiculous, but it turns out there’s a whole slew of people that do that kind of thing here and like it.
i swore off the stuff. i love these peeps, but they’re a little ocd about training, and i knew i’d never be in their league.
but then one of my girlfriends did her first tri last fall, and kept talking about how FUN it was… so i caved and started training in january.
now, i use the term “training” a lot more loosely than my tri geek buddies. i do swim, bike and run every week… sometimes 2 or 3 things in one day. but i don’t get up at 6am every saturday to go on 80 mile rides! ain’t my thing.
sunday was the big day. my girlfriend and i got up at the crack of dawn, careful not to wake all our house mates (we were lucky enough to crash with our friends and their families at the beach… we had thought we might just have to pitch a tent near the race!) we arrived, picked up our race packets and chips, got “body marked” with our race numbers, and made our way to the transition area to set up all our gear. we were reeeeeeally excited. after lots of walking back and forth and making last minute adjustments, we took off our shoes and headed to the lake.
we were the 5th wave of swimmers (second wave of women), so we just stood in the warm (79.2F) water while watching others swim ahead. before our wave started racing, i saw two bodies emerge from the water and run down the dock… my buddies… some of the ocd crew. i was excited for them.
then it was our turn! in a made rush of water and slapping and kicking and splashing, we collectively made our way out into the lake along the race course. the first 100 meters are the worst. everyone is just swimming on top of each other, and it’s awful. but it’s not so bad after we all spread out. this was my first “open water” swim, so i wasn’t used to having to look up for markers and trying to swim straight. sooo much easier in the pool. 750 meters and 23 minutes later, i too was out of the water and running down the dock. people were cheering… i couldn’t help but laugh!
in the transition area i threw on my socks, cycling shoes, helmet and sun glasses, grabbed my bike, ran out, clipped in and started pedaling. and pedaling. and pedaling. it was a kinda boring ride, and honestly, i didn’t ride it fast enough. i kept thinking i should save steam for the run, knowing that would be the hardest part (have you ever tried running after riding? it’s not easy!) so i dismounted at 48 minutes after riding 14 miles. 2 down, one to go.
i threw my bike back on the rack, took off my cycling shoes and helmet, put on my running shoes and hat… and as i was clipping on my racing belt (that holds your race number) i heard one of my friends yell, “get out of here, lau! stop taking so long! GO!” i looked up, startled, and took off running.
the running, in terms of terrain, was more boring than the ride… but it was fun in that i ran into (or past) 3 of my friends, and we cheered each other on. as i rounded the last corner before the finish line, really hitting my stride, i saw two friends yelling, “kick it in! you got it!!!” so i kicked it in. 29 minute 5k. not fast, but not bad after everything else… bringing my total time to 1hr 45min. whew!
i grabbed a water and made my way back to the finish line to cheer in my girlfriend. we hugged, we laughed, we felt like rock stars.
and that was it! i’m now a triathlete! i’ve been thinking of how to change up my training and racing ever since, but i’m still swearing off the ocd scene. i haven’t even worked out since sunday! and that takes effort. but the game is back on tomorrow… and the next race is in july. sweet.