It is now the eve of the race. In 11 hours I will be taking off on the swim of my first triathlon. I suppose I am a little anxious, but I have been feeling good about it for the past few days. My mindset is to finish and enjoy myself, so that helps mentally. I have no particular time in mind, although I think I would like to cross the line under the 2 hour mark if I had to pick. I will be driving to the race with a friend who has done many of these before so that will be nice. He is also laid back about the competition, although after training with him last week I am fairly certain he will leave me in his tracks fairly early. We have both agreed that if it is raining hard tomorrow morning we might wave off on the race (it is the rainy season here and it has been raining quite a bit the past few days). I certainly don’t want my first experience to be one where I cannot control my bike and are bike and run are in sopping wet clothes. Call me a fair weather triathlete, I know my limits. Hopefully the weather cooperates and this goes off without a hitch.
This week was slow. Intentionally so. I swam 1000 meters on Wednesday for my last swim and Thursday morning I ran 3 miles before work…..that was it. I haven’t been on the bike since last Sunday. I have rested the last 2 days to let my body heal a little and be ready for the race. Tonight I gathered all my gear and checked them all off my list. Goggles, tri shorts and shirt, bike helmet and shoes, bike, sunglasses, bike gloves, water bottles for bike, run shoes, socks, hat, energy gels and bars, 3 towels (different sizes) flip-flops, change of clothes…..I think I am ready. Probably didn’t have the textbook per-race meal tonight but we had it early and I am just hydrating now. We grilled a thin steak with corn on the cob and rice. I have been drinking lots of water today. Tomorrow I am planning on waking up around 5:00 and having a breakfast consisting of oatmeal, banana, water and maybe an energy bar if my stomach feels ok ( not too nervous). I am leaving the house around 6:00 when my friend Jeff picks me up and it is only a 10 minute ride to the start line. Race starts at 7:00.
It has been a long journey to get to this point. When I started thinking about this several months ago I could really only swim about 50-100 meters in the pool before having to stop. Of course then I learned how to breathe while swimming and now it is much easier. I had never swam in the open water. I still have only done it 4-5 times, but the last one I did last weekend went well. I didn’t even own a bike 5 months ago! Now I have a road bike with clips and shoes. I routinely bike 10-12 miles whenever I go out now. I had run before this training began but now I must find the strength to do so after swimming and biking first. So 5 months ago all I would have been able to do was swim 100 meters in a pool, then run 3 miles (didn’t have a bike). And tomorrow I intend to swim 750 meters in the open water, bike 12 miles and then run 3 miles. Through it all I have noticed that my endurance and stamina have improved dramatically and interestingly my weight has hardly changed at all. I think I may have lost 3 pounds the entire time I have been training. I think I am ready.
Well I will sign off for now. I hope to be strong enough tomorrow to write a post race blog with my account of the race and my thoughts on the experience. If not tomorrow then for sure later in the week.