Yesterday for Mother's Day, I had the opportunity to race in a local, grassroots sprint triathlon here in Fort Collins, CO. Yes, I did call my mom after I finished the race to not only wish her Happy Mother's Day, but to thank her for the good gene pool aka... my mitochondrial DNA. Yup, you get that from your mom too and a topic of discussion for a future post.
It was great to see people of all ages participating, some of which were doing so for the first time. The event was well run with the course the same from previous years. Great volunteers and a friend pointed out how nice it was on the bike to have every single intersection monitored so the athletes could focus on riding fast. The distances were a 450yard pool swim where we zigged and zagged the short course lanes of a long course pool, a 12 mile bike looping 3 times around so it was spectator friendly and a 3 mile run. After the race, we went back to the Fort Collins Club for a yummy post race pancake breakfast, and more socializing with friends.
So, why do people do Triathlon's? Some come to the sport after being injured in another sport, others may be looking for a bucket list item. Some are looking for a new challenge or want to burn a few more calories so they can enjoy a "little" more freedom in their food choices. Some of us just like the diversity in training and the endless ways to combine swim, bike and run into a healthy, balanced lifestyle. New friends, new places to exercise, new workout clothes.
Often times you hear people say, "I will do it if you do it" over dinner and drinks. Then, the next morning you wake up and your signed up for your first race. That's how I ended up doing my first marathon when a friend came to a spin class I was teaching and told me he was considering his first marathon. I told him "if you do it I'll do it" Sure enough, the next day he comes to the pool and tells me he signed up. I distinctly remember walking downstairs after that first marathon and that lovely feeling in my thighs as if someone was sticking ice picks in them with each step. Moving on....
Whatever your reasons are for trying a triathlon, keep it fun and try to embrace the grassroots feeling whenever you can. Sure, some of the races today are quite large and feel like they are all business, but even then, you can make a choice to race your best and have a good time doing it. Keep a smile on your face, thank a race official or volunteer after the race or better yet during the race if you can spare the oxygen.
I have been racing Tri's since 1986 and yesterday brought back some great memories from that first race which was also a sprint tri. No timing chips, no wetsuits, no aero bars, T1 & T2 is where you leaned your bike against the curb and then tried to remember what part of the curb you left your shoes on when you came back from the ride. Nudity, not a problem because you just raced in your speedo. Post race I split a large pizza and six pack of beer with two buddies and I can still hear their voices to this day as we recounted the fun we had just playing in the sports we loved.
So, whether you decide to try a triathlon or any other sport, when in doubt, keep it simple & have fun!
Make it a great week,