Immediately after signing up for the Bribie Island Short Course Triathlon, I started my training with a heavy session… on a comfy chair, in front of my laptop. Googling.
From a few quick searches, I learned that
- I was not the first person to sign up for a triathlon without owning a bike or being able to swim;
- Triathlons don’t come easy to anybody that is human; and
- The fact that I have a largely functioning body and am willing to fork out 50 bucks to enter the Bribie Triathlon, more than qualifies me as a triathlete.
Confidence = boosted!
I also learned about triathlon logistics – you rock up early on a Sunday morning, start with a swim, go into Transition 1 where you collect the bike that you left there the day before, go for a bike ride, head into Transition 2 where you dump your bike for collection later, then go for a run and cross the finish line like a champion. I decided to start with my strong suit: shopping.
My main concern was what to wear for my first triathlon so that I wouldn’t have to get changed (ie get nekkid) in front of anyone. Not only am I uncomfortable getting undressed in front of total strangers, but I felt sure that my non-athletic figure would give me up as a total fraudster and all the real triathletes would point and laugh at me when they noticed. I also take the mantra ‘fake it til you make it’ very seriously and I hoped that looking like a pro would fool my body into thinking that we could make it through the hell I was about to force upon it.
I turned to my trusty mate, Ebay, and I started with this 2xU tri suit that you can see in the picture above, which still had the tags attached (presumably unworn) for 70 bucks. This triathlon crap was clearly going to add up to some serious dollars. Furthermore, the suit is hideous. This is not going to be a glamorous sport and I was pleased I’d decided to keep these shenanigans a secret (clearly that didn’t last long)
I bought a few other cheap things – a gel seat cover to put on my a bike’s seat (I didn’t have a bike or read about gel cushions on any triathlon websites but I knew instinctively that I couldn’t cycle 10km fast and hope to ever sit down again if I didn’t get some cushioning) and a strap to hold my sunglasses on my head. I already had a cycle helmet (Kmart $12) swim cap (Ebay $15) goggles (Kmart $7) and ear plugs (Bunnings .50c) so the rest of my list consisted of a bike, a race number belt, sunglasses, new running shoes, high impact sports bra in a colour that would match my tri suit and new socks.
If nothing else, I was going to ensure that I would be kitted out come race day! But I was starting to feel prepared, and that was the key. I announced to Shane that I had signed up for a triathlon and he confirmed I am an idiot, and my fate was sealed because I had told someone else. There was no backing out.
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