Friday, September 17, 2010

Lakeside: Before

It's hard to believe that my first triathlon was only three weeks ago. It seems like ages... back when it was hot and sticky and full-on summer. Here we are, on the eve of Lakeside, and it feels like we are in a totally different season... one that does not lend itself well to scantily-clad outdoor pursuits. To be honest, jumping into a lake tomorrow morning currently feels like just about the last thing on Earth that I want to be doing. (Though I do recognize that this is probably a case of nerves setting in.)

They opened the course up to people to take a practise run through last weekend, and though I didn't go up for that, I heard from a few who did. The themes that kept coming in from their reports were that (a) the lake was frigid - someone reported low 60's and (b) the course is very hilly.

This concerns me on two levels: the cold, and the hills. I do have a wetsuit, but it's sleeveless, and I've heard that it's difficult to even get your face wet once the water gets cold, let alone swim well. And as for hills, well, have you seen where I live? I haven't biked a single hill this summer. And as they say... the only way to get better at riding hills, is to ride hills.

So. Ahem. Add that to the fact that I expect some serious competitors at this event, ones for whom I expect every waking minute outside of the office is devoted to a swim, bike or run, and suddenly I'm not sure how I feel about it anymore. The awards ceremony and post-race food are both scheduled for before I expect to be crossing the finish line, if that gives you any context about the thing. Meaning, the vast majority of people WILL have finished by then.

I got the pre-race report email from the race director yesterday, and the good news is that the event organizers predict the lake water to be at 72 degrees on Saturday morning. So whoever was spouting off about temps in the low 60s was full of it. Of course, the race director also reported that the last 5km of the bike are all uphill. Great... just what I need before starting a run!!

I am trying to psych myself up for this event by reminding myself of a few things. Number one, I really like to ride my bike. And to run. And really, I even like swimming, even though I am incredibly slow at it. So this event actually affords me an opportunity I rarely have: to put them all together. Number two, I really like being outside at this time of year. And this event even puts numbers one and two together for me. Lastly, I think the big mental hurdle that I have to get over is that I am entitled to do this as slowly as I want. It is perfectly OK to go and participate rather than compete. I will try not to let myself get freaked out by all the super speedy people out there, and by the people who are bound to fly by me in the lake even though their waves start later. Let 'em pass me in the lake... then they won't pass on the bike or run, right?

Here's to showing up and participating.


Jenn said...

Carrie, you'll do great! Crossing the finish line is an accomplishment...don't pay any attention to time (you'll have more fun that way and just might surprise yourself!)

If you feel like a hot shower before you make your way home, we aren't that far from the race. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow :)