My nephew-in-law, Ryan, (I still can't get used to that, I'm not that much older than him) and I did the St. George triathlon this year. I registered for it in December and was excited to do it. although I've been participating in cycling and triathlons since 1994, I've mainly been a cyclist for the past 10 years due to knee pain while running. My last triathlon was in 1999, and before this year my last running event was in 2000. Last fall Rhonda challenged me to do the Moab Half Marathon with her in the spring, so I got on some glucosamine and chondroitin, did some stregthening, and started training. As this race got closer, I was feeling well trained, but I was feeling a bit sick the week of the race and was worried how it would affect my performance.
Ryan and I went down the day before the race, rode part of the course and did some swimming in the reservoir. The weather was beautiful and I was excited for the race. I was feeling mostly better physically, but still had some lingering effects. We checked in and got our packets, then went out to dinner to carb load on some pasta. It was about a 45 minute wait at the restaurant, and I bet 3/4 of the people there had body markings on their arms and legs (race number and category).
We woke up very early to make sure we were not rushed getting to the event. Even though we were some of the firsts ones there, we had to park a mile or so from the transition area and ride our bikes with all our gear. The sky was clear, but there was a pretty good wing. After locationg our spots in the transition area, we walked down to the water to see how the wind was affecting it. The waves were huge! As the morning went on and start time was approaching, the race directors were hoping the waves would drop down a bit. The kayakers who are in charge of pulling struggling swimmers out of the water were worried that they couldn't keep their position in the waves. The race director delayed the start for about 40 minutes, then announced that the race was changing to a run-bike-run triathlon. Those strong swimmers were quite frustrated, the strong runners were giddy, and the strong cyclists just wanted to get going.
I did okay on the first run, but since it was off raod and we had to run up a major sand hill, my time wasn't that great. I did reaaly good on the first transition (T1), and made up some good time on the bike, which is my strongest event. My second transition (T2) was fair, but I didn't do very well on the second run. It was okay, just not great.
There are a lot of things I like about participating in these events. I like having something to work towards; I'm a bit competetive, so I like the challenge of racing; I love the energy in the air surrounding the event (including the day before race day); I love conquering self and doing hard things; I love how my body feels after the event; but most of all, I love how good the food tastes at the finish line! Fruit never tastes so sweet and juicy, water never quite as refreshing, and that post event meal tastes like manna from heaven!!!!!!