“It’s ALL about the Run”
A triathlon is an amazing thing. A test of fitness, endurance, mental strength, satisfaction, etc. etc…. It’s also not just about race day for me. Of course, it’s the races that help motivate you, but acceptance of the lifestyle is what it’s all about! As you read this, please don’t take it too seriously because if you know me, I can be a bit sarcastic at times, and this is just one angle at this particular moment in time……next week, I’ll talk your ear off about how a $10,000 bicycle and the bike portion will make you a Kona Champion…… right…. ;-)
You may ask “I thought a triathlon included a swim, bike, and a run”? Well, of course it does, and to become proficient at all three, there’s only a few minor things you have to do: swim, bike, and run….. and depending on the distance you are training for one has swim, bike, and run A LOT. It’s the combination of these sports that provide a wonderful balance in your training which ultimately limit the potential for injury. I have personally been in the sport for 6-7 years, and am becoming more fit and faster as I get older. I have always had an inclination and ability in whatever sport I played, and enjoy the competition as well as the community or team aspect. And again you may ask “aren’t you pretty much on your own in a triathlon”? The short answer is yes! Come race day, it’s you against several hundred or thousand other folks trying to cross that finish line. In the end, I go back to the acceptance of a lifestyle that makes triathlons a community. There are clubs, masters swim programs, friends, running groups, organized bike rides from your Local Bike Shop, etc. These all provide a wonderful avenue to connect and learn from like-minded individuals who simply “get it.”
A few weeks ago I decided I needed "practice race" in anticipation of the Denver Triathlon, so I spent this past Saturday in Windsor for the Pelican Fest Triathlon. This fast, flat, short sprint tri was a great way to start the season and get excited and ready to race the Denver Triathon on June 10! With ½ mile swim, 10 miles on the bike, and a 5k run my drive to Windsor and back took longer than the event itself! Fortunately, when I race Denver in a week and a half not only do I get to race a sweet course, I don't have to commute! Hurray for the only triathlon in Downtown Denver!
For a day that dawned with hazy and grey skies, this less than 300 person triathlon kicked off right at the beginning of a beautiful Colorado spring day! The 8am start saw a glassy lake, perfect for an early morning swim, if only the water temperature were warmer! 62 degrees doesn’t seem that chilly until you realize you brought your sleeveless wetsuit, you’re all warmed up, and you have to get back out of the water for a beach start. The layout of the buoys made for a slightly longer swim if you were sighting them instead of the transition out of the water, but all in all the swim course was straightforward. If only I’d actually managed an open water swim in frigid waters BEFORE my first race of the season! And one of these days I’m going to remember to use my legs for more than rudders so they get a chance to warm up for the ride. Note to self for the Denver Tri: USE YOUR LEGS! And enjoy the warmer water! My swim performance wasn’t what I hoped it would be, especially after the shock of warming up waiting for the start only to submerge myself in Polar Bear Club worthy waters once again (the in and out three times trick didn’t work here…) but I survived and pushed on to transition one.
Hopefully this post finds us all training hard for the Denver Triathlon. When I say "us" I actually mean "you" because alas, I have fallen to injury and am feeling incomplete in efforts to prepare for my first olympic distance triathlon. So there I was in Maui on my birthday (don't all feel bad for me at once), running in last year's shoes instead of the Vibrams I had been using, and aggravated my left foot. Sadly I have had to stay off of it for the past few weeks, and those new NB minimus shoes I looked forward to running in will have to stay in their box indefinitely. I suppose the good thing about a trio of sports is always having another option. And now to dive into the topic of swimming...