Not that this is the third Tri for Fun I’ve done. But, the Tri for Fun (as opposed to Tri for Real) series happens every month in the summer, therefore this is number three.
My goals were to practice triathlon-ing (all that shit that comes with run + bike + swim), preferably win and also make it a good training day with some warming up and cooling down.
Some of those goals were met. By the time I got in line to day-of register — since online registration was closed yesterday — it was 6:25 for a 7:00 race. Um, ooops. I eventually ran 9′ to warm-up and rushed to the start, getting yelled at in the process, only to then stand at the start for half-an-hour while there was a speech about the history of Tri for Fun and the history of triathlon and how to triathlon and some random actual important things you needed to know about this particular event thrown in just to make sure you were paying attention. Fortunately, this gave me time to braid my hair, undo it, and re-braid it. Important things.
(I actually think the braids ended up looking really good. So, you know, success!)
Once we finally went, I dove in, put my head down and swam as hard as I could for 30″, convinced I had separated from the field, only to look up and discover that actually the field was 10 feet to my left. Oh well. I was actually surprised at how much of a shitshow I was during the swim. I couldn’t see anything out of my goggles. Nothing. I ran into people. I hit buoys. I swam entirely via the feet of the UC Davis girl right in front of me (who, handily, had a bright yellow cap). But, then she corrected for the actual finish and I kept swimming towards what I thought was the finish. So, oh well/this is why we practice triathlon-ing.
Even being rusty, I still transitioned fast (yes! skillz) and got onto my bike ahead of the girls who came out of the water with me. I had no idea how many girls might be ahead of me. My guess was something between 0 and 3. So, I just hammered. I sang Taylor Swift’s Love Story and then Rihanna’s I’ll Drink to That — like usual. Eventually, I just stuck with Rihanna. And, I felt terrible, but it was a normal terrible, never a debilitating terrible. I passed a lot, a lot of men, since all the men started before us. It meant I was pulling all the way to the left to pass and then all the way back to the right to ride and then back to the left to pass, etc. But, it was ok, because it meant there was people to focus on. I passed one girl, maybe others. It’s hard to tell in groups. And, oh oops, the bike leg is done! Almost missed the turn back to transition!
Headed out on the run I was in first and I really had no idea how far ahead I might be. I tried to just run quick — not hard. Quick feet, quick turnover, quick arms, keep passing men. The run was hilly and slow and longer than 5k and I wanted to just walk it in. I figured I was pretty safe and about two-thirds of the way through I looked back and saw no women for 45″ or so. The course was a big figure-eight and double-back, making it hard to tell where you were. I knew it would have been easy to sit up, but I thought I would feel really fucking stupid if I lost in the last 400m (because clearly I wasn’t going to get passed before that). So, I just kept pushing it. And, every time I didn’t want to, I did and passed another man. I finished first and then 30″ later the UC Davis girl came across the line. Good thing I kept going quick!
Honestly, it all sort of passed really quickly and easily and I just kept trying to do all the stuff I learned from my article I wrote last week about confidence and sports psychology. You know, focus on the feel of going fast, instead of thinking about going fast or thinking about thinking positive. Feel, don’t think. Which is pretty much the same as singing Rihanna over and over and over.