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Try a Tri

Posted by on Friday, July 27, 2012 in Athletics, College Life, General Information, Summer.

Hello again, summer readers!

One of my very last posts on the blog was about my experience running the Rock & Roll Marathon (I ran the half) at the end of spring semester. Coming to you now from Knoxville, TN, I bring you the next of my silly sports adventures – my first triathlon! (Article conveniently timed to coincide with the opening of the OLYMPICS which may be all I do for the next 17 days).

I ran into people in the pool.

The components of a triathlon are, in order, a swim, a bike, and a run. Being a rather poor swimmer, I had a lot of work to do from the beginning of the summer to the race (July 7th) in order to be in shape for the measly 200 meter swim. In addition to spending a lot of time floundering in the pool, I borrowed a road bike from a friend and got busy with the huffing and puffing up and down the roads of Oak Ridge.

Finishing up the bike leg!

Fast forward to the evening before the race – A local triathlon coach (and Ironman!) held a clinic on transitions, which are the bizarre sub-events between events wherein competitors try to switch from one event to the next as quickly as possible. From the couch, transitions sound super easy, but when you’ve just narrowly avoided drowning, trying to dry off, get dressed, remember your helmet, glasses, bike shoes, and clip into your bike in a reasonably quick manner becomes really hard!

Transitioning from bike to run is the art of forgetting how stupid it is to run after biking.

4:50 am, July 7th. I didn’t sleep particularly well because my pre-triathlon bedtime was hours before I’ve been going to sleep this summer. We lightly breakfast-ed, then drove to Knoxville where I set up my transition area (your spot on the bike racks where your helmet and shoes and such are arranged), then got numbered on each arm. When the time came, all the racers ordered themselves by projected swim time, since the swim would be a staggered-start event in a pool. I was super nervous, but after jumping into the water, I was able to just sink (haha) into the routine! The rest of the race was super hot, but fun, and I felt pretty awesome when I finished, knowing that I could call myself a triathlete!


Next summer, I think I’ll make the trip back to Nashville for the Music City Olympic Distance Triathlon… If I’m not too terrified to get in the river.

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