Why did I sign up for a triathlon? In AUGUST? What was I thinking? Why didn't I go preview the course before I decided to sign up for this race? Don't I know how hot it is going to be in August? I just KNOW my bike is trying to kill me. . .
These are just a few of the thoughts that continuously run through my head as I trudge to the gym every (other) day to work out and try to prepare as best I can for this race. Half the time I find myself driving over with the excuse that I might run errands after I work out, but really it's just because it is so stinkin' hot that I can hardly stand it. I want to stay cool as long as possible.
One of the reasons I signed up was because it is only open to female competitors. I don't know why I thought that was so cool. If I am competing against all women, the top competitors - whether they are male or female - will kick my behind. And let's be honest. The top competitors will be willing to mow me down in the pool, on the bike, or during the run with no hesitation. They will leave me in a crumpled heap on the side of the road (if my bike doesn't first). Don't get me wrong though - I didn't sign up thinking if it were an all female race I'd have a chance of winning. But just because it's all women participants doesn't mean they all will be really nice and polite. It is still a race. And there are some mighty competitive women out there.
I also signed up because I thought it was really cool that all the volunteers are male volunteers. And how fun is that to have men at your beck and call, right? Except they won't really be at your beck and call. All they are there for is to hand out race packets, be course marshalls, hand out some water, and if you are lucky, call your name out to congratulate you as you cross the finish line. It's not like they are going to disentangle me from my bike when it tries to murder me as I ride the bike course (btw - Do you all sense a slight sense of fear about my bike? More on that in a minute). It's not like they are going to stop me and give me a manicure/pedicure/massage treatment because they see I am a little tired during the run (and give me a nice glass of wine and some chocolate with that). Plus, it's all "male volunteers". Nowhere does it say they have gotten all "Chippendales dancers" for their volunteers.
Now the lovely bike issue. I have maintained for many years that my bicycle is trying to kill me. If you have ever seen the Calvin & Hobbes cartoons where the relationship between Calvin and his bike is depicted, then you know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven't, you must find any and all of that series and you will understand. It is hysterical (to everyone except Calvin and me). Part of the problem has been alleviated in that I am not doing the whole "clipless pedals" thing for this triathlon. But I still have a definite love/hate relationship with the bike (mostly hate). About the only really cool thing about my bike is that it is a very pretty color scheme with some pink in it. Very girly and cute. And I have a matching helmet. But if all you can say good about your bike is that it is cute, that's not too much.
I used to be able to work out all day long in the heat. This year apparently has been the turning point for me. If I walk outside to work out and it is hot (and when hasn't it been this past summer?), I just about melt into a pool of sweat before I leave my driveway. I have had more days where I've bonked and had to quit this summer than I care to mention. And that was when I was just running. So this does not bode well for me in AUGUST.
All this said, am I going to give it my best shot? Yes. Am I going to finish even if I have to walk the whole run course (and maybe part of the bike course?) Yes. Why? Because I signed up. I paid my money. And I will finish it even if it takes me 3 hours. I don't really care in the end because at least I am getting out there and trying. Do I have goals? Uh huh. But it won't really matter in the end whether I reach those goals or not. I can always make brand new goals up while I am on the course. (I will swim like a dolphin for fun on this length since I am so tired. I will set my bike on fire when I get home for throwing me off like that. I will run to that mail box that is three feet in front of me and then start walking again. I think I will sit on the curb here in the slight shade of this nice crepe myrtle for 5 minutes and start again). But the ultimate goal to finish will always be there. And it will happen too!