With my first triathlon on the horizon, my brain and emotions have been revving up over recent weeks!
I first noticed my swim nerves resurfacing. I can get my heart racing and feel panic just by simply thinking about the possibility of people bumping into me, swimming over me, splashing all around…where I don’t get a good breath each time I turn for one, where I take in water, where I feel I have to stop, where I might absolutely panic! Ah geez, I was back here again.
So, I decided to find out more about how the swim start would work. The website for the Texas State Sprint Triathlon didn’t outline that information, so I admitted to myself that I’d feel a lot better having some intel and I emailed the race director. Got a very quick and thorough reply: He would be assigning us numbers based on age groups and an athlete will start every 3 to 5 seconds. Excellent!! I will at least be by myself for 3 to 5 seconds!! I know I’ll soon be taken over by some of the athletes that start after me, yet this way I can get my bearings and line myself up towards the outside, and others will hopefully have a nice inside passing lane. 🙂
I know it would be good to practice a group start. However, this will be a nice confidence-building way to get my first true open swim under my belt. I’m excited to do so!
With that information in hand, I’ve just been handling a few last logistics –
- Making sure the bike I rented has the pedals I need (to clip in my cycling shoes). I had originally planned to bring my pedals, as so many had recommended. But, I have not yet bought my all clip in pedals (I currently have clip ins on one side and regular pedals on the other. I want to get just clip ins.) So, I haven’t practiced on the “ideal” anyway. It’s only a 12 mile bike ride and I’m already riding a bike that’s not my own. So, I’m going to scale back on the packing and not bring my pedals or my seat.
- Renting a wet suit. That was easier than I thought. I asked my cycling instructor who works at Element MultiSport and he said that they apply rental fees towards a purchase price. Great, I’ll shop there. I go in, they ask for height and weight and done, your suit is rented. I’ll pick that up on Wednesday.
- Figure out when I’ll truck over from my friends’ house in San Antonio to the race site in San Marcos to pick up my packet. After some back and forth with my friend, I’ll just go over early for the crack-of-dawn race day packet pickup.
- What to wear… It’ll be in the 70s there. So I haven’t been out in 70s kind of clothing here! I think I’ll wear some tri shorts, which I have been able to test out in the pool and on the bikes in the cycling studio. Although I don’t think I’ll go with a tri top – that’s not tried and true. I think I’ll match the tri shorts with a running tank top. I won’t need much nutrition on me – so it should work out fine.
It’s interesting. When you’re training for an Ironman and you’ve got your mind so often on those long distances, a Sprint can easily begin to feel like “just” a sprint. Yet, that’s hilarious, because I haven’t yet done a triathlon!! I think – and hope – that this journey has put me in a really good place mentally. I’m excited to get my first triathlon under my belt. It’s a B priority race, so I’m not looking at a specific time goal. I’m a marathoner who has religiously followed the rule of “not doing anything new on race day.” Yet, by the nature of a destination triathlon, I’m doing a number of new things, including spending half the race on a bike I’ve never used before!! So, I’ve just got to “go with it,” and see what happens! It’ll be a great adventure.