North Mankato Triathlon

Who ordered a ticket to the gun show?

Ten Things I Learned From Doing A Triathlon:

1. You can never train enough for the swim.
2. Training for the swim in a pool (when the swim is in a lake/pond) is ineffective. Also, see #1.
3. Don’t shift too fast into your big ring on the front lest you have the chain completely fall off your bike.
4. If the hill you’re biking up is too steep, just get off and walk it up. Nobody’s going to penalize you for it. Plus, your legs will thank you.
5. Hydrate hydrate hydrate.
6. Gu packs are your friend.
7. People are willing to shit themselves and keep going rather than stop and not shit themselves. (from observation, not practice – I’m not THAT hardcore!)
8. Planning your race pace ahead of time is useful in making sure you have enough “gas in the tank” once you get to the run.
9. Swimming sucks. It really, really does.
10. That I’ll never do another one ever again.
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The sprint triathlon (0.25 mi swim/12 mi bike/3.1mi run) I did on Sunday was my first and will be my last. Why? I hate swimming.

As a kid, I loved to swim. But, in the 30-some years since then, I have fallen out of love with it – especially swimming in a lake. I can’t fathom how much fish poop is floating around in that water and when you’re swimming in a race, there’s a high probability that you’re going to get some in your mouth. ICK!

Anyway, back to the story. Since I don’t like swimming, I made sure that I would train to swim twice the distance non-stop (i.e. 0.5mi) in a lap pool. Aside from the turnarounds (where I didn’t hang on the edge or touch the bottom of the pool), I didn’t stop once. I had a good time split and I felt great. I’m a pretty experienced cyclist and I know what my pace times are for running, so I found a tri pace calculator online to plug in what my finish time would be.

Note: I’m slow. Really slow. I know this. But my goal was to finish and not kill myself.
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Super Freak

No, not THAT kind of super freak!

I’m talking about how I’m starting to freak out a little bit about the triathlon. Mainly: the swimming.

Over the past few days I’ve had these thoughts:

I’m going to drown!

There’s no way you’ll be able to finish!

What if there’s fish?*

I won’t be able to SEE!**

I’m not going to be able to finish!

I’m going to drown!

As you can see…I’m being quite rational about this. By “rational” I mean “irrational as hell.”

Before I did the half-marathon in 2010, I had an epic meltdown on the drive down (just ask my husband) because of the seemingly insurmountable task ahead of me.

Thirteen point one miles?!?! I’ve only been able to run up to ten! (insert hysterical crying and freaking out here)

It wasn’t pretty. Thinking back, I’m usually the calm, level-headed one in times of crisis and I usually don’t freak out. Not like that.
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My Secret Weapon

2008 Breast Cancer Bike Ride

I’m having a bit of panic over the triathlon, which is in 19 DAYS!

The swimming. I’m not going to be able to swim in a lake (unless I swim the race course the day before) until the day of the event. So, in order to make myself feel better, I’m going to swim as much as possible before the race.

However, I realized this weekend I have a secret weapon in my arsenal: the bike.

After a whirlwind week – one where I had to take ocular antibiotics due to an eye infection (and meaning I couldn’t wear my contacts) – I finally got my new Terry saddle installed on the bike and took her out for a long ride on Saturday in the 90+ degree heat and humidity right around the noon hour.

The course was a nice winding course with rolling hills and a few challenging climbs and a delightful straight, flat stretch where I got the bike up to ~23mph. All in all, I did 11 miles with little to no effort and had 14mph average speed.

Not bad for the first time out this year, huh? 😉

Now that I have a fantastic bike saddle, those miles will fly by.

If only the swimming would go as smoothly…