Today I actually did wake up early for exercise. Not my own exercise but as a volunteer and spectator at the Lifetime Tri Marquee. I set my alarm for 3:15am and tossed and turned until the alarm went off. Rolling slowly out of bed, I dressed myself, fed my animals, (including one barky, excited dog who thought we were going on an early morning walk 😦 poor dog) and made the drive to Tempe.
I started my shift at 4:15am in transition. I body marked a few people, checked wrist bands, and tried to keep transition to athletes only. As the sun came up, the temps started to climb but I still didn’t envy the athletes their chilly morning swim. Transition was briefly a zoo getting all the last minute preparations done.
We volunteers watched from inside transition as the athletes lined up in their waves and into the water they went. From this point forward, we switched to cheering on the athletes and checking their helmet status (on and buckled) before they got to the bike mount line. I think we caught 4+ athletes without helmets on and/or buckled who would have been disqualified from the race if they hadn’t been stopped. It’s a good reminder that the USAT officials take this super seriously and will disqualify any athlete if the rules aren’t followed.
I feel like I got a pretty good overview of transition, the many different types of bikes, hydration set ups, and gear and clothing choices of the 1000+ triathletes. I’m not sure if any of this will be helpful for my own race but I hope so!
Standing there watching people about to jump in Tempe Town Lake, I asked myself if I had to, right now, could I swim 1500m, bike 25 mi and run 6 mi? Subtracting the nerves from being in this type of competitive environment, I answered that I most definitely could do it. So, looking forward to the Esprit de She olympic distance triathlon, if I’m able to decrease my nerves and look at it as another day of training, I can definitely do the distance… It’s just a matter of how much time it takes (and trying not to let myself become intimidated by any portion of the race or the race itself).