Event: Maple Leaf City Triathlon
Location: Baldwin City, KS
I signed up for the Maple Leaf City Triathlon with the intention to just see how I liked triathlons… little did I know I would be completely hooked. I signed up only a month before the event, which meant I would only put in a month of triathlon-specific training for the event. This turned out to be sufficient time for me as I was already in pretty good shape cardio-wise. I just needed to remember how to swim and bike. Easy right?
Swim training wasn’t so bad as Baldwin City’s pool offered free community lap swimming in the mornings. Three mornings a week, I would show up and paddle away… My first visit to the pool made it clear that I never really learned to properly swim as a kid. This whole, put-your-face-in-the-water thing was new to me. I always swam with my head up out of the water. Nevermind, a few You Tube videos and I was on my way trying to
master fake what to do.Using the Zero-to-1 Mile program, it took me a month to get from 300 yards up to swimming over a mile.
Bike training was tricky in that my trusty bicycle (which I hadn’t ridden in years), was a comfortable, heavy, cruising-style Trek. I rode the triathlon course (who picked a route with nothing but hills???) and thought… well… I’m gonna need a
bigger boat better bike. I dug my nearly 20-year-old Schwinn hybrid out of the garage and decided to fix it up. The frame was beadblasted and powdercoated flat black. We spray painted the wheels neon pink and added new pedals and a new seat. Good to go, right? This process actually took a long time. Steven had to strip and reassemble the bike in its entirety. I longingly looked at all the snazzy bikes in the triathlon magazines. Surely these magical bikes would somehow make the hills more manageable? My birthday was just days before the triathlon, so I picked out a very basic (cheap) road bike online and hoped I would figure it out in time.
My new bike arrived and I had no idea how to shift! You Tube gave me the basics, but I just wasn’t comfortable learning how to shift the bike 24 hours before a race. Which meant Steven had to slap my hybrid back together ASAP. He stayed up all night before my triathlon putting her back together.
The morning of the triathlon, I gathered my backpack, strapped on my helmet and pedaled my now awesome-looking Schwinn to the pool. No test drive, adjustment, etc. We didn’t have time.
I was one of the last to arrive at the pool (oops!) so I found one of the remaining spaces open in the transition area. The rack in the very very very back of the lot. It took me 5 minutes to spread out my towel and gear, then I headed into the pool to find the 4-minute line. I chatted with other ladies in the line and waited until it was my turn to enter the pool. They had a no diving rule, which was OK because I didn’t know how to dive anyway. Once I hit the water I was off… I ended up passing 3 women in front of me. (And my husband’s video even shows one of the women cheating and cutting her lap short to avoid me passing her! LOL!) I exited the pool not at all winded and ran to my bike. I was wearing a tri-sut, so I only had to put on helmet, jacket, number and shoes.
Issue one with the bike: I never used pedals with straps before. I kept trying to get my feet in the pedals but the pedal would whip around and nail me in the calf. Ouch. I decided to just get going and get the pedals right later. Half a mile into the ride, I got my feet into the pedals. Only to have my chain fall off at mile one. Eek. I have never put a chain on a bike before, so it took me a few greasy minutes to get the chain back on. As I pushed my bike up the giant hill, I contemplated quitting and crying for a moment. But I decided I really wanted the medal so I got back on the bike and kept pedaling. My chain ended up falling off 4 times. Every time I would pass people, the chain would fall off and they’d feel bad for me as they’d pass me, struggling on the side of the road. I ended up finishing the ride in a pretty decent time considering all the technical difficulties.
Finally, my short run. I actually had a big grin on my face the entire run. The course took me in a big square, running down the bricks streets, and right by my house. My family was in the front yard cheering for me as I went by! The route ended at Liston Stadium, with a lap on the Baker University track.
I had a wonderful time and I knew right away that I wanted to train harder and longer, and work at completing an Olympic triathlon. But first, I had to finish my second event of the day… I had a 5K that night. Nap time first!
Results – 10th Place Female Under 40