Monday, September 24, 2007

Lessons from my first Australian Triathlon

1. Ocean swims are hard.
I guess I haven't done an open water swim since maybe last summer in Boston, so attempting my first one in a while, in the ocean, in a race, wasn't the best. But I did not drown, or have to get saved, I did get kicked by a bunch of the kids that only had to do half the distance. Which brings me to...

2. It's unfair that the 10 year olds get to do shorter distances, they are obviously fitter than me so they should have to put themselves through the same toils. And they gloat.
Seriously, these kids were doing laps in utero. They are ironmen in training. When I was 10, I thought riding my bike to the end of the driveway was a feat. Most of these kids haven't hit puberty yet, and I could probably hold them at arms distance to keep them from hitting me if I had to and they still look barely winded when I crossed the finish line. I do feel bad for the one kid I beat (same kid as in the duathlon), it's gotta be way harder to be him than me.

3. Setting expectations that I'll be at the back of the pack make for a far more enjoyable outcome.
I've learned by now to not expect any great performances out of me relative to the rest of the race. This race instead, I focused on not letting myself down - I didn't stop the entire way except in the transition areas. I ran the whole thing, I held a 16mph pace on the bike and I didn't drown. Even though they were already taking down the bike racks when I finished, I felt great. This was also helped by...

4. Knowing I will absolutely not be the last also makes for a more enjoyable race.
Ok, maybe it's not nice, but there was another woman there who had a basket on the front of her bike. Sure, I don't have clippy pedals, but a basket, really? I am an order of magnitude more hardcore than her. I had ridden with her the week before and knew that even if I blew a tire, I could probably run the bike faster than she could pedal. Knowing that she was "racing" meant I would definitely not be last. I took solace in that. I may not be competitive, but at least people aren't looking at me thinking "A basket?!!" And I am getting clippy pedals on my bike today!

5. Having a cheering section rocks no matter how small the race or the cheering section.
Lisa and Kimberley came out to watch the end of the race. So when I crossed the finish line I had the only cheering section at the race. It was awesome. Then we went for brunch out on the beach. Could not have been a better Sunday morning.


Mike September 24, 2007 at 8:37 AM  

Congrats on crossing the tri-finish line south of the equator!

After watching Margot run a real 5k, I realized how cool sports like running (or a triatholon) are: no matter how fast you are, you can still run in the exact same event as olympians, and that's pretty damn cool.

Have fun with your clippy pedals! (And watch the dismount....)

Ani September 24, 2007 at 4:33 PM  

Oh, sweet daughter, I have tears of love, compassion and laughter running down my cheeks!!! I am so proud of you for being you!!1 Wow, you are terrific!!!

I love you,

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