In T1 I received a compliment. The woman who started just in front of me, who was not a jellyfish, who had a kit on and told me about her last 70.3 and used all the right words, said I was fast in the water. Tee hee. Me. Who trained all of two days in the pool. Silly but fun.
In T1 I also showed why there was a big old N on each of my calves. The race people were yelling, "Cross the orange line before you mount." So, I crossed the orange timing mat and mounted well before the orange chalk line on the ground that read "Mount Here." I was chastised but yelled, "It's my first time!" And kept going.
On the bike I was amazed to get going without incident, and really freaking happy that I was able to get my feet into my rat-trap pedals. Yea me! There were little up hills and little down hills. What can I possibly tell you about the course? I don't know anything. I'm a novice. And then.... the downhill. I saw it coming. I pulled the left lever towards me (big ring) and pushed the right lever away from me (little gear), put my head down and pedaled as fast as I could. Three quarters of the way down the hill I yelled out "Hooooolllllyyy Shhhiiiiiitttttt!"
Luckily I saw the cop at the bottom of the hill or I may have found myself in the face of oncoming traffic. The rude awakening was that what goes down must go back up. Slowly. Painfully. Did I mention slowly. The second time around I had a realization on the way up that hill. This was the Druid HILL sprint triathlon. Druid HILL (Yes, I didn't realize that until the second lap). When I verbalized this to the woman next to me as we worked up this hill with our butts off the seats she claimed there was no way I could be a novice. My second compliment of the day.
I came into transition to get ready for the only part of this race I had any idea how to do, run a 5k. I dismounted (before the orange line) and sauntered into transition saying out loud, "Wobbly legs. Wobbly LEGS. I HAVE WOBBLY LEGS." I went to move my Garmin from my bike onto my wrist. The band snapped and it exploded into pieces. My reaction to this was to look at my Garmin, look at the band, look at the visor and sunglasses I was going to wear, pause for a brief moment of reflection and say, "Fuck it!" and just went to run.
The run course was perfect. I knew exactly where I was because of the big lake in the middle. When I saw Katie and Brian yelling for me I was filled with joy and happiness. When I hit the gas to take off my right leg charlie horsed. In my head I paused for a brief moment of reflection. I offered up a prayer to God that started with, "Fuck it!" and just continued my run.
If anyone has any advice to running after a previous activity (in water or off the bike), now would be the time to offer it. I have not been happy with the two times I have tried it. I am sure I will get better with practice. But my body (or maybe my brain) is pretty much like, "Sir, haven't we done enough today?" But, I had cheering fans and a beautiful morning, and I passed the 9 year old who swam with little t-rex arms in the pool. So, who am I to complain? I just hope to get better over time.
Then it was done. Which is maybe the most fun part about a sprint tri. You are in the water, than transitioning, then on a bike, then transitioning, then running, then eating pizza and listening to stories about the day. You never do any one thing long enough to get deep into it or bored with it or question it or have deep thoughts. It's just boom boom boom. Done. It's fun. You should do one. Go sign up right now. And if you have a hot fast wife, have her sign up too. Then you can share the day.