10. You are going to love it. I don’t think anyone ever told me how much I would love triathlon. I still love running but I love the challenge I get with facing all three disciplines. Yes, it’s harder for me because of the bike, but that’s part of the reason I keep going at it. I want to get better and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love peeing in the wind?
TGIF friends! Since I now consider myself an actual honest to goodness triathlete I was thinking about my days as a FNG (effin’ new guy) and all the stuff I have learned along the way. I know there are always so folks many entering this lovely world of pee-pee pants and horror film level chafing, that I figured I’d share some of the things I wish I knew before I started doing these events. They could have helped BEFORE I RACED. Thanks a lot guys. Sheesh.
1. Transition closes way before you race. At my very first triathlon I read my wave time and based when I got there on that. Big. Mistake. Transition closes well before the first waves even start so you have to get in there and get set up before that. It’s always noted on race websites. I was so rushed that day, I almost had a heart attack.
2. Get used to being barefoot. I personally hate being barefoot. I hate not having shoes on. I can’t stand to have dirty feet. I will keep my shoes on at wedding and just dance in pain. My point here is that after you leave transition, unless you have someone to hold your flip flops for the duration of your race, you are going to be barefoot until you come back for T1. Sad but true.
3. The swim is not that bad. Really. I have yet to be pulled underwater or purposely kicked in the face. Yes, I’ve been bumped and accidentally tapped but it’s really not as bad as people make it out to be. I’m sure some of you have been in more aggressive swims, but honestly, I have had nothing but nice people around me during the swim who just can’t see where they are going and run into me. And I’ve lived to write this blog post about it.
4. It’s ok to just pee for the duration of the race. Everyone knows that peeing in your wetsuit is expected. Peeing on the bike is encouraged. And sometimes peeing on the run just happens. I didn’t want to stop at my first St. Anthony’s Olympic Tri and I was already soaked from water hoses and sweat so I just peed. Granted I didn’t tell a soul because I was mortified only to find out later it was totally acceptable. Warning: make sure you are ready to get rid of those shoes or scrub them down like an exorcism!
5. You will be passed a lot on the bike. Unless you are actually winning the triathlon, you will be passed on the bike. A lot at first. Don’t worry, you’ll get better. But first, stay right and keep on truckin’.
6. Bike numbers are a pain in the ass. Every race I struggle to get my stupid bike number decal on straight. The S.O. cuts his and puts it on like an actual sticker while I usually fumble with getting it over the top tube. It’s never going to be straight. It’s totally fine. Just leave it alone or you’ll make yourself insane.
7. The run is hot. The run is always hot. Every time. Praise whatever God you believe in if you race on an overcast day. #hallelu
8. Wetsuits are awful and wonderful. The wetsuit is a giant pain to get in and out of (unless there are strippers). It’s tight and annoying. And yet, you swim real fast in them and they are a Godsend if you get tired and just want to float. I love and hate my wetsuit. Also, ain’t no chafing like a wetsuit chafing, cause a wetsuit chafing don’t stop.
9. Triathlon is expensive. I came into triathlon as a runner so I knew that shoes and race entries could get pricey but man oh man, slap the word triathlon on anything and it goes up 50% in price. I sometimes wonder what I spent my money on before triathlon.