Well after a quick sleep, I awake to a cold morning. I decide to do a quick google search on secrets to doing triathlon in cold weather.
I decide it is a go, I grab warm clothes, extra towels, hot tea, gloves, hot shot glove warmers, and even my cleveland browns toque. I am seriously concerned about the swim, because at this point I still don’t know what the temperature will be, but I am guessing cold cold cold.
The drive up to lakeside goes really good, and the morning is just plain gorgeous. The sun is screaming bright and the dew is lifting as I drive, and I convince myself there is nothing about this triathlon that is going to stop me. I get to the site and park and grab all my gear and follow the crowd over to the transition area. The mood is quiet but hopeful.
I get all my gear setup but I am not changing my clothes until it is much closer to race time. Seriously it is still very cool out at about 11 degrees, but it is clear it is warming up. I run into a few friends and get to catch up with them taking my mind off the cold water that is to come. The have a racer meeting and tell us all the things we need to know, including the water temperature of 22, which given how much warmer it is over the air temperature it is going to be just fine to swim!
So it is nearing ten o’clock and I get ready and head over to the water and run into my friends again and they wish me well, and I head out into the water. Unbelievable how warm the water is. I make my way out to the first turn and it goes pretty good. But like last time the second wave is starting to swim over me, but I hit a good stroke and seem to be moving well, and I round the second turn and head to home, only to get run over by wave three, but it feels like it is going well. I exit the water and damn the air is cool, but not too bad, as it has warmed up considerably since 6 am. I don’t actually see my time, but it turns out I was out at 19:06 which is almost two minutes faster then my best s’n’d swim time, and almost 10 minutes after then muskoka.
Out on the bike I go, and I decide I am going to try to be impressive but actually show everybody I am clumsy at best as I try to jump on my bike and manage to loose my water bottle in all the commotion. That’s going to make the ride fun! I head north down the road and really enjoy the ride except for all fast moving cyclists that seem to be flying by my every other second. It is pretty clear I am not a fast biker, but I am in great spirits and cheer everybody on passing me and the others already heading back on the out and back. I am feeling pretty good the last hill is a little nasty, but I head back into transition and I see the clock at 1:16, which in my head means I am flying by my standards. Turns out I did the bike in 52:23 which is almost 10 minutes better then muskoka as well.
Okay so here we go into the run, and my butt is complaining bitterly. I am extremely tight from the biking and I can’t get the forward gear going. By far the worst bike to run transition feeling I have had yet. But I push through it, I am really close to hitting my goal of being in under 2 hours. The first km is tough, a lot of walk/run but I run all of km 2, and I run most of km 3, km 4 is tough but I fight through it, and then I run almost all of the last km, and managed to cross the finish line running. I am moving faster at the finish because I have a bad feeling I am close to being over 2 hours, and I can’t see the clock because it is behind the finishing line box. But then it starts to come into view: I see 1, and I am pleased but then I get worried that it might be at 59 minutes, and then I see :5 and I try to go faster then I see 4! I am so pleased I have finished the race almost 6 minutes faster then I had set the goal for! Final time: 1:54:15
Not bad consider the week of debating weather I would even run it. You just can’t let that stupid voice in your head dictate what you can and can’t do. Because the truth is you can do anything you set your mind to, you just need to be willing to do it!