Journey to a Triathlete

In about two and a half weeks, I will be a triathlete.


And although I’m starting to feel the familiar flutters of anxiety about the race itself, I feel surprisingly prepared. In the last couple weeks, I’ve add more “brick” workouts to my training. That’s a triathlon term that means you do back-to-back event workouts, like going for a bike ride and immediately hopping off and going for a run. No one knows why they are called bricks, except maybe referring to the way your legs feel.

My friend Arthur warned me about that. The funny thing is, even when I do those workouts and my legs, sure enough, feel like bricks, my pace is still respectable. Once-a-week sprint workouts at the IWU track have helped a lot with pace. I was looking at my history (the app allows you to post a workout as a run, too) and my pace at this time last year was about 12 min/mile. I did my half marathon in June at 11 min/mile. Yesterday, my pace was 9:35 min/mile. Sprints work, people.

My goal is to finish in 2 hours. 500 meter swim, 16.6 mile bike, 3.75 mile run.

In terms of gear, I bought this top and these shorts which I will wear for all three events. I also got this belt to attach my race number for the run. I decided not to mess with renting a wetsuit and I’ll just tough it out for the swim. Earlier in the summer, I got these goggles which are AWESOME. No leaking or fogging for at least 20 minutes. Everything else I already had – shoes, bike things, etc.

Although I didn’t think this would be the case, the swim makes me the most nervous. It’s open water in Mississinewa Lake. I’ve been training in the IWU pool, which is nice and clear and wild creature-free and the water temperature is 90°. Mississinewa is none of those things. (At last check, the water is about 76°.) I’m hoping I can summon enough mental strength to just power through the cold. And the wild creatures.

Oh geez, please let there be no wild creatures.

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