I’m having a fairly serious anxiety moment. I always get cold feet during the build up to a race event but this weekends triathlon is a whole new kettle of panic and paranoia.
A typical running event will see me pitching up in full running attire and in a state of planned dehydration so I’m not tempted to use the stinking portaloos. All I need to do then is concentrate on avoiding the forced team bonding/stretching exercises for half an hour, until the whistle/gun/man lets rip and all I have to do is plod forward til its all over and I can go home.
With this triathlon thingy, the worries just don’t seem to stop. First thing I’ve got to concern myself about is how to get there. When the whole Stratford triathlon joy was first mooted I felt as if I was signing up for a little jaunt across to East London. Not a 100 mile expedition towards the Stratford of Shakespeare fame. I suppose I can cope with this though, at least it gives me an excuse to pull out the nicely spoken GPS lady.
When I get there I have to register and pin my number to both front and back of my running shirt but I’m gonna be pushing my bike and carrying about 30 different outfits and bottles and pumps and puncture repair kits and rucksacs and towells and as yet undetermined stuff cos I can’t park my bike up until 30 mins before the start of the swim. Its going to be a a complete baggage disaster zone.
Next is the worst bit. I get to my racking area and allow all the rucksacs and trammel to spew out onto the floor around me. After frantically trying to organise all the junk into some kind of prescribed T1/T2 efficiency combo I have to get prepared for the swim. So I’ve travelled down in my costume so it can’t be so bad but do I really have to strip off and parade around in my swim wear for 30 mins????? I can manage 30 secs I think, but no way can I manage this sort of exposure for 30 mins.
I made a bit of a mess of my entry as well. You had to put in your estimated swim time for 400m. Not knowing whether I could swim a length or how long a length was, I didn’t have a flippin clue. I tried entering my time as SLOW hoping that it would mean something to the organisers but it wasn’t accepted. I then opted for the largest number it would accept, this was 59:99 mins. I have since discovered that 12 mins is slow but 59 mins would take a monumental effort. This number was also the decider in your race starting position, with all the slowies going out first.
So it’s fair to say that I am not looking forward to Sunday.
I am going to have to stand half naked in public for 30 mins before jumping into an empty pool as all the other swimmers will be jumping in at least 47 minutes after me. Either that or I’ll be behind a bunch of swimmers who will actually take 59 mins to do 12 laps and I’ll be dead of hypothermia before I get to the good bit.
Can I go home yet?