When I sent off the registration for the 2009 South County YMCA Triathlon, I wondered just what I had done.
I didn't have a bike and I hadn't ridden one in over 10 years.
My cousin, Chiquita, kept insinuating that I was going to feel the pain. She advised me to, at least, do the hill mode on the stationary bike at the gym and, let me tell you, those stationary bikes really don't come close to the actual bike experience.
I looked on Craigslist for a bike and I also went to A & M Cyclery and Sunset Cyclery to look at the shiny new toys but I didn't want to plop down $400 plus on a fancy bike. Chiquita told me that I could have one of the bikes that had been sitting in her garage.
I took the bike to get a tune up etc. on July 3rd and it was supposed to be ready on July 7th but there was some obscure part that hadn't arrived. I finally picked up the bike yesterday and rode it around the block just to make sure that I still knew how to ride one.
I tried not to let my perfectionism get in the way of participating in this event. I did read through Triathlon Training for Dummies and The Complete Idiots Guide to Triathlon Training though.
I poured over my registration packet to try to familiarize myself with the routes.
I was nervous as all get out and didn't sleep well last night.
A brownie point for me for showing up. I listened to Buju Banton's Champion as I got closer to The Kennedy Recreation Complex because I was in need of some inspiration.
I wasn't the only one with butterflies. This woman told me that she felt like vomiting and that she had actually drank a cafe mocha beforehand and, therefore, had material that was capable of being ejected.
Here's the transition area and my transition spot that I found wayyyy in the back:
I miscalculated the number of laps that needed to be done. Eight laps = 400 meters in a 50 meter lane. Einstein only finished six laps because there was 15 minutes between heats and it took a little over 15 minutes to finish 300 meters.
I am proud of myself for completing 11 miles on the bike. I got off a couple of times because I couldn't make it up hills. I even drank some Gatorade left over from my marathon days. Today, I didn't care about the high fructose corn syrup in the 'rade.
The participants and volunteers were incredibly nice and encouraging. When I was walking the bike to make it up one of the hills, this woman stopped to ask if I had a flat and so many folks cheered me on throughout the 11 miles. The last hill just about did me in but this woman talked me through it and, as we were going down the hill, she told me to keep pedaling to flush my legs out. I was like, okay, whatever you say since you just rocked that monstrous hill.
It took me 2:19:32 to finish the tri. I should have had a Barack Obama sticker on my bike because during the ride, I had to tell myself Yes, you can.