This weekend is the one-year anniversary of my relationship with triathlon.
That’s some crazy right there.
I was still limping from Boston. Memorial Day 2011 I bought my first bike. Later that week I registered for TriRock Seattle, an Olympic distance triathlon on July 16. Then I pieced together my own training plan with Hal Higdon’s intermediate half marathon plan and an intermediate Olympic distance triathlon plan. I needed a goal, and training for a triathlon sounded like a fun.
- I wish I had written a recap of that first race, because I don’t really remember very much of it.
- It rained – poured – in the days leading up, but I didn’t even know to be nervous about slick pavement and sharp corners. I was more worried about being cold.
- In transition I felt lost. I didn’t know what disc wheels or aero helmets were. Why do you need those? I found a friend and was so happy to have someone to talk to.
- The swim was the least scary part of the day. No near drownings, got a little off-course, but I just swam until I was done.
- The bike was fine, too. I hit a rogue cone in the road and yelled out an apology to the volunteer. What was I apologizing for? I didn’t put the cone in the road! But I didn’t crash and kept riding.
- The run a humid mucky muddy swamp. I felt like I was running a 10k through a mud run course. I got passed a lot on the run but the only run that I’ve run harder since was the 12k’s of Christmas. That run effort, or at least how I remember it, was what racing should feel like.
- I finished in 2:31:29.
- Then we went to Cactus for brunch. And I was SO sore.
- A couple of weeks later I started researching Ironman Canada versus Ironman Coeur d’Alene.
It’s sort of strange to think that a year (and change) ago this sport wasn’t part of my life. Running was, and triathlon was an experiment to keep me busy. I started because the training sounded enough like a cross-training boot camp to be fun. I didn’t know from the first moment that it would stick, but by the end of a summer full of mornings in the lake, sweaty red-faced evening runs, and dewy-aired pre-work rides I was most certainly hooked. And a few injuries, one winter, countless days of rain, and many (many, many, many) hours the training is still my favorite part.
Race days are incredible because they’re the culmination of weeks, months, and/or years of effort. I can easily give myself goose bumps just thinking about a race morning or finish line. But can you really measure the amount of effort it takes to get to the water’s edge (start line) in even 17 hours? I want to be able to, but I don’t think I can. It’s so much more than that, especially for those who are racing themselves more than others.
So how will I celebrate my anniversary? I haven’t decided yet. 🙂