Spoiler alert: I finished!
This morning I did my first triathlon in three years, a women’s only, beginner-friendly event. It’s amazing what one can forget in three year’s time. Friday evening found me nervously going through my transition items and mentally rehearsing everything I would do the next morning.
I arrived at the venue about an hour before the start time. I wanted plenty of time to rack my bike, arrange my transition stuff, pick up my timing ankle bracelet, get body-marked and make the all-important trip to the porta potty without rushing.
We racked our bikes and entered the pool in numerical order. Numbers are assigned based on our estimated time to finish the swim. I was number 138. I’m happy to report that the girls numbered 136 – 142 were wonderful and kind. I was the only one in my little cluster who’d done triathlons, but again, that was so long ago that I felt like a newbie.
When it was finally my turn to start the swim I had a really awkward pool entrance. We were jumping into four feet of water and I didn’t want my Frankenfoot to slam into the bottom of the pool. Not that it would have, I was just phobic.
As I started swimming I felt this amazing calm. Then about half way through the first of four pool lengths I realized I’d forgotten to start my watch. I managed to start it while swimming, but soon after my breathing got labored and sort of panicked. I never stopped swimming, I just switched from freestyle to breast stroke as needed.
When I got to the first Transition (T1) I had all of my wits with me. I spent too much time in transition; I walked there instead of ran. I calmly dried my feet, put on my socks and shoes, helmet, gloves, sunglasses and race bib. I walked my bike over to the mount area, hopped on and began the five-mile ride. Some women passed me and I passed others, all of us encouraging each other along the way.
Back in transition for T2, I calmly removed my gloves and helmet, put on a hat, moved my bib from the back to the front and started the final leg of the event, a one-mile run. I decided to walk the run. My foot was stiff and very sore, probably from tensing up on the bike. As a runner passed me she commented on my walking, “Come on, you [passed me] on the bike. You can do this.” She was trying to be helpful and I wasn’t offended. I just answered, “Foot surgery in February.” She said, “Oh, gotcha,” and motored away.
Once I finished the “run,” or in my case, “the moving forward on foot” portion. I felt elated. I was one of the last people to cross the finish line and I had the slowest recorded time but I didn’t care. My goal was to finish in under one hour. And by golly I did it. My final time was 55:37.
I don’t mind sharing my times with you. Here goes:
- Swim = 7:13
- T1 = 4:25
- Bike = 23:59
- T2 = 2:11
- Run (moving forward on foot) = 17:51
I posted my times (slow) for the benefit of those who have wanted to try multi-sport, but have been afraid of not being good enough or fast enough. All of that really doesn’t matter. What matters is getting out there and trying, encouraging those around you, thanking the volunteers, and after it’s all over…
Receiving one of these!