At 7:02 this morning, my son came down from his room. I was debating whether I should go run a sprint triathlon that started at 8. I had just decided that I would run my 8 miles instead, but somehow when he came down I became undecided again. I asked him what I should do. He (rightfully) looked at me strangely and told me to do whatever. I threw my bike on top of the car and drove to the race. The thing is, I haven't been swimming in months. I'm not sure what possessed me to do this, except that it was convenient and I guess I wanted to? I almost gave up a second time when I lost my timing chip while setting up my bike. It turned out it was lying on the ground nearby, but the thought of having to go and tell the race organizers I didn't have a chip was almost too much for me.
As expected, the swim was a struggle. Not the worst kind of struggle. I wasn't drowning, or even really very tired. I was just really bad at it. Before I took those couple months off from swimming, the swim coach taught me to pull, I mean really pull. Apparently though, I only do it with one arm. So, like a shopping cart with a squeaky wheel, I pull to the right. I ended up alternating between breastroke and freestyle just to keep going in the right direction and to avoid running into the woman who swam the whole leg beside me. Needless to say, it was slow. When I looked back at the end, I could have sworn there was no one left in the water. Apparently I was wrong, because I was not last in the swim, but DAMN.
This particular triathlon has the longest transition. You run up the hill from the pond about 1/4 of a mile to the transition area. I ran it in flip-flops. I'm actually quite good at running in flip flops. It's a skill you learn from having a daredevil 4 year old daughter. 5:22 on the transition. I figure this was 3-4 minutes of running and 2-3 minutes of actual transition. I had trouble getting my bike shoes on.
Took off on the bike and started passing people. Being a local tri, I'm used to the hills. I can truly say that I didn't even really push this that much. Maybe a little on some of the longer hills, but not much. I passed people the whole way. Only one person passed me when we had to go down a steep hill with a sharp turn at the bottom. I passed him again on the uphill. At the end, I coasted in. I almost caught a woman in my age group (I later learned) but I decided to let her stay ahead of me in favor of relaxing a little in preparation for the run. I mentioned that I was supposed to do an 8 mile easy run in training today? I wasn't trying to push things. 1:08 on the transition. Uneventful.
The run was probably the best I've ever had in a tri. I started out feeling some soreness in my back, but I just relaxed (not pushing it, again) and ran as if I was doing my 8 miler. It was a nice day, there was shade on much of the route and I was just out to enjoy myself.