Two weeks ago I completed my first triathlon! Looking back it’s hard to believe how nervous I was the day before and the morning of the race. It was such a different feeling from what I felt in preparing for my first marathon in 2009. I remember going to the expo for that race and being giddy with excitement rather than nervousness. And I think it’s because the marathon was all running. What were 26.2 miles when I had already done 20 in a training run? The beauty of running is that it’s just that—running. The triathlon was completely different—three disciplines all strung together, which other than a few brick workouts, would be the first time I’d put them all into action.
After 3 months of preparation, race weekend was here at last! Race destination—beautiful Rocky Gap State Park. I arrived the day before. The race director shared at a meeting with us that 24 states were represented including Alaska, California and Colorado. There would be almost 1,000 women competing, including one professional and one elite. Later after a bite to eat and a visit to the race expo to get my timing device and other race paraphernalia, I got my bike checked in to the transition area (where it would stay overnight). Then it was time to take a light swim in the lake. The buoys were already in place and that was where I started to get a little nervous (it looked like such a far distance to swim!). After getting out past the shallow end where there were lots of grass and seaweed, it wasn’t so bad. And the water was decently clear as I could see my hand in front of me. I went out about halfway to the first buoy and turned back (after all I didn’t want to expend my energy for the big day). Then we checked out the bike course which included a lot of hills. But I knew that I could do it. I was beginning to visualize the tri…it was sinking in that this was going to happen one way or another. Coming next…race day!