I don’t feel like I ever did anything particularly strenuous training for this triathlon except the two very long bricks, which turned out to have a bike session three miles longer than the actual race. I’m fit as I can be at this point, and now just need to rest and steady myself for the actual race. This weekend I did two pretty significant final training sessions. BB and I did an 11 mile run on Saturday, and went paddle-boarding Sunday at the DC free paddle-event hosted by North Face, bookended by 8 mile bike rides.
It was hugely crowded, thousands of people lining up to kayak and paddle-board on the Potomac (POHT-o-mac). We joined with our new friends the globe-trotting public health worker and the USMC fighter pilot. I was all ready to be embarrassed about being shirtless next to a Marine aviator three years younger than me, but that didn’t happen. Paddle-boarding was fun, and a decent core workout without actually raising my heart rate at all.
The bike ride was harder: the way there was all down hill, and so didn’t challenge me. But that meant the way home was all up hill. That did challenge me. It ended up taking about 45 minutes to go 8.5 miles, and I was riding BB’s heavy mountain bike. It definitely was a good training ride for the long, flat, hopefully fast ride I’ll have Sunday morning.
It is going to be hot. There’s nothing to do about that. Not only is it the second half of July in Princeton, New Jersey, there’s a full-scale heat wave going on. Currently, the forecast is for the mercury to be tipping 90 degrees right about the time I finish. There are also forecasts of scattered thundershowers, so maybe I’ll get a little rain. Who knows. It’s going to be challenging no matter what.
But more and more, the math looks like it’s my friend. I have 270 minutes to finish the course. Unless there’re some very strange happenings, I should need only about 240 of those, at the most. And if I over heat and can’t do more than walk the 10 km “run” portion of the race, I should be able to speed walk it at 15 min/mi. That will still allow me to finish.
I’m nervous. But I’m excited. I just really want to collect that medal. I want to finish. I want to be proud of accomplishing something hard. And I want to prove to myself that I can do the things I once derided as pointless before understanding them, because I thought myself incapable of them. This triathlon is another chance for me to taste the grapes I once called sour – only because I didn’t realize they were within my grasp after all.