My first Sprint Tri

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.

 

One week to Tri

This week I am in the final preparations for my first sprint triathlon. Sprint triathlon is a fancy way of saying baby triathlon or mini triathlon. The idea began several years ago, but the birth of my third child put the idea of a triathlon on hold. Now in 2013, I have come back to this goal. I began training in August of 2013, and in November of that same year I participated in my first 5K. I say participated, because I did not run the entire race, but alternated between jogging and speed walking. My goal was to finish under 45 minutes, and I finished at 38 minutes. Pretty good considering my previous exercise experience was swimming and yoga and not running. In fact, in August I began with a 30 minute mile.

My goal for my first sprint triathlon is to finish, and finish with the desire to do another one….and if I am lucky I will be under 3 hrs. What began as a quest to become leaner and more fit, turned into a personal journey of redemption. That may seem like an exaggeration, but I found the true benefit to training for something so large, was the ability to dig deep and overcome some very real fears. Even with one week to go, I am still facing those fears. This week has turned into one of the most challenging with a changing forecast where the weather could be anything from rain to wind to overcast to very cold. All in all, this will truly be a real adventure.