[079] Almost there

Swim: 0 m/76,000 m

Bike: 8.9/534.4 miles

Run: 2.5/143.8 miles

I’ve been spending the past couple days getting ready for tomorrow’s race. Yesterday I visited one of the tri shops in town and bought some tri shorts (like bike shorts but with a thinner, moisture-wicking pad that doesn’t hold water after the swim) and some Yankz speed laces (so I don’t have to tie my shoes in transition – just stick in your foot, tug the string and go).

This morning I got up and started the day with some yardwork (taper is leaving me with lots of unspent energy) and then I practiced mounting and dismounting the bike. I went on a short, easy run with my wife to loosen things up and test out the speed laces, and then was off to the mandatory pre-race meeting for first-time triathletes.

I really didn’t learn much at the briefing – I have been living and breathing triathlon for five months now, and I have asked my tri buddies just about every question I’ve been able to think of, so by this point I feel pretty comfortable with the basics. There were some people there who, bless ’em, seemed utterly clueless about how a triathlon works. But it was still nice to get out there and see it all go down, including watching the top-tier local athletes who were there to demonstrate some transition tips (picture above). I also got to scope out the transition area as it was being assembled (picture below).

After the briefing it was off to another tri shop to pick up my race packet. I’m #158 out of 600 participants (numbers are based on the swim time we submitted, so the swimmers go in order from the fastest to the slowest to help ease congestion in the pool). I felt good as I scoped out the competition at the race briefing earlier, but when I got to the tri shop I was greeted with a much more intimidating scene. There were some crazy bikes there, most of them being wheeled around by thin, tan dudes who looked like they would eat my lunch on the course. Thank goodness I’m not trying to win!

Now, back at home, I’m finishing up my transition preparation and getting my bag packed for the morning, which is going to start at about 4:15 a.m. It’s funny – I don’t feel nervous at all, just excited and ready to get started. There’s no pressure of a PR like there was for the 10k last month – all I have to do is show up and set a base time that I can chase down in future sprints. I have been training for, talking about, reading about and dreaming about triathlons for five months, and I’m ready to actually do it!

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