Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My First Triathlon Season Is In the Books

So what have I been doing with all of my free time?  Obviously, not blogging!

I sometimes can't believe I did four triathlons this season.  Each race had it's own challenges.
  • For Moraga, it was the unexpectedly hilly bike course.
  • At the Mermaid Tri, the swim was so difficult for me.
  • At the Tri for Fun, the run just seemed brutally hot and endless.
  • And of course at See Jane Run, there was the flat tire that killed my time.
But with each of these challenges comes important lessons.  So below I'll share with you what I learned from my first triathlon season...the good, the bad, and everything in between.

  • Preview the course if you can.  I should have driven over to Moraga to check out the bike course so I could have better prepared for the hills.  On the other hand, in this case ignorance was bliss!  If I had known how hilly it was I may have been scared off.
  • Celebrate the small victories.  This time last year I was excited to be able to swim 75 yards without stopping.  A few weeks ago I swam 600 yards without stopping.  But I was equally as excited when it was only 75 yards because that was a huge accomplishment for me.
  • Transition times matter.  I was looking at the results from the See Jane Run Tri, and the top 2 finishers were neck and neck in most of the sports, but the winner had better transitions times and that turned out to be the margin of victory.
  • Practice changing your bike tires!  I can't emphasize this enough.  I plan to spend these winter months getting much more familiar with my bike and how to maintain it.
  • Carry what you need to change your flat.  In retelling my story of the flat tire, a couple of other athletes mentioned that they didn't even carry a spare tube on the bike for that race.  See Jane Run is a very beginner friendly event, but there was no SAG vehicle so you could wind up stuck out there.
  • Triathletes are the most friendly, encouraging and supportive group I've ever met.  During my last two tris, I was actually giving out information/advice to newbies even though I still felt like a newbie myself.  And I've been given a wealth of information from other triathletes as well.
  • I am much more fearless - or maybe it's just stubborn - than I ever imagined.  
Remember this swim?  I'll never forget it!
  • But the biggest lesson I've learned during my first triathlon season is to be grateful and to enjoy it.  I really struggled towards the end of the season because of my hip, but there are people who are much worse off than me...people who would give anything just to be able to do any one of these three sports.  Which is why I've really enjoyed every swim and spin class that I've done in the past few weeks.

I feel like I had a pretty successful rookie triathlon season.  And I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for me!

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