Well tomorrow is my first of the season. I try to do two triathlons in a season, one as early as possible and then others as the opportunity comes up during the season. The season being, kind of, from April until October. The Hawaiian Ironman kind of signals the end of the season which is in October.
My goal is to do as many races in as many states as possible. This of course requires travel. When I first started most of my races were on Cape Cod, so just get up earlier (that said, I and most others I read always have trouble sleeping the night before so getting up early, not that big of a deal if you really didn’t sleep to begin with.) The way I’m doing it now is to rely on technology to get me to a new place as quickly as possible, needless to say, one glitch there and there will be problems.
Another consideration is race gear. Triathlon is probably second only to NASCAR in the amount of gear. Two years ago I had already reached the Virginia line before I realized I forgot my helmet and bike shoes. Stopped bought new ones, I needed new shoes anyway. But most have special watches, wetsuit, special shorts and shirts, bicycle, running shoes. Forget one thing and kind of a pain, there are horror stories of a racer forgetting a bike, or having it smashed in travel and having to borrow, beg, haven’t heard of anyone stealing, a new bike. Of course, since I’m going somewhere new have to get a hotel nearby, found one thirty dollars less then my first choice. All I’m doing is sleeping there the night before, really don’t need much in amenities.
I’m at the point now where I’m thinking all this stuff I have to do, getting up early (4:30 am), finding the place, getting there, getting set up, being a little cold, (air temp should be about 48 degrees when I jump in the lake, another reason for a wet suit. But hey I jumped in Cheasapeake Bay in May in Annapolis, no wet suit, I’ll live either way and being in cold water definitely makes you swim harder). But of course nerves kick in, which are nothing when you’re standing there in a mob scene, waiting for the call for your wave, wondering why on earth and what on earth you are doing there and then the one minute countdown until you jump in the water, get whacked in the head, kicked in the face, elbowed in the ribs, swum over. I’m probably forgetting something. Yea the swim is definitely a uniquely challenging part of the race. Then there are the transitions, trying to get your wet suit off, somewhat dry off and get bike shoes on and out the gate. It’s easier then it sounds, although sometimes I seem to make it more complicated then it has to be. Got a little thing going with the sciatic, so that is another thing to camp on, whether I will be hobbling through the run portion. (Oh come on, it’s 5k, you can do that on your head, he says still not really confident.)
So this is where I’m at, the day before. In no way am I writing this to discourage anyone, this will be my 52nd triathlon, so I must like it/get something out of it. Another choice would just be sick masochist, but let’s put the best face possible on this. But the end is exhilarating, you may be coming in around the same time I am, probably back of the pack. May get passed by quite a few people, may not exactly feel distinguished, but it really is about you. Heck I doubt that I will ever see any of the people I see tomorrow again for the rest of my life and if I do, hey who remembers. But as the sign says, pain is temporary, race results on the web are forever. So, to quote Bill Murray, “I got that going for me.” So I will do my best to not get caught up in the nerves before hand, say a prayer to my Lord Jesus Christ thanking Him that I got there intact and actually ready, that He has given me the strength, stamina and brains or just too stupid to realize, that He will keep me safe and whatever I do, it will be to His glory. Hey say a quick prayer, think of me between about 8am and 10am tomorrow, smile a little bit and hopefully I will have an inspiring story to tell on the other side. Thanks for your interest.