Remember That Time We Did a Triathlon? A TriDu Reflection

After six long weeks of swimming, biking, running, and blogging, Cam and Beth finally took to the race course this Sunday at TriDu. Here are their reflections on the triathlon.
Goal crushed: I am now a triathlete.
I woke up on Sunday morning after a solid 8 hours of sleep, drank a few cups of water, ate a breakfast of Vector and a banana, and somehow managed to keep my eyes open without my usual morning coffee. My friend Alex and I headed off an hour early to the race, both of us a bundle of nerves and excitement. We got our bikes checked, packed our wet bags, and watched in awe as the ultra-fit Olympic triathletes ran by us, their ridiculously fit bodies glistening with pool water as they raced over to the cycle transition. Before we could say “swim bike run”, we were shivering in line at the outdoor pool, orange timers around our ankles, black numbers stamped on our arms and legs, watching one by one as our fellow competitors started the race. Then it was my turn: I pulled my TYR goggles over my eyes, hopped eagerly into the surprisingly warm pool water, and upon the sound of the buzzer, pushed off from the side of the pool.
My swim was decent, considering my non-swimming background. If I decide to start taking triathlon seriously, I am definitely going to need to invest in a tri-suit though – it probably took me a solid 3 minutes to change out of my swimsuit and into my biking gear, which added a huge chunk to my transition time. Then came the bike. I had rented a fancy road bike for the day to avoid taking my slow and rusty hybrid out on the course. The bike was nice and fast, but since I didn’t have much time to get used to it, I was a little unsteady and did not go as all-out as I would have liked. I made pretty good time, even though I swear I saw my life flash before my eyes on the hill leading from 16th Ave to East Mall. By the time I rolled back into cycle transition and hopped off my bike, it felt like my legs had turned to jelly, and I was wondering whether I would be able to survive the run. After about a kilometer of running though, my brick legs began to wear off and I really started to hit my stride. I made up a lot of time in the run and sprinted the last 500 meters to the finish line. Cheers, photography, and Powerade-drinking ensued. I posed for a few photo ops, returned my timing chip, and proceeded to eat a massive, gooey, delicious cinnamon bun. I’d earned it, right? Right. 
Overall, TriDu was tons of fun. The cheering spectators along the sidelines and the non-competitive, supportive vibe I got from my fellow racers really made my first triathlon a rewarding experience. I completed the race in 1:12, which was under my goal time of 1:20. I also ended up placing 28th out of 81 competitors in my category, which isn’t too shabby if you ask me. Even though I was only competing in the Short race, completing the triathlon was a huge accomplishment for me. A couple of years ago, I could barely run more than 2 kilometers at a time. Now I am a triathlete. Crazy. I definitely want to compete in many more triathlons to come (although I will probably need to invest in a real road bike), and I am aiming to complete a Sprint distance by the end of the summer.
Thank you to the TriDu crew, the amazing volunteers, and everyone who has been following this blog and supporting me over the past six weeks. Also, a huge congratulations goes out to all my fellow triathletes, both seasoned and new. As for those of you who have a goal you’re looking to accomplish (maybe you want to do a triathlon yourself!), in the words of Seth Godin, “If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try”. See you at next year’s TriDu!
I can finally check “do a sprint triathlon” off my bucket list. I have been saying I was going to do this since the end of my swimming career in 2010. And I have finally done it. When it came to race days, I was always one of those overly organized young athletes who showed up to every meet early and yesterday was no exception to this. I didn’t race until almost 12 but had some friends racing earlier and wanted to cheer them on so I got to the race area 2 and a half hours early. My usual “breakfast of champions” (1/2 bagel, cream cheese, banana and some blue Powerade) was once again my go-to for pre-race sustenance and didn’t fail me. I also had a small amount of coffee, because I can’t function without so I figured it was pretty important.
I gave myself a lot of time hanging out in the transition area and around the pool to get in the zone and watch other athletes. Then when it came my time to change, I couldn’t find my swimsuit. Realizing I had left it in my bike transition kit at cycle transition I was forced to do a little pre-race sprint to grab it. Fortunately, this didn’t affect me too much when it came to the race. As expected, the swim was the easiest and least worrisome part of the triathlon. I actually passed four people and based on the results was 39th overall for the sprint coming out of the swim. My favourite part of the race was in fact the bike because I loved the scenic route down Marine Drive and I love my shiny blue bike. Due to the jello feeling in my legs and my apparent dislike for running, the run was evidently my least favourite. It was all about hanging on and resisting the urge to stop and sit down on the curb.
As I came up east mall in the last half kilometre of the run I spotted my friend on the side, cheering me on and told him to run with me. If he hadn’t I might have walked or worse, stopped, so thanks buddy. Coming into the finish line was the best feeling and the support from all my friends and fellow REC staff was amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends and supporters. Overall, TriDu was an incredible experience and something I am extremely proud of. I can officially say I am a triathlete and have already been researching Oregon triathlons to compete in this summer. I am probably going to stick with some more sprint triathlons for now and maybe work up to an Olympic distance triathlon by this time next year.
Thank you again to the UBC REC TriDu Crew for an unbelievable event and to everyone for all your support the last few weeks. I really enjoyed training and blogging about one of my proudest achievements to date. Massive congrats to my training buddy, Cam and everyone else who competed this last weekend. See y’all at Storm the Wall!

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