Did I mention I did a triathlon? Yeah, a couple weekends ago. Two maybe? It was just a baby triathlon, the "graduation" event for the Nu2Tri program I had been participating in since January.
We won't talk too much about the swim. The 400-yard effort in the pool (eight laps) killed me. While other people got cheers about speeding up and finishing strong, the best encouragement I received was "just stop and take a deep breath" -- so you can see how well that leg of the race went for me.
Oh race. That's right. This wasn't a race. That's what they told the 28 of us competing, err, participating in it. But really, it was. And I was pissed when I crawled out of the pool far behind most of the other athletes.
Luckily I had my shiny new bike to ride (whee!). The 9.6-mile bike portion zipped by. It was hot and sunny, so my sweet spandex outfit dried pretty quickly and I didn't get too chilled (or too warm, for that matter). I caught quite a few people on the ride, which as a huge morale boost after nearly drowning in the pool. Still, when I headed out on the run I had four people in front of me -- they're all strong athletes -- but running is kind of my thing (ha!) and I really wanted to catch at least one during the two-mile run.
Well, I did. Catch one, that is. That brought me to a fourth-place finish overall and second woman across the line. The standings held up even as the second "wave" (those who started after my sad swim) finished. My final time was somewhere around 51 minutes, which doesn't really mean a thing because it's such a bizarre race distance.
However, I was surprised at how tired and hungry I was after exerting myself for less than an hour. I didn't realize how hard you're going all the time in a triathlon -- I was too busy worrying about the next portion and staying hydrated to think too much about how much energy the effort was taking. The whole event was a lot harder than I had expected, but still a lot of fun and something I'm definitely going to do again ... I just have to work on that swim. Ugh.
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"So be prepared to quit. Do it willingly and with honest resolve. You'll be back. The marvelous thing about running is that you will never become jaded by it. Boredom, injury or anguish may overtake you from time to time, but the reward that first drew you to begin logging the miles remain untarnished and available -- always. Just put on your shoes and head out the door."