After three days of driving and camping we arrived at Wrightsville Beach for Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon. Woah – the ocean. As we stared at it I felt like Nemo stating the obvious “It’s big… and blue.”
Which is also how I felt about talking about the race. Everyone asking “How was it? How was the biggest race of your life?”
Uhhhh “It was hard… and long.”
The whole experience felt so big I can’t seem to wrap my brain around the whole thing much less find the appropriate response to such a simple question. There are so many inappropriate ways to respond.
“I peed on myself A LOT.”
“I’ve never been naked with my competition during a race.”
“The last three miles were fucking ugly.”
“I got sores in weird new places.”
Or just crying.
Can I just bust out crying when someone asks “How was it?” Because it really was so big, and long. And I’m so stinkin’ proud of myself, and I’m so touched by people caring, and so at a loss for what to say that I just think some crying would sum it up nicely.
But perhaps I can find some more words to tell this story.
So back to Thursday at the ocean: After we got over staring at the big blueness, we got my bike out and I took it for a spin. We ran along the beach. I got my wetsuit on and did some very tentative swimming up and down the beach.
The puckering saltiness on my lips was icky and distracting. Worse was how terribly murky it was. That which I cannot see is ALL lurking in wait for me. Every possible sea creature was just beyond my fingertips and nibbling at my toes. Imagining sea creatures is WAY worse than lake creatures.
Then we went straight to packet pickup. I got the largest race packet of my life. A woman patiently put my race band on my arm. It was like I was being admitted into the coolest club ever. Half-iron distance racers got an orange one, full distance got purple bands. At the expo, at the beach, even at the bar I kept eying up people’s wrists. I was so proud of my purple band I wore it for over a week and was sad to cut it off.
At our AirBnB apartment I repacked my five race bags. And re-wrote my cue cards. Seriously, I had to re-learn triathlon.
Friday: The penultimate day. The day before the race. My last day as a mortal. DUN DUN DUUUN! Just kidding, I slept in and stretched. Went back to the convention center to drop off my T2 (bike to run) bag and purchase stuff. Went to the T1 (swim to bike) and did bike drop off and a walk through. I stepped in fire ants. Fire ants!?! Itchy burning welts on my feet – they’re a performance enhancer, right?
We spent the rest of the day lounging on the beach and reading. It was a lovely way to forget about the race. On our way back we picked up a roast chicken at Whole Foods. We ate an early dinner while watching Netflix in pajamas in our apartment. Then we put on my race numbers,
and got to sleep nice and early. I actually slept. Can you believe it? I’m doubtful and I was there.
You know what else is long and hard? Trying to tell the whole story in one post. For everyones sanity – I’m going to break it up.