This was more or less my exact thought yesterday when the 2 week reminder for the Rookie Triathlon popped up on my phone. Two weeks? NOT possible. I am not ready. I’ve only swam once, in FACT I’ve been avoiding swimming at all costs for no other reason than I just don’t want to.
Last year’s Rookie times: Swim – 11:34, Ride – 56:55 & Run – 28:41 (first race after recovering from the sprained ankle). That was slower than 2012 which was faster than 2011. I don’t expect to be faster than last year. At this point last year I was more or less comfortably running 3 miles with almost no walking. Until my ankle started to hurt again. In fact I expect to be slower. Lots slower. I’m guessing I’ll finish in roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes, not counting transition. Last year was 98 minutes not including transition, which really I only spend maybe 7 minutes tops overall.
The swim? A short 300 meters and assuming it’s not colder than a witch’s tit in a metal bra shouldn’t be too too awful. Should be able to finish in roughly 13 minutes…And I think that’s going really really slow. Last year the water was colder than the air and I never warmed up until half way through the ride. My water bottle was still frozen for most of the ride as well. After the swim is a short jog / walk through a mine field of stickers in the park up to transition and then the ride. The ride? I should be able to get through, it’s a course I’m well familiar with. Hilly, windy but overall a good ride. Some good downs and some rough ups but doable in my doughy state. The run? A short 2 miles, mostly flat, trails until the end. Last year it was so chilly that when I was finished I was actually somewhat dry because I didn’t really sweat. That was a first.
Most races I have an inner monologue such as this:
Pre-Swim – God I have to pee. Or maybe throw up. Is it time to line up? I’m not ready to go, I’m sure I’m going to drown or be eaten by a ginormous catfish that has suddenly awoken because of us crazy people…or I’ll touch lake plants with my feet…yucky toes!
Swim – Stay to the side, do not get clobbered, ahhhhhh I peed (we all do it), shit, I’m gonna puke, can’t breathe, going too fast, okay I’ll breast stroke until I catch my breath, okay I’ll give myself 10 strokes then I have to freestyle, okay, maybe 5 more, (at this point I usually start singing). Around the buoy, almost done, about half way, breast stroke, gotta breathe again. Do not kick me lady, keep going, I can see the next buoy, why does this part always feel like forever when really it’s just 12 minutes. Shit, another wave I gotta hurry, around the buoy, okay there’s the shore, put your face in the water. Sight, swim dammit. I can see the people, hurry up. Don’t kick me. Just a little further. Face in the water the rest of the way, come on bitch, let’s do this. Thank god they pulled me out. Now UP.
Run to transition – Gotta jog, gotta look like I know what I’m doing, watch the stickers, your body is so heavy when you get out of the water, catch my breath. Come on, rest on the ride. OW – fucking stickers!
Transition – Where’s my bike…4th rack over to the right, who fucked up my transition spaces. Fucking noobs. Glasses on, Gu in my pocket, helmet, shoes, bike, let’s go.
Bike – Water, water, water, thirsty, hill, people, MOVE. Turn right, hill, let’s go legs, rest on the ride my ass. Turn right, rolling hills, oh that’s where that gun range is, watch the road, watch the road, HARD right turn, slam the gears to easy, up the hill, up the hill, up the hill, up the FUCKING HILL. Up, up, up, thank god. Legs burned. BONK BONK BONK. Gu time, drink, breathe, breathe, roll the hill. Left turn, catch up, breathe, let’s go legs. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle yeah. (shaking the legs out) Right turn, long hill, pace yourself. Up we go. Right turn GET OUT OF MY FUCKING WAY NOOB. (I never say most of this out loud, unless someone is really hogging up the road on the left) Down the hill, up the hill, where is the last hill? Down the hill, let’s get up speed, I know you’re tired we’re almost done, there’s the last hill. Up, up, up, up, up. Turn right, roll it, rest, breathe, where’s Scott? (He’s usually running by now) Right turn, up the last little hill, mash it, up, up, up. SLOW DOWN. Stop DO NOT FALL OVER. Off the bike. Where’s my shit?
Transition – Shoes, Gu, Hat, Already wearing my sunglasses, water, water, water. Okay Stephanie, here’s the plan, we jog. NO walking until the water stations and there’s one conveniently at the transition exit, we walk. Okay, water on the head, water in my mouth, off we go.
Run – Nice long downhill, shitty long uphill, yes I know my calves hurt, let’s do this. Come on. Round the corner. Watch the trail I will not sprain my ankle again. Walk the water station. Why do they always have that Pure shit? Protein water tastes like ass. I’d rather have Gatorade. Okay, guess I need to run some more. Ugh, this sucks. Why did I ever get into this again? Round the corner. Through the trial, just a little more, come on. I will not walk. Okay, maybe just a little. OUCH OUCH OUCH. Okay, around the corner and then we’re almost done and I have to run the rest of the way. I think I’m gonna puke. I think I’m gonna puke. Almost there. I can see it. There it is, don’t give up now. Thank god it’s the end. “Don’t take my strap…and you might want to hurry because I think I’m gonna puke.”
I usually go throw up somewhere. It’s just water / sports drink and sometime Gu. Then I drink the water bottle they gave me and wobble to the beer tent. Now, I do realize that the beer tent is not where one thinks I should go, but here’s the deal: I cannot eat after a race, I WILL throw up again if I if I try to eat too soon. After almost 5 years of races I know how I work. So I take my water, I get a beer and I find some shade in the beer garden to drink my beer and my water. I usually have 1 or 2 and then go find the ice cream because that’s the only thing I can stomach next (this varies on the race. The longer ones I can’t really even do ice cream after so I go for goldfish or something carb related with lots of salt but not too soon or I throw up again). Depending on how long I’m there after the race (transition doesn’t open until everyone’s finished the bike portion) then I might get some bananas or see what else they have out, but mostly it’s beer and ice cream. And it’s GOOD beer. The sponsor’s are in good with New Belgium so that’s what we usually have. At that point my sweaty ass is usually no longer dizzy and exhaustion is beginning to set in. So I grab my gear from transition, get to the car and head home for a shower and a long nap. 2-3 hours typically. And then we go out to a special dinner somewhere to celebrate another triathlon successfully completed.
And that was a long ass post to talk about how I’m silently freaking out over the upcoming race. So I need to get to the pool as much as possible over the next couple of weeks. OY.