Saturday, July 7, 2012


Tomorrow, I head into my first triathlon race... ever. My feelings are a collaboration of excitement, anxiety and wonder... As in, I wonder if I'll be able to swim that far without needing a rescue?

Papa Bean tells me the wetsuit will help me float, so I can rest if need be. Perhaps it would have been better to test out said wetsuit to know that A) it'll help me float, and B) I'll be able to swim in it. Hmmm... it's a bit late to test it now. I think the knowledge that it'll work is not as important as having a dry wetsuit come time to approach the start line.

Other than the wetsuit ordeal, I haven't trained at all in three weeks since I was traveling and otherwise occupied. Some people call it 'tapering'. I call it a mix between procrastination and forgetfulness. Regardless, I think my lack of dedication to training might cause my lungs to explode prematurely. And if that isn't enough, in the wee bits of training I managed to squeeze in, none of it included a full-on attempt at swimming, biking and then running. Only twice do I ever remember biking and then running for a small spell.

So, am I doomed? I think there may be a base layer of training that will keep my head afloat (no pun intended). It's like a base layer of fat to keep you warm in the winter, but it also helps you float in the lake. I do carry around a 25 pound child all day long. That's gotta count for something, right? And even if I go as slow as a snail, at least I'll still have my lungs (typo: lunch) and my lunch! at the end.

My dear friend wrote me an email describing her experience with her first triathlon:

Try not to worry about your race on the weekend.  It's your first so it will be your personal best!  Just think of my half ironman experience if you need a pick me up:  [Papa Bean] did the swim and was out of the lake pretty fast.  Caught me off guard as I was waiting by my bike.  Off I go wearing one of those clear rain jackets because it had been raining and it looked like more was coming (no rain came--so I think the jacket just ended up eliminating any aerodynamic properties I might have had on my ride, plus lots of sweating was going on).  I was always really bad about not taking a drink on my bike--so I set my watch to beep every 20 minutes to remind me--I think after my first drink, I accidentally dropped my water bottle in the ditch.  Somewhere along the way, I bumped the bicycle computer magnet on my pedal so I had no cadence or speed or distance (I can't even remember if I had a stop watch working).  Also because [Papa Bean] was out of the lake so early this meant there were a lot of racers behind me (probably wondering how the hell I was ahead of them).  I ended up being passed by at least 500 people (and some were yelling at me to move the f#ck over!  Somewhere along the course I could hear someone yelling at me (encouragement?).  It was [Papa Bean] yelling "work harder" in his very best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression.

That was my first (and last) team half ironman.  I rode my personal best.
Reading this passage makes me happy because no matter what happens I'll have fun, and there might just be a fantastic story to tell afterward.