Last year’s women’s triathlon was so enjoyable that I immediately registered for this year’s race. And promptly forgot about it, and spent no time running or cycling. I suppose I thought I’d coast on swim fitness, or perhaps didn’t think at all. My cheap used hybrid, purchased on Craigslist, was in all likelihood the most ridiculous bike in this morning’s race–and I could tell, because by the time we got to the transition area, everyone was already lined up.
We got back into town from a family trip last night and, while we woke up in time, had several mishaps getting out of the house, not the least of which was a panicked search for the bike rack. By the time we got on the road I figured I’d have no more than 5 minutes from the time we’d park the car to the starting horn.
Unfortunately, I was right. I wore my race onesie suit in the car, which meant I needed to go to the bathroom but had no time to deal with my wardrobe, and by the time I finished laying out my transition station and ran to the water, all the people in my wave were all ready to start. Then the horn started, and I was literally the last person to get in the water.
Since the swim is the weakest leg for most amateur triathletes, I had to contend with hordes of people flailing in mud and slime. The water was thick with plants and muck and it was throwing people off their game left and right. It seemed like no one was sighting. I cut through much of that bullshit and cornered the buoys around the critical mass of people to finish third in my wave. I could’ve easily finished first, but the two people in front of me tried to stand up in the mud and exit the water walking. Big, big mistake; their legs sank in a foot deep and there was no way to swim around them without getting kicked in the face. I swam as far as I could before sinking in the mud, then got up and tried to run through the sticky slime to the transition area.
After this stressful swim, which was no more than 400y, the bike and run legs were that much harder. I enjoyed the view of the wineries from the bike, as I did last year, but the run course depressed me; the drought turned the whole park brown and the little bubbling brooks that crossed the run course were gone, their creeks arid and depressing.
I finished in 2:01, which I suppose is not bad for someone who didn’t train and almost didn’t show up on time to start with her wave. Better prep (and possibly, a better bike than my malfunctioning $50 Craigslist purchase) next time.