Salt Springs Triathlon Eve

I’m taking this blog out of mothballs now that my Blogger problem appears resolved. I’m not going to detail my ups and downs with training and getting organized and everything Keep on Going-ish, but instead I’ll jump right into what I’ve been focusing on for the past few months: the first annual Salt Springs Triathlon. Tomorrow morning!!!

I heard about it many many months ago from Walt Kostyk, a library user who’s been the main person behind the Triathlon. Originally it was going to be only an Olympic distance (1200 yd swim/25 mi bike/10 K run), and by August it was clear I hadn’t trained enough for that, but thank goodness they added a sprint-ish one (600 yd swim/9.5 mi bike/5 K run) which I can definitely handle.

I half-heartedly tried to learn freestyle swimming, but I have a real problem with breathing, and so I quickly decided to stick to what I can do: breaststroke and sidestroke (faster than breaststroke as long as I swim on my left side; I’ve practiced on the right but that still doesn’t feel very efficient). So I’ll be getting out of the water after everyone else (only 22 entrants as of today!).

Then for biking I’m using an old Nashbar road bike, borrowed from friends, that’s a little too big for me. It was once a very nice bike and it’s beautifully made (the contrast with my cheapo mountain bike, that I used for training, is dramatic), but the gear shifters are on the bottom tube (hard for me!), the brakes are sidepull (which you never see any more), the tires are REALLY bald and I wasn’t able to get replacements in time, and there’s something a little out of true that makes the chain rub in high gear. (Also you can easily pop the chain off when shifting if you’re not careful.) I’m not very coordinated on a bike, or brave about downhills, so I’ll probably be slower than anyone else there too.

Then the run–I’m in OK running shape but not at my ideal weight (about 125 right now, and really my body would probably be best between 110 and 115), and the bike-to-run transition is difficult for me. (I did practise it recently and it seemed to be getting a little easier, though.) Having done a few biking-running “bricks” (back-to-back workouts) has taught me that the combination seems to suck the glycogen out of my muscles way faster than either on its own, and I’ve ended up walking part of each run I did after biking.

So much gear & technique, it’s intimidating and expensive! I did get a tri suit so I don’t have to change anything, although it’s already a little the worse for wear from wearing a Camelback swimming in muddy Stanley Lake (thanks to Dave for giving me permission to swim off his dock, and then giving me produce, cooking me breakfast yesterday, and even giving me a cool quartz necklace he made!) .

BUT I will finish (unless the rear tire, which is flaking, blows up on me…) and I’m excited!

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