Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Boomer "Tri's"

The past six months have really pushed me. I made the decision to become a triathlete and I entered two sprint distance triathlons. Getting ready was challenging, sometimes painful and often exhausting. Just simple things like learning to ride with cleats and unclipping were frustrating. I had read that you unclip your right foot for safety reasons, leaning to the right to balance, not into traffic. Okay by me. Then I tried learning to do that. Not once, not twice, but four different times I fell onto my left knee, because I unclipped that foot, but leaned left. (Did I mention that I am not a quick study?) What my husband suggested is that I have a left tendency and maybe I should just go with that? Thank goodness for logical observers. My left knee now has a permanent knob and scar, but I did get this under control before race day.

My first tri was with my daughter, the "veteran" triathlete. (She had done one before.)It was right near home, so we could practice the bike route and the swim. Wetsuits were another new learning opportunity. I did my first open water practice swim in Lake Superior in May. The waves were impressive and the water temperature "stunning". However, I gained confidence knowing that if I could swim a 400 in these conditions, I could certainly complete the swim in my first triathlon. What I was, and am, still learning are the fine points of preparing for, putting on and taking off the wetsuit. Body glide- what a great invention! Now to figure out how to run, strip down and pull of the suit quickly, while simultaneously removing my swim cap and googles.

So, how did it that first tri turn out? We both placed in our age group! My daughter got third and I got first! The prizes were large beer mugs (very Wisconsin) complete with graphics of the region and "award winner" printed on them. Nice.