Triathlon Survival

30 Aug

Oh what, did y’all forget this was going down?

That’s right, I won! They don’t give those shiny medals out to just anyone.

Alright so I “won” in the sense that I didn’t drown, I didn’t crash my bike into other humans or non-moving objects, and the whole thing is now completed and over and a thing of the past.

Upon rising at 4am on Sunday, I began asking myself why I chose to tackle such a challenging sporting event. You mean to tell me I will be voluntarily hurling myself into 73 degree Lake Michigan, after which I will pedal furiously on my $100 Huffy mountain bike for 13 miles, and just to top it all off I’ll be running a 5k, just for good measure?

 I was also asking myself why in God’s name I paid good money to be awake at the same hour that many young Chicagoans found themselves in drink-induced verbal altercations with hot dog vendors at Wiener Circle,  but that is neither here nor there.

Ultimately,  crossing that finish line without the help of a lifeguard rescue or a roadside assistance vehicle marks a win in my book. I imagine I will be putting myself through this whole thing again next year, which is not a bad thing considering there’s a whole lot of room for improvement now that I know I won’t drown.

Before I sign up for the madness again, I just have some tips for future me.

First, get yourself a personal cheer squad. Check.

10,000 bikes look approximately 100% different in the pitch dark of 5am than the pink-orange glow of 7am. Remember the chick with the cupcake balloon tied to her bike? And remember how much time you spent in your first transition, frantically running up and down the aisles of bikes, shouting, “Has anyone seen a purple Huffy?!! It cost $100 on Craigslist!!” Remember?

Get a cupcake balloon.

In fact, on the subject of bikes, get a proper bicycle altogether. And then personally seek out the road-bike-toting athlete who zoomed by you on the course, rang his little bell and called out, “Yeah Huffyyy!”

Old dudes will unknowingly punch with you with their club arms in Lake Michigan. They swim sideways and resemble giant sinking seals. He doesn’t care nor does he know that he just bashed you with his beer belly. Don’t panic. Just keep swimming.

Do not question the carbs.

Your almond-butter-filled sweet potato will serve as a sweet and unfair memory at around mile 7 of the bike.

Drink water. Bring water. And coconut water.

Bring shorts. Just… bring shorts.

Calm down. Smile. Enjoy the swimming sunrise. Take in the quiet of Lakeshore Drive at 7am on a Sunday. Laugh at the simplicity of the run and at the madness and encouragement of the  crowd in those last few minutes.

And for God’s sake have cold beer at the ready this time.


One Response to “Triathlon Survival”

  1. Mary August 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Very cute… Did someone really say”yeah huffy”? Too funny!

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