I drove to Palm Desert Friday morning for the desert sprint triathlon, my first race in almost 8 years. I felt fit and it was at a perfect time, nine weeks before wildflower.
For a long time I couldn’t imagine doing something that short. I really didn’t want to have to try as hard as you have to for the short races. But something’s changed in my head, maybe enough time’s past, and it seemed like it would be a lot of fun this time.
Self talk during longer races is very different. When doing longer ones, I’m thinking – am I going too fast? am I going the right pace? am I eating enough? am I drinking enough? did I turn off the stove? these things circle in my head continually throughout the day. In short races like this one, around an hour, all I’m thinking of is – can I go faster?
Note to self – next race leave extra time for parking and getting a decent spot to rack bike! I always wondered why people got to races so early…
None the less I got in a decent warm up on the bike, had time to do a few yanks on the stretch cords to sorta warm up for the swim, and with Nancy’s help, got my wetsuit on to make it to the start with about 20 seconds to spare.
Starting in the fifth wave was an interesting experience. Several times in the 500 m swim I bumped into people, who seemed to be treading water and having a conversation in the middle of what I thought was a race. I had anticipated this, but even so it made me smile and almost laugh at each of the three times it happened in that 500 m.
The transition area was another new experience for me. It was the first time that I wasn’t at one end or the other. I was in some random place in the middle, completely indistinguishable from any other place in the middle. Maybe I’ll bring some pink birthday balloons to float from my bike rack next time. Or maybe I wouldn’t notice those either. Regardless of my transition area dementia, I don’t really think I wasted too much time, relative to anyone else, in there.
The bike and run went fairly well. I was breathing about as hard as I could the whole time. As one very witty woman once described to me as Lamaze breathing.
All in all the experience was a good one and I am glad I did it.