Tomorrow’s the day. My first triathlon. I’ve done a decent amount of training. I’ve figured out what to wear. I’ve planned my transitions. And I’m really nervous. Since it’s a race involving not one but three sports, perhaps I’m justified in being three times as worried.
I went to the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Expo this afternoon. There I got my race packet and goodies, picked up my t-shirt, and tested my chip. So far so good – all that is familiar from marathons and other running races. It did feel a little strange wheeling my bike into the registration tent, however. But what else was I to do with it?
My next stop was the transition area. I decided it was a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity to drop off my bike a day in advance. Just one less thing to worry about in the wee hours of the morning when I arrive for the race. There was no need to hunt for a prime spot, it’s all pre-assigned by race number. The area seemed ominously empty. I hoped it wasn’t because others felt it was not such a good idea to abandon a critical piece of equipment overnight. Once I found my spot, I discovered that my small bike didn’t exactly fit well onto the rack. In fact, once I balanced my seat on the bar, the bike was swinging freely in the breeze. It didn’t even come close to touching the ground. Ugh. For now, it’s firmly anchored by my bike lock. We’ll see what happens tomorrow when I liberate it.
I made sure to attend the 2pm athletes’ meeting. Being such a newbie, I needed all the information I could get. The speaker was very knowledgeable and helpful, with loads of details about each segment of the race. But honestly, the more I learned, the more I felt I had to worry about. The bike piece especially – he pointed out all the sharp turns, bad pavement, intersections and two-way traffic sections. All potential problem areas. Good to know, but worrisome. I did find the cycling etiquette rules to be reassuring, however. I like the bit about keeping 3 bike lengths between bikes, and the process for passing. I just hope the other cyclists are equally well versed in these fine points. Somehow it seems like a long shot…
Normally I might have lingered at the Expo to take in some of the booths. There were plenty of specialty companies catering to this audience of tri-athletes. But the afternoon was waning and it was time to head home. I did take a look at the lake where they were busy setting up the buoys for the swim, but it was my head that was swimming by that point.
I thought I my mind would be more at ease by now. Coming home and sorting through my gear, packing my transition bag and laying out tomorrow’s clothes helped. And I’ve had my fill of pre-race spaghetti dinner. All that remains now is to get a reasonable night’s sleep and show up for the race tomorrow. Then it will be time to leave all these tribulations behind and just do it!