The morning of my first triathlon, after I ate peanut butter toast, I left really early to head to the race venue. Normally, being on time for me is being 30 minutes early, so when I say I was early, I mean I got there, um, maybe 2 hours early. I figured that would give me a cushion in case there was an accident or traffic or a closed road on the way.
Well, there were no accidents, traffic or closed roads that morning, so I sat in my car for a few minutes to avoid looking overeager for my first triathlon. But I started getting antsy, so I decided to check out the registration table. I was that girl who wheeled her bike and huge bag of gear right up to the table. Overeager? Yup. But who cares. I told them my name and I was relieved when they found it on the list. They handed me a tag for my bike, a black thing to put on my shoe and a hot pink swim cap. Then they told me to go the next table to get my number.
At the next table, a guy took a permanent marker and wrote a big 560 on both of my arms. Then he asked how old I was and wrote a big 2-3 on my right calf. Permanent marker?! For some reason, I felt empowered and excited… I was about to do my first triathlon… and I just got marked! It was official! Next, I wheeled my bike and gear to the transition area and picked a spot. I discretely opened my triathlon magazine and set out my sneakers, Gatorade, power bars and goo just like the picture in the magazine. I was pretty proud of myself. Then I put the black sensor thing on my ankle. Ok… now what?
A few minutes later, my mom’s friend found me, and thank God she did, because I had no clue what to do at this point. I showed her my transition area and she nodded in approval. She suggested we go down to the lake and do a practice jog up to my spot so that I would know how to find it coming out of the swim exit.
I didn’t really understand why this was a good idea, but we walked down to the lake and jogged back to my bike. Then, after we walked around a bit, to be totally blunt and sorta gross, my nerves were giving me “the runs”. We headed to the outhouses that were set up and I was oddly relieved to see that I wasn’t the only one who was nervous. The line was SO long! While I was standing in line, I realized that everyone had their ages written on their calves. This was a brilliant way to see if any of the cute guys that were around were my age! The age on the leg thing got my mind off the race for awhile and I suddenly didn’t have to use the outhouse anymore.
By then, my mom and cousins found me, and so we all headed down to the lake. I put on my wetsuit that was 2 sizes too big, but I waited to put on my hot pink swim cap until the last second. My mom’s friend asked me what side I breathe on when I swim and I told her I turn my head to the right. She smiled and said that I would have to turn my head to the left for this course because of the direction we had to swim. WHAT?! Oh no! I never practiced that! Crap! Oh well, I could probably get by doing it how I practiced.
Read on about my first triathlon: the race