I wasn't completely wrong.
On the morning of the race, I make sure to remain calm and "trust my training". I set up my bike and transition area according to my liking. I coordinate my cheering squad so I see a familiar face during each leg of the race. The atmosphere is both encouraging and competitive. I swim two laps to warm up; I need a strong start at the whistle. The pool is warmer than I prefer and I don't enjoy my swim. In spite of this, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment come over me as I run outside to T1.
I quickly put on my cycling shorts and running top in preparation for the bike leg. This time, I choose to take the extra time to put socks on and to gulp down some of my smoothie. I walk my bike out of the lacrosse box and am encouraged to run to the mount area, which is about 100 feet further. I see Pat arriving to cheer, and hear Ali sending me off into the morning sun ride. I'm not too excited to do three loops for a 20km bike leg. I fear it will be boring, but there are oddities that make my ride: a baby deer on someone's front lawn, a volunteer who is directing traffic in yoga poses, the youth competitors whizzing by, fancy time trial helmets passing on my left, Pat and Ali clapping and yelling so loudly I think I am in the lead every time I pass them.
"You're almost there! I'm serious. Just turn the corner and see the cones," are the sweetest words to my sweaty ears. And she is right. Jose, the kids, Olga, and Pat are happy to see the finish line too. I pick up my pace as much as I can (which is very little) and cross the arch.
My first thought is how awful, hot, and sweaty I feel. I am disappointed that I hadn't trained well enough to enjoy my first timed race. I have a slice of orange and a peanut butter cookie and my mood improves greatly. I am proud that I hadn't given up: I did the front crawl for the whole 500 meters doing mostly flip turns; I put my shirt on before my helmet; I pedaled hard without falling; I ran without walk rests; I encouraged triathletes when they passed; and I finished without puking.
|sunny squinty smile|
I hope I'm not completely wrong.