In less than 48 hours I’ll be watching the sun rise over a beautiful lake. I’ll be doing my best to let go of my pre-race jitters as my leg gets markered with my age and I pull on my swim cap and goggles. I’ll be surrounded by a few thousand other women who will be having similar thoughts as they reflect on the hard work they put into training or the reason why they are out there. I’ll be nearing the start line for my first ever triathlon!
I’ll admit the last few weeks and days I’ve been a bit of a nervous wreck about this race. Reflecting back to my first marathon in 2009 I do not remember having this same kind of feeling. I was more excited than jittery. I think it’s the multiple sports and the transitions that have my mind all over the place. I’ve been a runner in some capacity or another my whole life, but I’ve never called myself a swimmer or a cyclist. And now I’m suddenly combining all three. Am I crazy??
TriStrong has been my theme throughout training. And that is what it’s been all about…pushing my body to be stronger, teaching my mind not to fear what’s new and trusting that God has me in the palm of his hand throughout the process.
In a sense I taught myself how to swim this summer. While I have known how to swim my whole life, swimming for a purpose (from point A to B to C with lots of people around you in a competitive environment) is much different. I remember going to the pool the first time in June and getting winded just after one lap…now I can do 25 laps nonstop. I made a friend at the pool…an older gentleman who must be in his late 70s…he told me what a great swimmer I am. When I told him that I was training for my first tri and that I don’t feel like that great of a swimmer he said that just by getting out there I am accomplishing a huge feat and that I should enjoy it…I think he told me that I don’t have to win the whole thing! Something to that effect. I guess he could sense my competitive edge, not that I ever expected to win!
Swimming is this whole other culture and now I’m a part of it…I have great respect for all the people I see getting out there early to swim their laps…some fast–some slow, some fit–some not, some young–some old…it doesn’t matter, we are all out there getting it done.
Then there is the biking. My bike is nothing special as I mentioned before. A Trek mountain bike that I switched out with hybrid tires. It’s the bike I took to college (and only rode once or twice, even though my roomie and I said we would ride all the time!). It’s the bike I commuted with for my waitressing job one summer at the Jersey shore. That bike has gotten me some places and it will see me through this race. I know I’ll be frustrated when women on their fancy road bikes fly by me, but that’s ok. I don’t think I rode as much as I should have to prepare but it will have to do. Overall, there was something absolutely wonderful and different about covering the same trails that got me through marathon training…only this time I got there so much faster!
And then comes the last stage of the tri….what is normal and sets me at ease. The run. And that’s where I’ll catch those fast biker ladies…
Wish me luck!