Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rain, schmain

It's 5 a.m. and my alarm wakes me. I hear rain on my roof. Wait. Is it rain? No, it's the sound of my son's fan; he always sleeps with a fan running in his room for white noise. Whew. Hit the snooze and get five more minutes of sleep. No, the sound is coming from outside my window. (Parental guidance warning - profanity alert). Fuck. It's triathlon day, and it's raining.
We knew this could happen. The weather report indicated a 70 percent chance of rain, which really means 100 percent (I mean, really, have you ever known it NOT to rain when there was a 70 percent chance of precipitation?).
No problem. I'm 9 minutes in the water, 30 minutes on the bike and 20 minutes on foot. I can do this. And I did.
I arrived early at the site because I wanted a good location for my bike. This was smart. I wanted the shortest distance from the pool to my towel and dry(ish) clothing. I got a prime spot on the first rack.
Because rain doused my plan to have my biking and running gear organized, I heaped all of my shoes, clothes and gear in a garbage bag and tried to prioritize it so the stuff I needed first will be on top. Head band to protect my ears, gloves to warm my hands and cushy bike shorts to protect the place where plan to spend the rest of my day ... all stuffed inside my bike helmet. Socks stuffed inside my cycling shoes. Tri number pinned to my hoodie. I'm set.
Eleven of us did the triathlon from my To Be Re ( workout family. Another dozen or so members, friends and family cheered us on. How lovely it was to hand my swim parka to my friend, Cary, just before I jumped in the pool. And how even lovelier it was when she handed it to me as I trotted from the pool to the transition area.
I survived the swim. I. Survived. The. Swim. I did most of it on my back, but I finished strong. Despite having taken swim lessons, the competitive side of me kicked in, and I found myself winded at the end of the second lap. Rather than stop, though, I rolled onto my back, tucked my arms tightly to my side and used my legs to power me through the water. Worked beautifully. I heard the voice of my friend and trainer, Keith, reminding me that my back kick is "home." Like Will Smith's character tells Kevin James' character in the movie "Hitch" when he starts to break out and do some dance moves beyond his abilities: "You live right here, okay? This is home."
During the transition area, I let go of an important character trait that normallyy works very well for me when I'm on the job: organization and neatness. Threw off the swim gear, threw on the cycling gear, and I was off and pedaling. In the wrong direction. Thank goodness for volunteers.
Pedaling in the rain was painful. And cold. The rain drops pelted my face and felt like little needles. As I pedaled through my three laps (10 miles), I realized that the rain on this leg of the race helped. I wanted to get to a dry place. Pedal faster, please. Hot cocoa awaits.
Running after biking took a few adjustments. My toes were numb from the cold and because my shoes were too tight, and I felt a little bow-legged. It takes a few minutes to regain your footing after the bike ride. I'd sloppily left one running shoe out in the rain in the transition area and one shoe protected in my garbage bag. Right foot was wet and spongy. Left foot was dry.
The spirit of sportsmanship at these events is inspiring. On the run loop, we were encouraging each other and cheering each other on. At the finish line everyone claps and pushes you forward. Having my own (along with 10 of my friends') cheering section was incredible! I forgot about the rain and cold, and I had a blast. Rain, schmain! I can't wait to do it again.
April 11 -Tri for the Cure, women only. I'm there!! Who's in?


Kylie said...

You are a PHENOM!!!

Wish I could say I was in for the next one, but it will still be snowing in Ohio in April....

I am so excited for your SUCCESS!

Cary said...

You rocked the whole way! And there are so many great photos to
prove it...including the swim parka
handoff! My pleasure to be your swim valet...but I might be in the water next time!