triathlon rule no.1 (and-a-half): have fun

BRILLION, Wis. — Until this race season, I’d never experienced terrible weather during a triathlon, so I can’t be too surprised it finally happened: rain, during my first two races. Leon’s Triathlon on June 7 was a special level of stormy, though. Like fat-rain-pellets-in-your-face kind of special. Race organizers (understandably) delayed the start, ultimately altering the course to a mandatory less-than-sprint-distance race, due to flooding and time constraints.

Considering I had come out that day to race an international-distance course as a tune-up for my first half IRONMAN, a sort-of sprint wasn’t terribly appealing. I didn’t need half the nutrition I had on me, I didn’t really grasp the course changes — the announcements were comically difficult to understand — and I didn’t have a plan of attack in mind.

Seeing as I had just adopted the motto of “relax, you nutcase” (see previous blog post), this was a perfect test of that approach. I repeatedly turned to my teammate Kennen, who was starting in the same wave as I was, and said, “Let’s have fun. We’re going to have fun. This will be super fun. Fun fun fun fun fun.”

It really was.

It didn’t matter my right goggle filled with water immediately, and I had to swim/sight with one eye closed. I flew on the bike with a wicked tail wind, and I liked trying to pursue similar speeds in the other direction, fighting a nasty head wind. Yeah, I was soaking wet in street dirt, rain and sweat, but it didn’t matter. I tried to be the fastest one out there, even when I knew I wasn’t, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

But let’s be real, that part kind of sucked, too. I was leading my age group off the bike, but the two women who eventually finished ahead of me sailed past in the second mile of the 5K. I finished third in my age group (fun) because I still have a lot of work to do on my running capabilities (not so fun).

oof. running. not pretty.
oof. running. not pretty.

Now, if you really want to enjoy yourself at a triathlon, I highly recommend joining a team. I raced my first 5 years of triathlons solo, and having teammates is way better — I didn’t know what I was missing. The long delay was much more tolerable than it would have been if I were there without a nice tent to hang out in and fellow racers to pass the time with. Much love to INTENT and the inTENT for the support on an INTENTs day. Wordplay is fun, too.

{image: INTENT inTENT is the best tent. Credit: Mama DiGang}

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