Just a quick post to celebrate the fact that I actually did it! I did my first triathlon in over 2 years!
I didn’t race it. I wasn’t in any condition to do much in the way of pushing myself. Just showing up and doing the distances was going to be pushing it enough. I knew I could do the individual distances without much effort, but all together was going to be a stretch.
Going in, my biggest concern was whether I would still fit into my wetsuit. The water was way too cold (between 50 and 60, depending on whom you were asking) to consider going without it. Even with the wetsuit, my feet were cold and numb for all of the swim, and most of the bike ride. Fortunately, they warmed up by the time I had to use them to run.
The swim was awful. I can only think of one other swim that was worse, and, coincidentally, it was at this event. It was slightly overcast, windy, and the waves were irregular-enough that it was hard to time them. I got plenty of water in my nose, and swallowed a fair amount. On the way to the first buoy, I trouble sighting, partly because of the smallness of the buoy, and partly because of all the other swimmers. But once I got around it and was headed toward the second buoy, it was easy-peasy. I only had to sight every 6th pull or so, and each time I did, I was still on target. (For comparison, most of the time, I have to sight every 3rd pull, and usually have to adjust my direction.)
The last part of the swim, from the 2 buoy into the shore, was more problematic. At this point, the waves were coming from behind me, and that made it very difficult to stay on target, and caused me serious concerns about motion sickness and disorientation. I managed to just get myself to shore, and then took my merry time getting out of the water, making sure I had my feet below me.
The bike course for this event is fun. By “fun” I mean “technical.” Lots of little rolling hills, right turns, turnarounds, and loops. I had to kinda laugh at a guy nearby who was acting like an old hand triathlete, who brought his fancy bike with a disc wheel. This is sooooo not the course for a disc wheel. In fact, I hardly even used my aerobars. Not enough road that’s flat and straight. But the course is very pretty. And while I was out there, the sun started to come out again, and the lovely blue and black butterflies were flitting here and there. Sadly, only flitted into my shoulder when I was going about 19 mph. 😦
Like I said earlier, I didn’t come to push myself, but there were times on the bike course that I had to remind myself of that. My racing mentality started to take over and I would find myself thinking about catching the next person or pushing myself just a little bit. And then I would remember that I had to do a run after this ride, and I would force myself to back off. I’m glad I did.
By the time I got off my bike, my legs were starting to feel fatigued, and I could barely jog. But jog I did. Right out of transition, and past the spectators, and out onto the course. This run course is as varied as it is possible to get. There’s cement pavement, black top, single track, fire roads, sand, and granite, all going over flats, rolling hills, and steep climbs/descents. There are places where it’s insane to think about running. I walked those spots. But the rest of it I managed to at least jog.
The worst part of the run? Getting to the aid station at mile 1, and seeing the sign indicating that I only had three more miles to go. Wait. I thought this was a 3 mile run? Oh… yeah… 4 miles. Duh. Adjust pace.
So, I did it. It wasn’t in any way a record for me or anyone else. But, like I told a couple of people yesterday, considering where I was health-wise just 6 months ago, I’m just happy that I did it.
And now I’m actually inspired to start training a bit more. So, it worked.