It was a wonderful day at the triathlon. The times have not been posted yet. I had problems in almost everything... but still, it was great.
I got to the park at 5:15, and joined the line of women with backpacks and bikes... walking... walking... into the park. Then the frantic rush to set up your transition area. Knowing full well that it will be squished into non-existence before the swim start. It was 70º already at 5 a.m., and the water was a very comfortable 74º.
The swim was different in that I never found a spot to swim without being kicked and elbowed. I was constantly being mowed over. It was uncomfortable. I could not see the buoys either, so I felt like I was swimming blind. I ended up doing the breast stroke a lot - just so I could see what was ahead. The first stretch of the swim, we were heading straight east - into the rising sun. It was blinding. My goggles added to the problem. I had to stop at a swim angel, hang on a noodle and lick the lenses of my goggles. Thank you Swim Angel! My time for the swim was (estimate) 28 some minutes.
I have no idea how long the T1 took. It didn't seem long. I hopped on my bike, surprised that my legs seemed to not be wobbly like I think they will be when I am done swimming. I headed out and enjoyed the ride - until I made the mistake of gearing into granny gear on a big hill. When I tried to take it out of granny gear, the chain fell off. I quickly hopped off the bike, turned it over, and then the ty-rap holding my computer broke. So after I got the chain back on, I held the computer in my hand for the rest of the ride. I think I did the ride in about 48 minutes. Not sure though.
T2 wasn't as bad as I expected either. I grabbed my garmin, a gu, my iPod, and headed out. I was quickly told, in no uncertain terms, that iPods were banned from the race. I headed back to my transition area to put my iPod back in my backpack. You know, I was really P.O.'d about that (because I think that should have been posted on the website or in their info, since they have always allowed them before) - but I didn't miss it at all.
I started walking, and realized that I was walking pretty fast. I decided to run. I was running OK. I probably ran about half of the 5K. I enjoyed myself. It was getting really hot by then - thank God I am over 55 and was in the 4th wave. There were still people swimming when I was running... I felt bad for them because the day just kept getting hotter.
Some lady in front of me kept yelling what I guess she thought was encouragement - "think of a cold margarita! A cold beer! A cold martini!" over and over and over again. I finally shouted, "think of an air conditioned AA meeting!" I don't think she liked that, but holy crap, not everyone is motivated by alcoholic beverages!
THE MOST AMAZING THING HAPPENED AT THE END OF THE RACE: I STILL HAD SOME ENERGY! I WASN'T JUST ABSOLUTELY CAPUT! I FELT GREAT!
I got back to the transition area with my buds - I SO love being with women my own age! I was dancing, and they were wondering what was wrong with me. Heck, I still felt good.
But you know, compared with a half-marathon, running a 5K is really pretty quickly over.
So, I had a good day. I am glad. I needed one. I am sure my times were not good, but I enjoyed myself, and isn't that what this is about?
And, on a serious note: when my mother was my age nearly exactly, she had just been diagnosed with cancer and had just undergone a surgery to remove a kidney... which proved futile, she was dead 6 months later. I kept thinking about her as I swam, biked, and ran. I am grateful that I get to be an alive person, healthy, and happy. This one's for you Mom.