Thursday, May 20, 2010

half the bike

image, as always, from google images

Last evening I went to a clinic for the triathlon I'll be doing on Saturday. I didn't feel like going; in fact I had a pretty bad stomach ache, but I knew my feelings would hurt more than my stomach if I didn't go, so Darin loaded my bike into the van and I drove to American Fork.

The intent was for the clinic to be informative, but for me it was more than that, it helped calm me, prepare me for Saturday's event. This will be my first race this year, my third triathlon ever, and so many aspects of it are still so new. For instance, this race includes a pool swim rather than an open water swim. Also, this race is for women only, which I think is inviting to so many who have insecurities about committing to participate.

One of the speakers at the clinic was Marti Davis, who has been racing triathlons for 25 years, and has a list of race experiences and accolades a mile long, not the least of which includes finishing Escape From Alcatraz thrice (sharks!). When she began racing, women simply didn't participate in triathlons; at her first race, there were a total of five women racers, in a world where the only clothing and equipment available was made for men. And now there are races exclusively for women (though there is some to be desired in the race-clothing department for those of us fuller-figured gals, i'mjustsaying). Marti's daughter spoke for a minute and was visibly emotional about 800 women getting ready to race together.

After about 45 minutes of instruction, question answering, and transition demonstration, and before the sun set, we headed out on the bike course. During the race, the bike route will be two laps equalling 12.4 miles; last night we just rode one lap. I'm glad to have done this because I'm not gonna lie -- I think the last time I climbed onto my bike may very well have been during my last triathlon, which was in June. My bike is old 1996 vintage, including stickers from T&L Cycles and The Glenwood. It's a mountain bike with road tires, but not very good road tires (they're pretty wide). I don't have a quick-release bike seat, but I do need to raise it before the race on Saturday. My water bottle holder needs adjusting, and if I get a flat I'm S.O.L. because I can't fix that stuff. Mainly, I'm glad to have gotten a feel for the course so that I can know the most effective times at which I should fuel my body. Also, I tend to be taken by the scenery (I live in a very, VERY beautiful part of the world), so it was nice to take a slow(er) ride last night to enjoy the view . . . maybe on Saturday it won't be as much of a distraction.

Following the ride I opted to forgo the practice run in favor of getting a chance to chat with Marti. We talked nutrition and clothing, and I told her that last year I did the Salem tri as well as the Provo tri. "Salem was great, really a fantastic first-time course. And I came in dead last, as in, 635th place. Three weeks later, at the Provo tri, I didn't come in last." She advised me to not mention that I came in last when talking about that first race, but I explained that I don't say it in a way that is self-deprecating, but to show that the point is to participate and to finish. When people say to me, "I'm afraid that I'll finish last," I can let them know that it's nothing they should fear -- that I've Done That, and It's Okay.

Marti says, "You Must Be Present To Win." I'm hoping I can do that. No, not hoping - I'm planning on it. I'm planning on reminding myself that if I feel like I can't do it that I can, even if I need to take a 30-second recovery. And that I'm out there to do this, to participate, to be present.

What I'm hoping for is pleasant weather.

And that I don't get a flat.

11 comments:

Christi said...

Oh my gosh!!! I remember that bike! I remember riding somewhere with you and heading off the sidewalk in front of the HFAC into the parking lot and being totally jealous of your awesome bike!!! It was so unlike my very-old-two-toned-(half-purple/half-white)-sun-faded trek! haha!! I love that you're still riding on it. Not just riding, but competing! I'm so proud of you! Keep up the GREAT work!

Tori said...

Wow girl- YOU ROCK!!!!! Good luck and have fun. :)

Emily said...

I am so excited for you, though it makes me even more nervous for the Echo tri in July. It will be my first tri EVER and I have yet to get on a bike. At least I finally have one but I'm a hazard to all on the road so far.

I can't wait to hear how it goes. I might try for the new Women of Steel in August (in South Jordan). I think I'd prefer a pool swim--I don't do lake settings!

Naomi Miles said...

I have nothing but admiration for you, have fun!

c-dub said...

I won't lie. It is only because you weren't afraid to say that you came in last that I had the nerve to try a tri, too. Thank you for that.

See you Saturday.

Kalli Ko said...

And guess what? I think your ride that bike right by my house. Want me to stand outside with some gatorade because I'LL DO IT!

I'm so proud of you and Dalene and whoever else is doing this. You guys blow my mind.

c-dub said...

i want kallie to stand outside and wave at us. i really do! her vibrant smile would do me even better than a gallon of gatorade. if you're there kalli, look for me. i'll be toward the end. and i'm good with that.

Mrs. Organic said...

Awesome. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Jerry said...

I am sooooo proud of you.....

Amy R. Nelson said...

Awesome! I've never done a tri, but I've thought about it a few times (not enough times though). Impressive!

Kaerlig said...

good luck! I wonder if I'll ever get up the nerve to do one. It's the swimming part that freaks me out.