Not sure why I felt this post-worthy...
A friend and co-worker of mine is doing her first triathlon this weekend. I think she saw some of my posts about my first (in a million years) being in October, so she called me out. I told her I would sign up for one on July 28th, but I waited to long and the entrance fee was close to a million dollars.
What follows is our (edited) conversation.
Erica: I'm going to need a triathlon pep talk before saturday.
Me: is it the 21st? I'm sure I can do that.
Erica: yeah, I'm nervous as hell. I want to be able to finish the race
and not humiliate myself
Me: wait...I've got something.
and you're not even close to where she was during the ironman
Side note, I taped and watched the 2011 Hawaii Ironman recently. I cried almost the entire show. I do that.
Erica: I can't imagine doing a 14 hour race. that's crazy
Me: yeah, i know. the point is, you can manage < 2 hours doing a swim/bike/run
Erica: 2 hours is my goal.
Me: things to prepare for:
1. as soon as you get in the water, you'll think to yourself, "WTF am I doing?"
Just keep swimming just keep swimming.
Erica: thanks Dory
Me: You'll be out of the water in 20 minutes or so.
You'll get out of the water and your legs will be wobbly, sea legs. You'll think to yourself, "WTF am I doing?"
but you'll jog, or walk up to your bike, put on your shoes and get on anyway.
About 5 minutes into the bike you'll be thinking, "so that's why they have aero bars, so they can rest their arms after the swim."
followed quickly by, "WTF am I doing?"
But you'll keep going...enjoying the breeze and freedom the bike provides.
About 30 minutes into the bike, you'll wonder, again, why you're doing this.
as you're passed by someone twice your age
(you'll know, as everyone has their age painted on the back of their calf..at least they used to do that).
Erica: they still do
Me: and you'll be embarrassed and want to quit
then you'll think...wait, if this old effer can do it, why can't I?!!
and you'll keep pedaling
ah...you hear the roar of the crowd...or not, but you realize you're about a mile out of the bike/run transition.
you drop into a lower (easier) gear and spin so that your legs won't be so full of lactic acid after doing squats (pedaling) for an hour.
you'll cruise into transition, park your bike and sit down to put your shoes on.
after your shoes are tied, or slipped on (like I do, I hate socks, and tying shoes)
you'll start to jog out of the transition area
and your heart will explode...
and you'll think to yourself, "WTF am I doing?"
you'll then decide to give it a minute or two and slow down your pace so you can slow down your heartrate
but your legs are screaming at you...saying "WTF are YOU doing!??"
and "I effing hate you!"
but you'll keep moving forward
Erica: omg, you're not helping. :p
Me: about every 4 minutes on the run this will happen. "WTF am I doing?"
The pain from the bike will leave you after about 10 minutes...
then it's just a matter of willing yourself, Green Hornet style, to keep going.
If you have to walk, walk. Do it for a minute or 2 minutes. It's OK.
Stop for water.
Then you'll think...well this is a convenient place to stop...
but you won't.
Best part about most runs is they are out-and-back...makes it harder to quit as you have to get back somewhere, you might as well finish.
Actually, every minute or so you'll be thinking to yourself, "WTF am I doing?" which is quickly followed by, "Hey, I'm on the run already, awesome!"
Drink water at the stations.
Pour water on your head.
It will help, physically.
But I doubt the physical will be the hard part...the hard part is ALWAYS the mental.
If you're goal is to finish, just finish. Take your sweet ass time out there. Enjoy the scenery, hot bodies scantily clad.
Me: And realize that everyone is going through EXACTLY the same thing as you...because they are.
Erica: yeah, but they all get to enjoy the beer at the end
And then it devolved from there, shocking, I know.
I eventually called her to offer verbal assistance by sharing a story about one of my wife's first triathlons, where she 1, threw up on the swim and 2, rode the entire bike leg with the back brake on (was her 2nd or 3rd tri, didn't know to check the mechanical). Pretty sure that little pep talk didn't help Erica.
For whatever reason, I found it an intriguing chat session. You're the (un?)lucky recipient.
I'll post Erica's results here when she finishes. Wish her luck!
For the record, I'll be doing my first triathlon in over 11 years this October.