It was 3 am and I was up to the sound of wind crashing around outside and wondering if I really was going through with it. I drifted back to sleep and the next thing I knew my alarm woke me up to get ready to compete my first Sprint Triathlon. Dark, windy, cold, I make my way through the house getting dressed and putting my bike in the car. Some plain oatmeal with honey was in a travel cup—5:30am is too early to eat.
At 6am I pulled into the parking lot with so many other crazy people there for the same event. I set up my station, went back to the car, ate my oatmeal and left the warmth of my fleece in the car. Run, run, run to the pool where we all gathered until start time. One at a time into the water. Snake swim in each lane until you come to the other end of the pool for a total of 300yd. Piece of cake.The swim was going fine until a man in the water either had an anxiety attack, or did not know how to swim to begin with and did not wait until the end of the line. A cluster of six of seven swimmers had to negotiate our way around.
The cold and wind made for a nasty transition to the bike, and continued to whip through me through the bike ride. This turned out to be the most difficult, and I was anticipating such all week. Uphill most of the first half, into the wind most of the second half. By the time I got to the run, my legs were quite numb. Practicing bricks still did not prepare me for the Jello legs of 13 miles of incline and wind. The second two miles of the run went very well after the feeling returned to my legs. And I crossed the finished line. Relieved and grateful. Not sure I would ever do it again, until two days later, but at the time it was a single satisfying moment.