Update on Columbia Triathlon (A Hat over the Wall).
I finished! That’s all that matters.
How could I be 4 minutes slower than two years ago, when I was just one year removed from a broken leg and was still recovering? That really bothered me! Does two years older mean two years slower? I thought for sure I would improve on my 2013 time.
And some observations on triathletes and triathloning:
- Do they really need to brand you with your age on your leg? Does everyone behind you really need to know? Don’t women object to having their age revealed?
- Doesn’t anyone besides me ever need to friggin’ relieve themselves during the race? No relief stations on the bike (25 mile) or run (6.2 mile) course. I luckily spotted and ducked into the only porta-potty on the bike route at a county reservoir and ditched into woods on the run. I think triathletes also train for bladder endurance.
- Triathlons are huge productions. The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults did a fantastic job and had outstanding volunteers. Together, they showed great organization and effort. Any organization that runs triathlons well is a master at logistics and has to love the events and their participants.
- I really missed having a wall to hold onto and a black line at the bottom to set my direction during the swim. Open water swimming is disorienting. I don’t even want to think about all the geese in that lake. And to those who kicked and hit me, I blame you for my 4-minute slowdown.
- Athletes Serving Athletes is inspiring. Triathletes help other athletes with disabilities cover the entire course, including pulling them in rafts in the swim.
- One word for all the triathletes wearing wetsuits: Wimps! It wasn’t that cold. But now it occurs to me triathletes wear wetsuits not because of cold water but because it makes them more buoyant and faster. Cheaters!
- I suck at transitions, another thing good triathletes must practice and have perfected to a science with the help of Type A personality. I couldn’t get my biking jersey on after the swim because I was wet and forgot a towel, and the jersey got stuck mid-rib. I had to try three times, and in the process, dropped everything I had placed in the back pockets and accidentally ripped off the run racing number that I had attached the night before like a Type A Personality Triathlete.
- Triathletes who outpace me by an hour or more are incomprehensible. Extremely impressive. Very humbling.
- Biking is by far the easiest leg, and by far the most enjoyable.
- I love the bikes with the water bottle holders between the handle bars and the straws, which must be measured precisely so the cyclist can drink with no hands while remaining in the most aerodynamic tuck.
- I usually finish these endurance events saying I won’t do it again. But not this time. I may be starting to get hooked on the grind.